Role of Predictive Engineering in the Design Evolution of a Thermoplastic Fender for a Compact SUV
Automotive fenders is one such example where specialized thermoplastic material Noryl GTX* (blend of Polyphenyleneoxide (PPO) + Polyamide (PA)) has successfully replaced metal by meeting functional requirements. The evolution of a fender design to fulfill these requirements is often obtained through a combination of unique material properties and predictive engineering backed design process that accounts for fender behavior during the various phases of its lifecycle. This paper gives an overview of the collaborative design process between Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and SABIC Innovative Plastics and the role of predictive engineering in the evolution of a thermoplastic fender design of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation's compact SUV RVR fender launched recently. While significant predictive work was done on manufacturing and use stage design aspects, the focus of this paper is the design work related to identifying support configuration during the paint bake cycle.