Araldite is a leading global brand that has been around for more than 70 years… and we are clearly stuck on it. Huntsman Advanced Materials and the dedicated team behind Araldite, produce composite systems and adhesives that are used around the globe in a number of highly technical and specialized industries. From aerospace, automotive and transport to hi-tech electronics, industrial construction and the development of wind turbines, the application and dependence of Araldite as a world class performer is well established. Industry sectors that undergo extreme conditions and require a performance adhesive that can withstand resistance to high UV rays, tolerance to temperature changes and other extreme weather conditions, make Araldite their number 1 choice. Additionally exposure to corrosives such as salt, are exactly the sort of conditions that sailors tend to encounter when racing.
Ocean racing is an extremely demanding sport and the expectations that sailing crews have on equipment and boats cannot be underestimated. When the heads of Araldite in Europe, including the team of experts at the production site at Monthey in Switzerland, considered these technical needs and stresses the sport is exposed to, the world of sailing and boating and in particular competitive racing became an obvious target the team felt compelled to pursue.
Interestingly, as the Araldite team prepare to enter the sport of ocean racing, Patricia Albisser, Marketing & Communications Manager (Europe) reminds us that this strategic decision is more of a return to the past than it is an entry into unknown waters: “We previously got involved in ocean racing over ten years ago as the headline partner for the Mini 6.50 skippered by Thibault Reinhart (15th in the Mini Transat in 2011), 50% of which was built using flax fibers and for which we applied our composites and adhesives. At that point our strategic choices led us to leave that sector, but today we would like to return to this world, as we are convinced that Araldite products are well suited to the world of sailing and boating.”
Recently a bunch of images from the Vendée Globe of Sailors were sent into the Araldite team. Covered in resin as they repaired damage to a hull, the images convinced those in charge of Araldite that this strategic direction was indeed set to be a winner: “When I saw the sort of repairs carried out by people like Jean Le Cam with the problems he had to the bottom of his hull, I was convinced that he would have been able to sail around the world without as many worries, if he had used one of our structural adhesives,” said the Italian, Giulia Gramellini.
An intricate knowledge of the competitive sport of sailing runs through the DNA of some Araldite team members: Giulia Gramellini, Operational Marketing Manager at Huntsman, is a former top class international sailor [Formula 16 and 18, 49er…] who remains active and interested in racing. Commenting on some racing footage, she clearly identifies the contribution Araldite can make. “In the case of Pip Hare and the challenge she experienced with her rudders: our adhesive would have hardened even under water, much more quickly than similar epoxy products. This would have significantly cut the time it took her to carry out repairs, which is important when you are racing.”
Clément Denis, Head of Business Development and Marketing, is another former Mini racer who shares the excitement of Araldite’s renewed participation in the sport. “Our products are easy to use without any complications. They last a long time and set very quickly. Our goal is that in the coming years, sailors will say: “If I need to repair anything I’ll use Araldite, as I know that will hold out”. We want Araldite to be seen as efficient and reliable in complicated conditions.”
Professional and amateurs racing crews are not the only target market that Araldite have the sights set on. They are also focusing upstream and the brand wants to convince boatyards, engineers and designers to use Araldite in different areas for the building of all kinds of boats. Huntsman’s adhesives and proven composite systems have also demonstrated enormous performance characteristics in novel applications such as Formula 1, submarine development and high-speed trains.
Determined to open up this new market, Araldite are not averse to returning to sponsorship in the long term. “If we want consumers to think of us, we have to create our story, promote our know-how, experience and capacity for innovation. We have all the cards in hand for the challenge, but we are not there yet!”, explains Giulia Gramellini.