1998-02-23

Use of Blow Molding to Improve Weight, Cost, Assembly and Performance Characteristics of UnderHood Components 980735

As the global automotive industry continues to strive for improved performance at lower costs, the use of blow-molded thermoplastics in underhood components offers a wide range of benefits, including:
  1. 1.
    Cost reduction
  2. 2.
    Weight reduction
  3. 3.
    Improved recyclability
  4. 4.
    Multi-functional part design opportunities
  5. 5.
    Reduction in number of parts and materials in the engine compartment
  6. 6.
    Greater temperature resistance to handle increasing powertrain temperatures
  7. 7.
    Easier assembly/disassembly for productivity improvements and cost savings in the manufacturing process
  8. 8.
    Reduced noise
  9. 9.
    Improved engine performance (up to 2 percent)
Underhood applications where blow-molded technology can provide these advantages include turbo- charge ducts, air ducts, crankcase venting hoses, resonators, coolant reservoirs, and pipes and hoses for oil cooling, air conditioning and coolant systems. This technology is now used in the European automotive market and in Japan. Development work is currently going on in the U.S. as well as Asia Pacific.
This paper will provide an in-depth look at several commercial applications of blow-molded components in the automotive powertrain. For each kind of application, this paper will review performance requirements and discuss proper material selection for these requirements. Materials reviewed will include thermoplastic elastomers, PBT and polyamides (nylon 6 and 66). Special processing techniques will be outlined where appropriate and benefits gained from the blow-molded component will be detailed. Finally, the paper will provide a summary of key applications, recommended materials and special processing techniques for blow-molded engine components.

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