Lightweight Construction Due to Thermoplastic Foams as Exemplified in an Instrument-Panel Support 2006-01-1404
The driving behaviour of an automobile is strongly influenced by the weight distribution over the axles. Since all BMW vehicles are rear wheel drive, there is a permanent challenge to reduce the weight of the front of the vehicle. As the instrument panel is found in this relevant area, it is the object of consistent endeavours to save weight. The instrument panel carrier, weighing 3.5 to 4Kg, has the largest proportion of the total weight of the part. Since the end of the 1980’s BMW has been using complete solutions in plastic that are developed to be weight optimized. At the start of 2000 BMW set the goal of decreasing the weight of the instrument panel by a further 20%, while at the same time satisfying all demands placed on the parts. This paper describes the development of a new injection moulding technology, designed to reach the aforementioned goals.