The new Chief Vulcan Adhesive Debonding Unit (ADU) is the first product designed to efficiently break the bond of structural adhesives used in heavy-duty vehicle manufacturing, the company says.
Unlike torches or heat guns, the Chief Vulcan ADU lets technicians precisely control the degree of heat used on the surface of a component, cleanly releasing the layer of glue underneath. This tight temperature control is needed to not overheat the materials, greatly reducing the risk of component damage.
Repairing collision damage to components bonded with structural adhesives, such as the hood and fender of a heavy-duty truck, can be challenging. The most effective method technicians currently have to separate bonded pieces of fiberglass and/or sheet molded compound is with an open flame or a heat gun. Either approach involves guesswork about the appropriate amount of heat to be applied, and how much time to apply it. This uncertainty brings a considerable risk of damage to the surface of the adjoining panel.
OEMs supply shops with the specific temperatures needed to debond certain adhesives. The patent-pending Chief Vulcan ADU is the first product designed so the technician can set the specific temperature needed to debond specific components. It uses infrared radiation technology to quickly heat the surface to a temperature where the first layer of glue underneath releases cleanly — in as little as 20 seconds. With the adhesive bonds broken, the technician can then easily separate the materials with less risk of damage to either piece. The epoxy remains smooth and hard, not sticky, leaving behind a clean work surface.
“When a damaged component is bonded to an undamaged component, traditional methods of separating the two often cause unintentional damage to the good part,” says Lee Daugherty, heavy-duty sales manager for Chief.
“The Chief Vulcan Adhesive Debonding Unit utilizes the latest technology to help shops avoid the time and cost of repairing inadvertent damage caused by debonding. Even the color of the material is used in the calibration to make sure components are not being over- or under-heated in the debonding process.”