ELKHART, Ind. – Sika Corp. staff spent the day Wednesday showcasing a variety of new sealant and adhesive products and concepts for members of the RV industry.
In a sense, this first-ever Sika “Driving Technologies” Event held at the Northern Indiana Event Center was to tell the RV industry, “We have a lot more to offer than just ‘Sikaflex,’” Sika Regional Sales Manager Bill Buraczewski said while offering a tour of the event.
Scroll down for photos of the event.
Nearly 100 industry representatives, including engineers, interior designers, purchasing agents and production managers attended. Standard static displays were set up in the Ingram Hall, while across the way Sika staff put on demonstrations, at times reminiscent of Bill Nye the Science Guy, showing the ease of product application.
Although Sika Corp. has been serving the RV industry for more than 30 years, a lot of Sika’s other technologies have yet to make its way into the RV industry, Buraczewski said, adding that he hopes Wednesday’s event will kindle the creative juices of the industry’s visionaries.
For more than a generation, Sika’s leading product to the RV industry has been Sikaflex, a trustworthy sealant and adhesive.
“There are other products and technologies we make besides Sikaflex,” Buraczewski stressed. “We don’t want to change that recognition, but we also want to make the industry aware of these other technologies.”
Buraczewski considers Sika’s window glazing adhesives the industry leader. “Understanding that we know we have to continue to evolve it forward, one of the things we’re highlighting here is our Sikaflex PowerCure technology,” he said. “It increases the speed of curing by removing the weather and temperature element out of the curing process.”
The technology is brand new, but some RV OEMs are already using PowerCure.
Another area that Sika hopes to make inroads is in the issue of acoustics inside an RV. “One area we would like to bring to the RV Industry is our expertise learned from the automotive industry is in acoustic solutions,” Buraczewski said. “Obviously people are traveling and vacationing in RVs, they’re staying in different campgrounds. There are noises from appliances and generators as well as outside environments. Sika has been a dominant player in the automotive industry with acoustic technologies, but we’ve never really focused on carrying this over to the RV Industry.”
So, he hopes the industry will consider SikaGard 6682, a water-based, spray-on acoustic technology that Buraczewski said is easy to apply, doesn’t drip and dries to the touch within an hour. Test engineer Walter Vysniauskas donned a white lab coat during demonstrations of the application process he gave throughout the day and never soiled his coat. Sika representatives say the coating can reduce sound by about 35 percent.
On the concept side, Sika showed an application of its PVC peel-and-stick membrane known as Sarnafil for potential use in RV wall panels and roofing. Sarnafil was used in the roof of the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas, home to the Dallas Cowboys.
Sarnafil is designed to last up to 25 years, according to Buraczewski.
“We believe there is an opportunity for this type of product that can bring some efficiencies in the manufacturing process while providing a stronger, more durable roof membrane solution,” he said. “The goal is to start partnering with customers to help drive what is really desired by the manufacturers.”
Sika also showcased a flooring system that gives the look of teak, but is twice as strong, according to Buraczewski, who added the product has been popular in the marine industry. The color and design selection is endless and allows for designers to really become creative, said Buraczewski, who anticipates that this product will eventually find a home in the RV industry.
Yet another concept highlighted by Sika was RMAX, a lightweight roofing material that is already being used in the construction market. Additionally, Sika showcased a variety of lamination adhesives, which the company has been selling in Europe for years but now sees an opportunity for the U.S. RV market to play catch up.