Emerging Technologies in RIM Fascia - A Focus on Lightweighting and Downgauging 980104
In order to address the industry needs for value engineering and to continually improve the cost competitive position of reaction injection molded (RIM) automotive fascia, two technologies were investigated which can reduce part cost and maintain the key functional and stylistic properties necessary for a quality bumper cover. First, a review of how the addition of hollow glass microspheres into the polymer matrix is now being used in production. This microsphere addition has reduced both part weight and cost, and improved the process window in production to allow for improvements in defect rates, all with a negligible effect on physical properties and functional performance. Second, the paper reviews the validation studies to date on the concept of downgauging, or thin-walling, a RIM fascia. The data include a physical property review of the downgauged materials, and commentary on the effect that filler type has upon performance in these materials.