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Henkel Adhesive Technologies

Henkel Adhesive Technologies

How Henkel is helping power advanced urban air mobility

This growth in AAM and UAM creates a wealth of opportunities and challenges for drone design, production, operation, and maintenance. Power sources alone offer a rich area for continual innovation and improvement.

Mareike Noack
Global Market Segment Manager, UAM & Sustainability

5 min.
This image shows the forest with battery shaped pond.

Drones play an increasingly important role in our lives. Whether it is delivering vital medical supplies to hard-to-reach areas, or providing a stunning aerial tracking shot in the latest movie blockbuster, Advanced and Urban Air Mobility (AAM and UAM) technology is here to stay. A may 2022 report forecasts the commercial drone market will increase in size from $8.15 billion in 2022 to $47.38 billion by 2029.   

UAM is set to be the next growth area for drone technology, providing safe, sustainable, automated airborne transportation systems for urban areas. Forecasters predict the UAM market will reach over $28 billion by 2030.

This growth in AAM and UAM creates a wealth of opportunities and challenges for drone design, production, operation, and maintenance. Power sources alone offer a rich area for continual innovation and improvement.

This is an image showing the workflow of operation management.

This article focuses on how battery design and production is stepping up to the challenge of a growing AAM and UAM market. It highlights Henkel’s experience and capability in delivering innovative materials solutions to continually improve battery safety, efficiency and sustainability, and to reduce battery production cycle times, costs and environmental impacts. Another Henkel blog in this series looks at alternative options for drone power.

Henkel’s pedigree in the automotive battery sector positions it uniquely to deliver effective solutions for AAM and UAM battery design, production and operation, extending its expertise into the more challenging realm of airborne operations.

An image displays a person repairing lithion battery

Key requirements for UAM and AAM battery design

Key design criteria for UAM and AAM battery design are safety, sustainability and minimizing weight and lifetime system costs. Henkel offers proven materials technology in all these areas and continues to innovate and collaborate across the sector to advance UAM and AAM power solutions.

The image shows grey gap fillers applied to a battery module.


Effective fire protection and thermal propagation prevention are vital in any battery powered vehicle. Physical damage events, charging malfunctions or short circuits can cause a fire that can spread from one cell to another, causing thermal battery runaway.

Batteries must be designed and built to reduce the impact and speed of thermal runaway, giving time for occupants to evacuate the vehicle in a fire event. Clearly, this is even more critical for UAM and AAM than in the EV sector, where it is already a major consideration. In both sectors, the challenge is to deliver this requirement reliably and at scale to automated production processes, Henkel offers a wide range of battery protection solutions, and continues to innovate and collaborate to help OEMs further reduce risk.

  • Heat and flame-retardant coatings for the battery pack lid provide a highly protective shield against the spread of fire and heat. Henkel offers coatings that provide excellent environmental resistance, strong adhesion to multiple substrates, and support automated dispensing.
  • Potting materials provide a protective fire-resistant interface with a defined thermal conductivity. Henkel potting materials provide suitable viscosity for battery applications, in addition to fast processibility and high automation.
  • Gasketing material provides the seal between the battery pack housing and the lid, with the primary aim of protecting the inside of the battery pack against the external environment. Henkel provides gasketing solutions that can resist the high temperatures of a thermal runaway incident to prevent leakage and spread outside of the battery pack.
This image shows a Sonderhoff black bead foam gasketing application.

Minimizing system costs

Increasing demand for drones drives volume growth, with the associated expectation that costs will reduce.  

OEMs need to deliver lower cost power systems without compromising on safety, sustainability, weight or performance.

Minimizing lifetime costs for UAM and AAM batteries means maximizing the efficiency of each stage in its lifecycle.

Henkel’s extensive range of materials and adhesive solutions enable simpler designs using fewer materials, driving down production costs and simplifying operations, maintenance and disposal.

Henkel materials can be applied at high dispense rates, allowing manufacturers to significantly reduce processing times. Formulations which are designed to minimize long-term wear and tear on dispensing equipment reduce lifetime equipment costs.

This image is a teardown that displays the interior of the battery pack with a pouch cell battery.


Balancing power against weight is a critical equation in UAM and AAM battery design. Applications such as UAM demand higher energy density without introducing more weight, calling for innovative design solutions.   

Henkel has an established track record of collaboration and innovation in the EV sector, for example in its partnership with RLE International, to deliver lighter weight designs. This expertise is highly transferable to the UAM and AAM market.

This is a conceptual image that illustrates battery charging using lights.


Every aspect of UAM and AAM design, production and operation needs to have the minimal possible environmental impact, and battery systems are no exception.

Henkel has been taking a visionary approach to supporting environmental and social progress for more than 140 years, and this continues in a commitment to  sustainability that runs through everything we do.

Henkel’s expertise in materials and adhesive technologies drives efficiencies throughout the battery lifecycle, contributing to sustainability as well as reducing costs.

It is becoming increasingly critical to deliver a global circular economy for batteries to enable the recovery and reuse of raw materials. Henkel are already collaborating with OEMs and battery manufacturers on developing next-generation materials to enable the seamless disassembly of batteries for repair, reuse, recycling and repurposing.

This is a top-down view of an image showing a green forest with a lake in the middle shaped like an airplane.

How Henkel adds value

Battery technology is fundamental to the UAV and UAM sector, and Henkel is committed to continuing its role as a market leader in innovating and collaborating with OEMs and throughout the value chain to deliver better battery solutions.   

To find out more and continue the conversation, reach out to me on LinkedIn, or visit us.


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