H.B. Fuller | KÖMMERLING offers a ‘one-stop solution’ for every adhesive, sealant and other specialist chemical technology that RV manufacturers, among others, need to use to help them improve manufacturing processes, RV durability and performance, and, ultimately, the consumer experience when using them anywhere in the world.
By collaborating with customers across the global RV industry, H.B. Fuller has developed solutions for nearly every part of the RV manufacturing process, including panel lamination of sidewalls, floors, roofs and furniture production. Founded over 100 years ago, H.B. Fuller has supplied the RV industry for 30 years across Europe, USA, and Australia and, most recently, China.
In 2017, H.B. Fuller, the worldwide adhesive supplier, expanded its expertise in the RV sector with the acquisition of Kömmerling, a well-known brand which had also served the global RV industry for many years mainly focused on assembly bonding and sealing. Acting as one robust organisation, they now provide a specialist ‘one-stop shop’ for the RV industry - a global company with local expertise in all markets. While leveraging their combined network of R&D labs, H.B. Fuller has been able to develop a strong portfolio with a full spectrum of adhesive solutions. The company also promotes a close collaboration with OEMs to help them produce improved RVs that truly meet the demands of being used in any climate around the world.
Hotmelt and Reactive Hotmelt
Every adhesive and sealant solution has its specific application. It is often the customer’s needs and circumstances that define the adhesive technology finally recommended.
A popular adhesive in many industries, including furniture and laminated sandwich panels for the RV segment is the hotmelt technology - a fast adhesive solution with immediate position tack that does not require any further fixation of the parts. In principle, it is necessary to differentiate between thermoplastic
hotmelt and reactive hotmelt. Thermoplastic hotmelt is a non-reactive adhesive that becomes liquid at high temperatures above 130°C to make it easy to apply and stick parts together quickly. However, for items such as sandwich panels and furniture for areas exposed to high temperatures, like kitchens, there would be the risk of low resistance to heat. For these situations, the reactive hotmelt is more resistant to high temperatures and, therefore, more durable.
The working principle of reactive hotmelt is similar to the thermoplastic hotmelt explained above, as it is also applied once it has been heated and melted but it uses an additional chemical reaction to build a strong connection that cannot be opened again once it is cross-linked. This is quite a popular choice for sandwich panel construction for RV OEMs in North America, whereas European manufacturers mainly prefer to use liquid moisture cure products, such as H.B. Fuller’s Icema™ R 145 grades.
The H.B. Fuller Rakol® and Rapidex® reactive hotmelt products are used for flat lamination processes to create safe, durable, high quality furniture, flooring, doors and window products. For the process of edge banding in RV furniture production, there are both thermoplastic and reactive hotmelt products with heat resistance ranging from 75°C to 140°C in use.
Throughout its history, H.B. Fuller has built upon its strong knowledge by continuous innovation. Its scientists are always searching for new technologies that can help improve a customer’s operations, product applications and finished goods.
RV OEMs using hotmelt adhesive from H.B. Fuller include wellknown brands across the global RV market as well as independent single producers, in major markets like the USA, Germany, France, Italy, UK and Slovenia. As part of its growth strategy, H.B. Fuller is now also better positioned to meet the increasing demand from the Australian and upcoming Chinese RV markets.
With more than 6,000 employees, 72 productions sites and 38 technology centres globally, H.B. Fuller has the power of a truly global adhesive provider with local expertise in each market it serves, and is continually undertaking huge amounts of R&D all over the world.
The three dedicated teams that specialize in the RV industry for the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific regions benefit from being part of a global support capability and add customer value by deeply understanding local challenges, priorities and processes inside out. The company has a wide distribution network serving manufacturers of all sizes and ensures the same level of expertise in every corner of the globe.
Bildnachweis: H.B. Fuller | Kömmerling