Energy Management of Thermoplastic Composites in Automotive Instrument Panels/Components: An Option for FMVSS 208 880503

Federal requirements for unrestrained occupant protection, recent automotive designs requiring increased part integration and modular assemblies, high costs for tooling and secondary operations, and intensifying competition are primary incentives for automotive engineers and designers to consider thermoplastic composite materials for replacing and complementing many current metal parts. Nowhere is the scrutiny of material choice more significant than in parts where energy management and stiffness are major design concerns; parts such as bumper beams, door structures, seating, and instrument panel components. Thermoplastic composites offer designers materials which are lightweight, perform consistently over wide temperature ranges, and manage energy to meet part performance requirements.


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