Electronic Products & Technology

H.B. Fuller leverages TONSAN acquisition

Stephen Law   

Production / Materials

Fast-track engineering adhesives innovation in automotive, electronics

Through its recent purchase of TONSAN Adhesive Inc., the largest independent engineering adhesives company in China, H.B. Fuller of St. Paul MN, is looking to fast-track engineering adhesives innovation in the automotive, electronics, solar, wind, MRO, appliance and heavy machinery markets. In a world that demands rapid innovation, manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to gain a competitive edge. H.B. Fuller, a global leader in adhesives, aims to fill that need when it comes to addressing everything from consumer demand to megatrends.

Now having established manufacturing relationships in China, expanded expertise beyond industrial adhesives and strengthened supply networks, H.B. Fuller delivers more choice and value to customers looking for a high level of collaboration. The acquisition also introduces H.B. Fuller as a supplier in several markets and applications, providing manufacturers global access to new and expanded resources.

“Through this acquisition, we’re able to provide a powerful combination of global resources and advanced adhesive technologies that puts innovation on a fast track to give manufacturers the edge they need to maintain a competitive advantage,” said Patrick Trippel, senior vice president of market development at H.B. Fuller. “Both companies also have a culture of investing heavily in research and development and putting that to work in a highly responsive and collaborative way, working alongside customers.”



For automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), the acquisition means having an alternative adhesive partner for powertrain applications that is committed to a culture of service and collaboration. While H.B. Fuller has traditionally supplied the industry with structural bonding adhesives for exterior lighting and the leading Thermonex® family of products for interior applications, the TONSAN purchase gives the company extensive expertise and automotive powertrain engineering adhesives market share in China.

As a multinational supplier, H.B. Fuller simplifies the integration process with global access and a consistent, high-quality supply chain worldwide. The company also intends to become the industry’s preferred adhesive partner from engine to interior by offering a high level of service and value that manufacturers can’t get anywhere else. H.B. Fuller is starting by exploring ways to help U.S.-based OEMs meet demands for rigorous quality standards, as well as rapidly addressing industry trends such as lightweighting, increasing fuel economy, reducing emissions and eliminating powertrain fluid leakage.


Having recently entered the electronics market, H.B. Fuller is building on its swift growth by expanding its ecosystem approach through the addition of HYSTIC, an electronics adhesives leader in China and Asia that was acquired as part of the TONSAN purchase. Similar to the automotive market, the acquisition gives design engineers and contract manufacturers an alternative adhesives provider that is committed to becoming a preferred partner for collaboration through a culture of delivering innovative products at a high value with proactive service.

As a multinational company with strong product and technology development capabilities and advanced manufacturing facilities, H.B. Fuller can engage design engineers where they work, as well as the operations teams locally wherever they manufacture. H.B. Fuller is focusing on sampling and qualifying materials to accommodate the emergence of wearables, enabling higher performing products and automating solutions to offset rising labor costs in China.


Through the acquisition, H.B. Fuller makes its debut into the solar, photovoltaic (PV) market and continues TONSAN’s legacy of delivering a high-quality, engineering adhesives, sealants and solutions approach, while expanding its global reach. With TONSAN being the largest independent manufacturer of PV adhesives in China and a world leader in silicones for the PV industry, now blended with H.B. Fuller’s global reach, customers have a trusted option with access to a greater set of chemistries to help innovate faster and across broader application sets.

Under the H.B. Fuller brand, TONSAN’s popular silicone frame sealant, 1527, and junction box potting material, 1521, will still be available to customers. In addition, the companies intend to help solar manufacturers exploring a number of advanced technologies to address their toughest challenges using liquid sealants, tapes and adhesives dispensing equipment.

Heavy machinery, MRO, Appliance and Wind

Additionally, TONSAN gives H.B. Fuller an immediate and powerful presence in China in high-growth engineering adhesives segments such as heavy machinery, MRO, appliance and wind power industry. Paired with TONSAN’s intimate knowledge of these applications, H.B. Fuller’s globalized presence and vast research and development resources will yield enhanced adhesive solutions that help solve manufacturers’ toughest challenges – whether it’s through wear-resistant polymers in MRO; fast curing and improved impact resistant adhesives in heavy machinery; superior structural bonding and enhanced aesthetics for home appliances; or greater toughness and fatigue properties in wind power.


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