The new product SikaMelt®-9185 IA won first place of the OTTI Innovation Award 2015 at 30th Photovoltaic Symposium in Bad Staffelstein, Germany. This innovative adhesive enables a next generation of fully-automated bonding of junction boxes to back sheets of photovoltaic modules.

SIKA GERMANY PRESENTS SikaMelt®-9185 IA AT OTTI PHOTOVOLTAIC SYMPOSIUM

The OTTI Photovoltaic Symposium is one of the most important events for the solar and photovoltaic industry in the German speaking region since 30 years. At the 30th anniversary of the event, which took place from 3-6 March 2015 in Bad Staffelstein, an interesting program was offered to the participants. New trends and changes within the industry were discussed with scientists, developers, installers and industry partners.

SikaMelt®-9185 IA is a further development in the SikaMelt® product range, which is applied in the automotive and other industries. It is a one-component, reactive hot melt with low density. The adhesive is applied with a temperature of +160°C. The fast cooling of the adhesive serves for the initial handling strength and the curing with moisture of the air in a second step and results in an elastomer, which cannot be melted anymore. In comparison to 1- and 2-component silicones or other adhesive technologies, SikaMelt®-9185 IA requires less material usage.

Because of the high initial strength, the modules can be processed immediately. Timeconsuming process steps with curing conveyor lines or buffer zones are not necessary any more. The photovoltaic modules can be rotated for flashing or vertically stacked immediately after bonding of the junction box. Thereby time savings within the production process of 45 to 60 minutes can be reached.

Adhesives for fully-automated bonding of junction boxes

Beside the optimization of the production process, SikaMelt®-9185 IA offers an improved mechanical performance in comparison to silicones and requires less material usage. A smaller geometry of bonding as well as a slim thickness is sufficient to reach the same stress distribution as if the bonding is worked out with silicones. Therefore a relevant cost reduction can be achieved.

"The solar industry is faced with cost pressures and a high level of automation; therefore solutions for unit cost savings are demanded. Sika has met these requirements and developed SikaMelt®-9185 IA as an adhesive for fully-automated bonding of junction boxes. I am pleased, that the jury of OTTI has awarded the product with the Innovation Award 2015", says Björn Kappelhoff, Market Field Manager Industry of Sika Germany.

The good adhesion on nonpolar substrates as polypropylene, polyethylene and glass are further properties of the adhesive. It can be used with the potting compound Sikasil® AS-787 SL as a proven system. SikaMelt®-9185 is free of isocyanate and contributes to the sustainability strategy of Sika.