Already prominent in other high-tech industries (wind, space, automotive, etc.), Araldite adhesives have until now been little used in the marine field (see our article), despite the brand’s reputation for resin systems, which are highly valued and used by boatyards … ‘ Within the Basel office (in Switzerland), many managers are keen sailors.
This is true for Clément Denis, director of business development and marketing, and former mini racer who continues to compete in the RORC regattas on Stamina IV. “For too long we thought that our products are good and should sell themselves, but now we realize that we must also be able to speak the same language as our potential customers. Hence the importance of speaking directly to marine engineers and end users, meaning boatyards, naval architects or even directly to racing teams.”
This is especially true since the market is currently booming: structural adhesives are needed for example for bonding bulkheads, deck / hull joints, portholes or linings, both on pleasure boats and racing yachts.
“Each application has its adhesive!” is the watchword of Giulia Gramellini, who, as a former Italian Formula 18 champion, knows the subject well. Coupled with her technical expertise as a materials engineer, this has made her a valuable asset in the Huntsman team (owner of the Araldite brand), where she is now responsible for marketing for adhesives and composites.
“Our best calling card today is our service and expertise,” she explains. “We sell great products, but also offer great support to our customers. Our technical support is second to none; not many of our competitors can offer such a high level of expertise.”
“The customer will contact
experts who are potentially also users“
For example, Araldite has just launched technical Material Models for the main products in the professional catalogue. These go far beyond simple technical data sheets, offering detailed material data over a range of temperatures which can be directly used in modelling and simulation.
“When I bought my last boat it had been rented for a few seasons in the West Indies” says Clément Denis. ” Some linings glued with a well-known generic competitor’s adhesive had fallen off, but I was able to repair using Araldite 2051 without even doing any surface preparation. Temperature and vibration count in the real world, and hence such data is important to users”.
Araldite adhesives are developed in Huntsman’s European laboratories, with experts who discuss with and guide marine manufacturers, many of whom do not have such expertise internally.
“Even the big players in the nautical industry do not have direct access to the adhesive manufacturers. I have an X bond, with a Y set which must withstand a Z load and the whole thing will vibrate, what should I use? In the end, the product will perhaps be sold through distributors, but the customer will have been able to go to the source and contact experts who are potentially also users,” adds Clément Denis.
To convince architects, boatbuilders and design offices of the merits of this approach, Araldite experts will organize a webinar in September to present the benefits of these products. “Finding the right prescribers, building partnerships, talking directly to the technical people who deal with these subjects on a daily basis, this is the key“, explains Giulia Gramellini, “especially since several methacrylate and epoxy Araldite adhesives have just been developed for marine.”