Prototype Design and Testing of a Thermoplastic Steering Wheel Armature 2007-01-1218
Basic automotive steering wheel armature design has been largely unchanged for years. A cast aluminum or magnesium armature is typically used to provide stiffness and strength with an overmolded polyurethane giving shape and occupant protection. A prototype steering wheel armature made from a unique recyclable thermoplastic eliminates the casting while meeting the same stiffness, impact, and performance criteria needed for the automotive market. It also opens new avenues for styling differentiation and flexibility. Prototype parts, manufacturing, and testing results will be covered.