Manufacturing of Large Thermoplastics Components for European Cars 830994
There are three major areas of large thermoplastics component development on European cars; instrument panels, bumpers and body side mouldings. Unlike the equivalent parts in the U.S. which are normally painted these parts in Europe are commonly self-coloured with a grained finish.
In addition, there are many new thermoplastics components such as grille panels and spoilers which are painted body colour, must be moulded and finished to tight tolerances and help to bring total plastics usage on new European cars to over 10% of total vehicle weight.
The development and manufacture of some of the larger components is discussed, with the large self coloured all plastics front and rear ends and the painted grille panels used on the new European Ford Sierra described in detail.
The use of material modification to tailor plastics to the end use has encouraged wider acceptance in the european engineering community and the development of new processing and testing techniques has allowed the manufacture of previously impossible structures and the attainment of strict European quality standards.