The ultimate challenge

To pull a 208-ton freight train using three grams of adhesives after less than an hour of curing time. Guess which brand can make that math work!

Let's start at the end first. To prove the speed, strength and durability of Loctite's Universal Structural Bonders to both customers and Henkel colleagues alike, an audacious idea was born involving very little adhesive and a whole lot of train. Spoiler alert: It has worked several times over in the United States and most recently at the Henkel headquarters in Düsseldorf. Watch for yourself here:

Something big is coming

From the lab to the rails

First, the basics: In the world of adhesives, there are specific technologies for individual application needs. Henkel Adhesive Technologies set out to change all of that in 2014, when it introduced the world's first universal structural bonder, or hybrid adhesive. LOCTITE 4090 combined the best of multiple adhesive technologies, making it as fast as an instant adhesive and as strong and durable as a structural adhesive. A dream come true for customers, opening up completely new design and repair opportunities for customers.

But the work didn't stop there. Over the last three years, Henkel experts have now truly cracked the chemical challenges of creating hybrids with that ideal but elusive combination of speed, strength and versatility. LOCTITE 4090, now called LOCTITE HY 4090, has been joined by an entire range of universal structural bonders that combine the most critical attributes of structural and instant adhesives.

"Developing the technology was the biggest challenge," says Patricia Cullen, Director of Global Product Development for General Industry. "We have done something very exciting by developing a new chemistry category that achieves the best attributes of both instant and structural adhesives. There was a lot of trial and error to get these products to do the things we wanted them to do."

LOCTITE Locomotive in Düsseldorf

In May this year, the demonstration was done twice at the Henkel headquarters for colleagues, members of the press as well as customers. Jan-Dirk Auris, Head of Adhesive Technologies, personally applied three grams of the new LOCTITE HY 4070 to a metal plate that was then applied to another plate and clamped for curing. The plates were then screwed to two joints that were used to attach the wagon to the locomotive. A shortened cure time added an air of suspense to the demonstration.

"Today we did only 30 minutes," says Frederic Chupin, Head of Global Marketing. "Normally we do the same demo in one hour."

But why the big show? "This type of event is a big opportunity not only to get into the heads of our customers, but to also touch their hearts," explains Kourosh Bahrami, Head of AG for Western Europe. "This is about innovation and trust, and the best way to trust something is not reading data - it's also about experiencing it yourself."

Want to find more about our universal structural bonders. Click here for the different products.