Designing for Thermoplastic Exterior Body Panel Systems 920379
Automotive exterior body panels have traditionally been a “steel only” market for the past 70 years. Thermoplastics competing in this market must be able to perform equal to or better than steel in several ways. Traditional advantages of weight reduction, lower cost tooling, parts consolidation, design flexibility and cost competitiveness must be met. In addition, the thermoplastic body panel must go through the same assembly environment as steel, passing through paint oven temperatures of 182°C (360°F) and higher. This paper will use current production fenders as case studies to address the advantages of using GE thermoplastic resins, as well as the design and assembly techniques implemented, that made these thermoplastic fenders a success using NORYL GTX®917 resin.