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Technical Paper

Application of a MIC Metallic Flake ASA/PC Weatherable Resin Predictive Engineering Package

2006-04-03
2006-01-0135
The automotive industry continues to strive for mold-in-color (MIC) solutions that can provide metallic flake appearances. These MIC solutions can offer a substantial cost out opportunity while retaining a balance of weathering performance and physical properties. This paper discusses a predictive engineering package used to hide, minimize and eliminate flow lines. Material requirements and the methods used to evaluate flowline reduction and placement for visual inspection criteria are detailed. The Nissan Quest® luggage-rack covers are used to illustrate this application. The paper also explores how evolving predictive packages offer expanding possibilities.
Technical Paper

A Low Cost, Lightweight Solution for Soft Seamless Airbag Systems

2004-03-08
2004-01-1485
OEM and Tier One integrated suppliers are in constant search of cockpit system components that reduce the overall number of breaks across smooth surfaces. Traditionally, soft instrument panels with seamless airbag systems have required a separate airbag door and a tether or steel hinge mechanism to secure the door during a deployment. In addition, a scoring operation is necessary to ensure predictable, repeatable deployment characteristics. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the development and performance of a cost-effective soft instrument panel with a seamless airbag door that results in a reduced number of parts and a highly efficient manufacturing process. Because of the unique characteristics of this material, a cost-effective, lightweight solution to meet both styling requirements, as well as safety and performance criteria, can be attained.
Technical Paper

Towards Improved Halogen Lighting Performance using a Combination of High Luminous Flux Sources and a Lens Material Approach

2004-03-08
2004-01-0797
Currently, automobile manufacturers receive automotive headlamp assemblies from headlamp manufacturers with outer lenses produced of clear or slightly blue tinted polycarbonate. Such headlamp designed to provide optimized light output have very similar aesthetics, and leave little room to differentiate one car platform from another, using the outer lens color. With edge glow technology a car manufacturer can provide an appealing aesthetic look (edge glow effect) from the outer lens. Additionally, this technology can be used to improve the quality of the beam color emitted through the outer lens. Dependent on the chosen combination of halogen source and lens formulation, a range of beam colors spanning from halogen to HID is attainable, where the beam pattern and color continue to conform to the applicable SAE and ECE beam photometry and color standards and regulations.
Technical Paper

Thermoformed Soft Instrument Panel

2003-03-03
2003-01-1171
The automotive industry is continually striving for opportunities to take additional cost and mass out of vehicle systems. Large parts such as an Instrument Panel retainer are good candidates because a small percent reduction in mass can translate into a significant material mass savings. Multiple requirements for a soft instrument panel including safety, stiffness, adhesion, etc. can make these savings difficult to achieve. This paper will describe how a new material and process development for the fabrication of a soft instrument panel can produce 50% weight savings with a 20% cost reduction potential. In addition, this new technology exhibits improved performance over existing materials during safety testing.
Technical Paper

Use of Parametric Modeling in the Development of Energy Absorber Applications

2002-03-04
2002-01-1226
Automotive styling and performance trends continue to challenge engineers to develop cost effective bumper systems that can provide efficient energy absorption and also fit within reduced package spaces. Through a combination of material properties and design, injection-molded engineering thermoplastic (ETP) energy absorption systems using polycarbonate/polybutylene terephthalate (PC/PBT) alloys have been shown to promote faster loading and superior energy absorption efficiency than conventional foam systems. This allows the ETP system to provide the required impact protection within a smaller package space. In order to make optimal use of this efficiency, the reinforcing beam and energy absorber (EA) must be considered together as an energy management system. This paper describes the development of a predictive tool created to simplify and shorten the process of engineering efficient and cost effective beam/EA energy management systems.
Technical Paper

Two-Shot and Overmolding Technology for Automotive Applications Using Engineering Thermoplastics

2002-03-04
2002-01-0274
There are a multitude of opportunities to utilize two-shot or overmolding technology in the automotive industry. Two-shot or overmolding a thermoplastic elastomer onto a rigid substrate can produce visually appealing, high quality parts. In addition, use of this technology can offer the molder significant reductions in labor and floor space consumption as well as a reduction in system cost. Traditionally, two-shot applications were limited to olefinbased TPE's and substrates, which often restricted rigidity, structure and gloss levels. With the development of thermoplastic elastomers that bond to engineering thermoplastics, two-shot molding can now produce parts that require higher heat, higher gloss and greater structural rigidity. This paper will outline engineering thermoplastics that bond with these new elastomers, discuss potential applications, and review circumstances that offer the best opportunity to call upon the advantages of two-shot and overmolding technology.
Technical Paper

Managing Thermal Growth for Large Class “A” Polymer Body Panel Closure Systems

2002-03-04
2002-01-0276
The history behind Polymer Class “A” Body Panels for automotive applications is very interesting. The driving factors behind these applications have not changed significantly over the past sixty years. Foremost among these factors is the need for corrosion and dent resistance. Beginning with Saturn in 1990, interest in polymer body panels grew and continues to grow up to the present day, with every new global application. Today, consumers and economic factors drive the industry trend towards plastic body panels. These include increased customization and fuel economy on the consumer side. Economic factors such as lower unit build quantities, reduced vehicle mass, investment cost, and tooling lead times influence material choice for industry. The highest possible performance, and fuel economy, at the lowest price have always been a goal.
Technical Paper

Predicting Material Processing Degradation

2001-03-05
2001-01-1273
As the need for plastic components with high-performance and low systems cost continues to escalate, the issues associated with bringing applications to automotive market have become more complex. Automotive applications such as seamless integral Passive Supplemental Inflatable Restraint (PSIR) systems can have tearseams that are either molded-in or laser scored. Molded-in tearseams in seamless Instrument Panels (IP) eliminate the secondary operation of laser scoring, but they warrant thin wall molding conditions. This paper describes material characterization under thinwall molding conditions wherein the effects of processing on mechanical properties are explored. This paper also discusses results from a proprietary finite element code developed at GE to predict the processing parameters, which affect the mechanical properties of the material at the tearseam in a seamless IP system.
Technical Paper

Thinwall Injection Molding for Instrument Panels

2001-03-05
2001-01-1272
As the global auto industry wrote the final chapter on its first century, we saw the average thickness of an automotive instrument panel drop from 3.0 mm-3.5 mm to 2.0 mm-2.3 mm, as found in the 1999 Volkswagen Jetta and Golf. By reducing the wall thickness of the instrument panel, Volkswagen started an industry trend: both OEMs and tiers are investigating technologies to produce parts that combine a lower cost-per-part via material optimization and cycle-time reduction with the superior performance of engineering thermoplastics. The goal is to produce parts that are positioned more competitively at every stage of the development cycle - from design, to manufacturing, to assembly, to “curb appeal” on the showroom floor. The key to this manufacturing and design “sweet spot” is a technology called thinwall - the molding of plastic parts from engineering thermoplastics with wall thicknesses thinner than conventional parts of similar geometry.
Technical Paper

Modeling Methodology of Tearseams for Invisible PSIR Systems

2001-03-05
2001-01-0314
Automotive interiors are undergoing rapid transformation with the introduction of invisible PSIR integral systems. This styling trend requires continuous class A surface for the Instrument Panel (IP) and introduces complexities in the design and analysis of PSIR integral systems. The most important criterion for airbag doors is that it must open as intended, at the tearseam, within the deployment temperature range and without fragmentation. Consequently it is imperative that in analytical simulations, the finite element model of the tearseam is accurate. The accuracy of the model is governed by (a) optimal level of refinement, (b) surface geometry representation and (c) material model. This paper discusses modeling methodology for tearseams with respect to mesh refinement and the effect of geometry.
Technical Paper

Engineering Development and Performance of an Integrated Structural Instrument Panel Assembly and Heater-Ventilation-Air-Conditioning Assembly

2000-03-06
2000-01-0416
Textron Automotive Trim, Valeo Climate Control, and Torrington Research Company, with assistance from GE Plastics, have developed an integrated instrument panel system to meet ever-increasing industry targets for: Investment and piece-cost reduction; Mass/weight savings; Quality and performance improvements; Packaging and space availability; Government regulation levels; and Innovative technology. This system, developed through feedback with the DaimlerChrysler Corporation, combines the distinctive requirements of the instrument panel (IP) with the heater-ventilation-air-conditioning (HVAC) assembly. Implementing development disciplines such as benchmarking, brainstorming, and force ranking, a number of concepts were generated and evaluated. Using a current-production, small, multi-purpose vehicle environment, a mainstream concept was designed and engineered.
Technical Paper

Three-Dimensional Heat Transfer & Thermoelastic Deformation Predictions in Forward Lighting

2000-03-06
2000-01-1396
The thermal performance of an automotive forward-lighting assembly is predicted with a computational fluid-dynamics (CFD) program. A three-dimensional, steady-state heat-transfer model seeks to account for convection and radiation within the enclosure, conduction through the thermoplastic walls and lens, and external convection and radiation losses. The predicted temperatures agree well with experimental thermocouple and infrared data on the housing. Driven by the thermal expansion of the air near the bulb surface, counter-rotating recirculation zones are predicted within the enclosure. The highest temperatures in the plastic components are predicted on the inner surface of the shelf above the bulb where airflow rising from the hot bulb surface impinges.
Technical Paper

Material Characterization and FEA Correlation for Engineering Thermoplastics Under High Strain Loading

1999-09-28
1999-01-3175
As a result of the increased reliance on predictive engineering to reduce vehicle development resources, increasingly accurate predictive finite element models are important to help engineers meet cost and timing restrictions. For components made of engineering thermoplastics, accurate material modeling that helps predict part performance is essential. This material modeling accuracy is even more important where high speed and high loading conditions exist such as in airbag doors, knee bolsters and pillar trim. This paper addresses material modeling of engineering thermoplastics for finite element models that are subjected to high impact and high speed loading. Here, the basics of plastics behavior are introduced and a comparison of the accuracy of different material characterizations in an impact loading is presented. The material under analysis here is a polycarbonate - acrylonitrile butadiene styrene blend, PC-ABS.
Technical Paper

Moldfilling Analyses: When to Use Them, What They Tell You

1999-03-01
1999-01-0279
Engineering thermoplastics are increasingly being used in automotive applications; many of whose designs are very complex and can pose unique challenges in manufacturing. To help products reach market faster, with better quality and lower cost, use of predictive engineering methods is becoming increasingly common. The purpose of this paper is to review a specific predictive tool: moldfilling analysis. This paper will outline the technology, what is required to use it properly, what issues the technology is capable of addressing, and what other tools are available for addressing advanced issues.
Technical Paper

Engineering Thermoplastic Energy Absorbers for Bumpers

1999-03-01
1999-01-1011
Automotive styling trends point to reduced bumper overhang, greater sweeps, and reduced overall package space for the bumper system. At the same time engineers are charged with improving bumper performance to reduce collision repair costs and enhance occupant safety further. Two key performance parameters for the bumper to meet these conflicting objectives are fast but controlled loading and efficient energy absorption (EA). The majority of today's North American passenger-car bumper systems consist of a reinforcing bar either of steel, aluminum, or composite construction, and an energy absorption media. The most widely used energy-absorber construction is made from an expanded-polypropylene foam (EPP). Honeycomb energy absorbers, which are made from an ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymer, are also still used on some of today's cars. This paper will address an alternative to the bumper energy absorber systems described above.
Technical Paper

I-Section Bumper with Improved Impact Performance from New Mineral-Filled Glass Mat Thermoplastic (GMT) Composite

1999-03-01
1999-01-1014
The I-Section bumper design has evolved over the past 10 years into a lightweight, low cost, high performance alternative to traditional bumper beams. Initial I-Section Bumpers were developed with 40% Chopped fiberglass GMT. Through the development of lower cost Mineral-Filled/Chopped fiberglass GMT, improved static load and dynamic impact performance results have been achieved in I-Section Bumper Designs.
Technical Paper

A Predictive Design Methodology for Active Top Pads During Airbag Deployment

1999-03-01
1999-01-0688
Using a combination of engineering test experience, explicit finite-element analysis, and advanced materials characterization, a predictive engineering method has been developed that can assist in the development of active top pads. An active top pad is the component of the instrument panel that covers the passenger airbag module and articulates during a crash event, allowing the airbag to deploy. This paper highlights the predictive analysis method, analytical results interpretation, and suggestions for future development.
Technical Paper

Predictive Engineering for Instrument-Panel Application Development

1999-03-01
1999-01-0695
With parts consolidation and increasing systems performance requirements, instrument panel systems have become increasingly complex. For these systems, the use of predictive engineering tools can often reduce development time and cost. This paper outlines the use of such tools to support the design and development of an instrument panel (IP) system. Full-scale test results (NVH, head impact, etc.) of this recently introduced IP system were compared with predicted values. Additionally, results from moldfilling analysis and manufacturing simulation are also provided.
Technical Paper

A Study to Define the Relationship of Bulk Resistivity and Paint Transfer Efficiency Using a Conductively Modified Thermoplastic Resin

1998-09-29
982288
Electrostatic painting of exterior body components is considered standard practice in the automotive industry. The trend toward the use of electrostatic painting processes has been driven primarily because of environmental legislation and material system cost reduction efforts. When electrostatically painting thermoplastic body panels, side by side with sheet metal parts, it is imperative that the thermoplastic parts paint like steel. Electrostatic painting of thermoplastics has traditionally required the use of a conductive primer, prior to basecoat and clearcoat application. The use of conductive plastics eliminates the need for this priming step, while improving paint transfer efficiency and first pass yield. These elements provide an obvious savings in material and labor. The most significant benefit, is the positive environmental impact that occurs through the reduction in the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC's).
Technical Paper

Integrated Energy-Management Systems:Market Trends, OEM Needs, & Business Opportunities for the Tier 1 Community

1998-02-23
980110
Recent vehicle design trends require bumper systems to be crashworthy under more demanding circumstances, e.g. tighter package space, heavier vehicle mass, and wider rail spans. Meanwhile, pressure to reduce cost and weight of bumpers continues at a time when roles in the supplier community are changing. These factors have combined to increase the importance of optimizing bumper design and material properties for specific platforms. Materials suppliers have responded by developing a range of specialized engineering thermoplastic (ETP) resins that can help meet increasing performance requirements yet also offer the potential for improved manufacturing productivity, significant weight savings, and systems cost reductions. Material suppliers have also increased the level of technical design support provided to OEMs and 1st Tier suppliers.
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