OEM's Approach on Design and Evaluation of Plastic Clamps 2017-01-0484
The automotive industry, known for its competitiveness & innovations globally, researches for continuous improvement of part performances along with reduction of cost & weight. These are amongst the top priority goals across all OEMs. In the long list of automobile parts, pipe clamps have paved their way of design through generations from being of metal to plastic that has expanded its scope of application & performance.
In an automobile, plastic clamps are widely used to hold single or multiple water, fuel or brake pipes of various diameters to vehicle body at various locations such as underbody (prone to stone chipping) or engine room (prone to high temperatures), etc. Plastic clamps are preferred over metallic clamps for their cost, weight, performance & productivity. Primarily, in all application areas, a clamp must be able to hold the pipes with consistent & sufficient performance that is quantified through parameters such as thrust force and pipe removal force. Hence, selection of ideal material becomes an important factor. As an example, clamps at underbody application are highly prone to stone chipping, so the impact resistance specification of material becomes an important factor for the durability performance. On the other hand, the design aspect becomes significant in cases such as increasing safety protection of pipes from surrounding parts during crash event, dampening the vibration transfer from pipe to vehicle body for better NVH performance.
This paper focuses on articulating perspectives of OEM's designers on available knowledge about plastic clamps based on their experiences and propose a novel approach for design & evaluation of plastic clamps.