Quality Over Speed: Leading Custom Motor Home Manufacturer Switches to Chemique Adhesives’ Solfre1

Engineered Bonded Structures & Composites has switched to Chemique Adhesives’ Solfre®1 to manufacture custom motor homes for federal agencies and humanitarian organizations, improving quality and production time.

Solfre1 is a one-component polyurethane adhesive that offers an alternative to epoxies, one-part polyurethanes, solvented adhesives, and hot melts. Being solvent-free, the Solfre1 system overcomes the problem of trapped solvent or moisture pockets and consequent delamination.

Engineered Bonded Structures & Composites manufactures prefabricated laminated panels for highly specialized and regulated motor homes for the federal government, and healthcare applications.

“The reason we switched to Chemique Adhesives is we were looking for the best product for what we do,” said Ben Pearson, whose company has been manufacturing motor homes for 23 years. “These motor homes contain many specialty applications, and undergo thorough testing and regulation so quality over speed matters.”

The company had been using another product, but that manufacturer was purchased by a larger firm and was no longer able to meet its needs. Chemique is a privately held company, with an emphasis on customized solutions for a variety of industries, including commercial manufacturing, transportation and portable structures.

Pearson said while the industry trend is to use fast adhesives such as reactive hot melts, he’s found that they lack the temperature range his products require.

“We have to have a sizable open time to get everything into the presses, as we’re building parts up to 53 feet long,” Pearson said. “We also wanted a faster close time and the previous product took four hours. With Chemique, we’re back to two hours, which enables us to keep up with our high volume of business.”

Pearson also noted the environmentally friendly aspect of Chemique’s adhesive, as it uses water to activate the product and is non-solvented.

Engineered Bonded Structures & Composites is based in Elkhart, Ind., home to two counties where 80 percent of the industry’s motor homes are made, Pearson said. The industry in 2016 built more than 400,000 motor homes and trailers.