Spray Adhesives for Lightweighting: Increased Efficiency and Durability

Lightweighting has always been a primary concern in industries such as automotive and aerospace. Lightweight electric vehicles, medical equipment and consumer devices are rapidly growing in demand. Thanks to the availability of different types of spray adhesives, the process of lightweighting is now easier than ever.

The goal of this post is to shed light on the process of lightweighting, and explain what role spray adhesives are playing in this sector. Read on to have a better understanding of the use cases of spray adhesives for lightweighting, particularly in the automotive industry.

What is lightweighting?

Simply put, lightweighting is the process of decreasing the weight of products. The concept has long been relevant in the automotive industry. That’s because lightweight trucks, cars and other vehicles consume less fuel and are easier to handle. Lightweighting is done in three ways: substituting materials, optimizing designs, and eliminating materials.

Material substitution refers to replacing heavier materials with lighter ones. This is the predominant approach to light weighting. For instance, manufacturers often replace heavy fiberglass insulation with light polyimide foam.

The second approach is to optimize designs. It often involves improving the current design or implementing other technologies. For instance, K-Core encapsulated graphite, which is remarkably lighter than solid metal. So, this graphite can efficiently transfer heat.

Eliminating materials, the third approach, is pretty straightforward. The basic idea is to remove components while keeping the system smoothly functional. For instance, mechanical fasteners can be removed if adhesive-backed foam is utilized effectively.

To be fuel-efficient, electrical vehicles must be lightweight. The emergence of spray glue has become a blessing for both designers and engineers of electrical vehicles. In the following sections, we will explain why and how spray adhesives are widely being adopted by manufacturers.

What materials do spray adhesives bond well with?

One of the reasons for the popularity of spray adhesive is the product’s wide applicability. It is used for bonding a wide range of materials with many different types of substrates. This efficacy makes spray glue a go-to product for industries that put a lot of emphasis on lightweighting.

Spray adhesives work very well with metal, wood, foam, acrylic, leather, cardboard, and fabric. The list also contains rubber, foil, glass, aluminum, ceramics, fiber-reinforced composites, and titanium. You can also bond   high-pressure laminate, carbon nanotubes, and many different types of plastics.

Manufacturers of automobiles routinely have to work with dissimilar substrates. Spray glue proves very efficient when it comes to bonding dissimilar substrates. There are some hard-to-bond substrates with no surface roughness onto which other materials can bond. In such cases, UV LED arrays or broad-spectrum bulbs are used in conjunction with spray adhesives.

Applications of spray adhesives for lightweighting

As we have stated, spray adhesives have made lightweighting processes easier and more efficient. In recent decades, multiple industries have benefited from this convenience. Below, we are going to shed light on the major industries.

In the automotive industry

In automobile manufacturing, light weighting is crucial for the efficiency of the vehicles. In this industry, spray adhesives that withstand extreme conditions are in high demand. Here are some applications of spray glue in the automotive industry:

  • Bonding applications: Spray adhesives are widely used in bonding solutions. Use cases include exterior components, interior trim, name plates, body trim molding, and a host of accessories.
  • Eliminating squeaks and rattles: Spray glue helps eliminate unwanted squeaks and rattles.
  • Thermal and acoustic management: Spray adhesives help isolate areas that are temperature sensitive. Examples include floor boards, starters, fuel lines and firewalls.
  • Protective masking: During some phases of automobile manufacturing, temporary protection is necessary. Spray adhesives prove very useful for such purposes.
  • Joining upholstery materials: Spray adhesives are widely used to glue upholstery materials together. Other bonding solutions are also used for this purpose.

The applications of spray adhesives in these processes result in a host of benefits. They include fuel efficiency, improved safety, and higher strength properties. They also result in lower operating costs, enhanced aesthetics, and reduced size. And all these benefits can be achieved while keeping the weight of the vehicle relatively low.

In the aerospace industry

In some aerospace applications, paste and film adhesives are not convenient enough. This is in part because they offer inadequate bonding properties and manufacturability. Manufacturers have addressed this concern by adopting epoxy-based adhesives.

Spray glue is used throughout the engine compartment, interior and exterior of aircraft. Typical applications include retaining, threadlocking, thread sealing, gasketing, tamper proofing, bonding and sealing.

Aerospace adhesives are categorized into several subtypes. They include anaerobic adhesives, epoxies, structural acrylics, cyanoacrylates.

In other industries

Spray adhesives are also widely used in construction, solvent-based technologies, and epoxy-based industries. It is used to glue plasters, drywalls, fiberglass, and insert ceilings. Experts assume that the rapid economic growth in the Asia-pacific region will trigger the demand for spray adhesives.

Solvent-based adhesives are responsible for high VOC emissions. Therefore, manufacturers are quickly adopting water-based spray glue. Epoxy based spray adhesives are gaining popularity in industries working with fiberglass and plywood. This is because these adhesives offer resistance, low shrinkage and great mechanical strength.

DIY enthusiasts also find spray glue very convenient. There are easy-to-use, non-toxic craft spray adhesives that work very well with paper, fabrics, foil, cardboard, and more. No matter what type of materials and substrates you are using, there is a perfect spray adhesive for your project.

Revolutionizing electric vehicle batteries

Balancing features is the most challenging part of designing and manufacturing EV batteries. The ideal features of an EV battery include low weight, low cost, safety and good heat dissipation. The batteries also have to offer electrical resistance, adhesion, and environmental resistance.

The problem is, balancing these characteristics against one another can be tricky. For instance, an EV battery gets hot when it is recharged and therefore it should ideally have high thermal conductivity. But if the adhesive is too viscous, it affects heat dissipation.

Spray adhesive, which is applied in the form of a mist, can be a brilliant solution to this problem. This adhesive also helps keep the battery relatively lightweight.

Spray adhesives developed in recent years offer impressive resistance to temperature and humidity. Therefore, they are widely used for insulation as well. These adhesives offer remarkable flexibility and work with a variety of materials and substrates. For all these reasons, a growing number of manufacturers are using spray adhesives for EV batteries.

Selecting the right spray adhesives is the key

There are various types of spray adhesives. Some are industry-specific while some are for general purposes. With so many different types of spray adhesives out there, finding the right adhesive for your project can be tricky.

Most spray adhesives have a shelf life of around 24 months. They differ in color, spray pattern, temperature resistance, effect time, and scent. Some spray adhesives offer temporary bonding while others are used for permanent bonding. How To Choose The Right Spray Adhesive? can help you make an informed buying decision.


There is a rapid demand for lightweighting in many different industries. And that means spray adhesives will see more demand in the foreseeable future. In particular, electric vehicle manufacturers are benefiting from general and specific-purpose spray adhesives.

Regardless of the types of materials and substrates you need to bond together, you are likely to find a spray adhesive that is perfect for the job. We encourage you to do a little bit of research and find what works best for your project.