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Technical Paper

Thermoplastic Rear Bumper Beams for Automobile Low-Speed Rear Impact

High repair cost and the subsequent increase in insurance cost in a highly competitive automobile market have forced every automobile original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to comply with the FMVSS and ECE-42 regulatory requirements of low-speed vehicle damageability. Although, the terminologies used are different, similar regulatory requirements also exist in Asia-pacific region. At the rear side, reducing the damage to expensive vehicle components in a low-speed pendulum impact or a low-speed barrier impact can attain a good rating for low-speed vehicle damageability. This paper focuses on a detailed study of various lightweight plastic rear beam designs and their effectiveness in reducing the damage to the vehicle during low-speed vehicle-to-vehicle collision or vehicle to barrier collision.
Technical Paper

Performance Evaluation of PU Over-molded Thermoplastic Steering Wheel

Automotive steering wheel (SW) is generally manufactured with metal armature and polyurethane / polypropylene (PU / PP) overmolding. The metal armature is used to provide structural stiffness and strength while PU / PP foam gives shape, touch and feel. Developed market use cast Magnesium or Aluminum as armature material, however emerging markets use steel for armature construction. With additional requirements (airbag integration, functional integration, aesthetics, compact and light weigh) being added to steering wheel, the steering wheel design is becoming more and more complex in nature. Thermoplastic SW offers competitive stiffness, impact, ductility and chemical resistance characteristics needed for the global automotive markets. A thermoplastic SW had been developed from a unique recyclable polycarbonate.
Technical Paper

A Structural Instrument Panel from Glass-Mat Thermoplastic for the Small-Car Market

Designers and engineers encounter many challenges in developing vehicles for the small-car market. They face constant pressure to reduce both mass and cost while still producing vehicles that meet environmental and safety requirements. At the same time, today's discriminating consumers demand the highest quality in their vehicles. To accommodate these challenges, OEMs and suppliers are working together to improve all components and systems for the high-volume small-car market. An example of this cooperative effort is a project involving an integrated structural instrument panel (IP) designed to meet the specific needs of the small-car platform. Preliminary validation of the IP project, which uses a compression-molded, glass-mat-thermoplastic (GMT) composite and incorporates steel and magnesium, indicates it will significantly reduce part count, mass, assembly time, and overall cost.