Advancements in Composite Structural Closures 2014-01-1059
Composites are well-known to provide good weight reduction and more creative design freedom in automotive closure applications versus traditional ferrous or non-ferrous stamped metal assemblies.
Challenges to widespread adoption of composite structures include:
Recyclability of the end unit without disassembly
Joining together panels
Keeping up with high production volumes
Limited structural strength without significant metal reinforcement
Total delivered cost
Latest generation composite liftgates can achieve high levels of component integration and maximum styling freedom by utilizing fully thermoplastic recyclable injected molded panels. Proper material characterization and CAE optimization can reduce the level of internal metal reinforcements, thereby realizing further weight reduction opportunity.