DETROIT - Five years after introducing its alternative to hard rubber gaskets, Loctite Corp. U.S.A. is expanding its product base with four new chemical compounds.
The supplier of adhesives, sealants and coatings said the additions will bring to 10 the number of variations on its 'FastGasket' technology. FastGasket is a process of making silicone layers on a vehicle that cures in place to perform the same function as a traditional gasket.
The company, of Rocky Hill, Conn., said last week the new variations will include:
A heat and fluid-resistant material for sealing valve covers, transaxle pans, radiators and water pumps.
A material with high elongation for use on brake modules and timing-belt covers.
A water-resistant foam that doubles in size when curing in order to fill large gaps and provide damping.
A fuel-resistant material to use on fuel injectors, cam covers fuel lines and intake manifolds.
Loctite first unveiled its 'gasket substitute' concept at the 1995 SAE show in Detroit. Last week, Charles Evans, a Loctite vice president and Automotive Group general manager, said the concept is catching on among some automakers.
Loctite claims it can dramatically reduce the costs associated with gaskets. Evans said a rubber gasket that costs a supplier or automaker between $5 and $7 could be replaced by a Loctite application for about $1 each.
'We are Tier 3, Tier 0.5, Tier 1 - whatever the customer wants us to do,' Evans said. 'We can do any part of this process. We can apply the gaskets for them and deliver an assembled part. We can deliver the technology to them and let them do it in their own factory. We can do part of it in our factory. We can bond the parts, clean the parts, seal the parts, treat the parts - we're not a manufacturer. We're a provider of know-how.'
Two years ago, German consumer and industrial goods conglomerate Henkel bought out the family controlled Loctite. Evans said FastGasket is only a small part of the business portfolio so far. Loctite has other original equipment supplier businesses, including assembling auto light housings. The company had total sales last year of approximately $1.2 billion.