Samsung had changed the adhesive it used for the glass doors on its front-load washing machines from silicon to polyurethane, TheElec has learned.
This may have been caused by the company’s efforts to reduce costs, sources said.
Samsung has been criticized for allegedly using faulty glass doors on its front-load washing machines and one of its presidents has been summoned for questioning by the National Assembly.
The issue was sparked by online posts made by consumers in July and the company has since halted production of the model in South Korea and ordered a recall.
The recall was for 91,488 units of Bespoke Grande AI out of 106,173 units manufactured between September of last year up to May.
Sources said the issue may have been caused by Samsung’s attempt to reduce cost of production.
The tech giant, since last year, had added US company H.B. Fuller as a supplier of adhesives in addition to its existing German supplier Henkel.
Most industrial adhesives mix two materials together and Henkel’s adhesive mixes silicon with a hardener which costs around 20,000 won per kg.
Meanwhile, H.B. Fuller’s adhesive mixes polyurethane with a hardener and costs around 15,000 won per kg.
Polyurethane is known to be less resistant to heat and chemicals compared to silicon.
Most adhesives used in washing machines, therefore, had used silicon-based adhesives and Samsung continues to do this for its washing machines made in Vietnam.
But it has adopted polyurethane adhesives for models made in South Korea since last year, unlike LG Electronics which still uses Henkel’s adhesives for all its washing machines.
Samsung had said at the time of the recall announcement that the faulty doors were caused by defective adhesion.