Instrument Panel Structure Utilizing Linear Welded A/C Ducts 870200

This paper describes a new, unique design to build structure into automotive instrument panels by attaching an injection molded, two-piece air conditioning duct which includes an integrally molded plastic reinforcement uniquely sealed by linear welding. (Subsequent references to the new design will be termed “integral duct”). A review of current design practices in air conditioning ducts and instrument panel reinforcement will be discussed. A unique combination of the linear welding methods will be compared to a typical plastic welding process utilized in industry today. The variable manufacturing cost, weight and investment will be compared to a conventional instrument panel assembly with steel reinforcements and separate air ducts. The functional performance of the new linear welded duct will be compared to a typical alternative which is usually stapled in assembly.


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