Browse Publications Technical Papers 2022-01-0336

Polypropylene Composite Material for Light Weight Fuel Tank Protection Shield 2022-01-0336

The fuel tank shield provides a protective boundary between the fuel tank and vehicle driveline in the event of a high-speed crash. Hence, it is important from the safety standpoint. The part must be carefully engineered to meet the challenging requirements in terms of stiffness, deflection, toughness, dimensional stability and thermal stability. In this paper, long glass fibre filled polypropylene material compound was selected and developed to meet the mentioned requirements for this part with significant mass reduction over other materials. The combination of material, optimized part and tool design led to weight savings and considerable cost reduction. This is a ready to mold material used in injection molding process.
This long glass fibre reinforced polypropylene compound has been explored for thin wall protection shield with wall thickness of 2.5 mm. This part has critical functional requirements such as driveline load versus deflection durability criteria, thermal stability, dimensional stability to overcome fouling and rattling with respect to interface parts, torque retention in mounting zones, gap and flush aspects. Structural durability of the design was validated by virtual engineering. Part design and material combinations with better tooling design iterations were analyzed by using mold flow analysis. Complete product performance was validated for predefined key test metrics such as structural durability, thermal aging, natural frequency, impact and torque retention. This part met the requirements. The combination of material, optimized part and tool design led to weight savings, balanced stiffness and toughness behavior, dimensional stability, and considerable cost reduction.


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