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Technical Paper

Predicting Impact Performance of Painted Thermoplastic Exterior Body Panels

2001-03-05
2001-01-0445
Automotive exterior paint systems can significantly affect the impact performance of thermoplastic body panels. To utilize the benefits of predictive engineering as a tool to assist in the design and development of thermoplastic body panels, thermoplastic body panel materials have been characterized with typical automotive paint systems for use for finite element modeling and analysis. Paint systems used for exterior body panels can vary from rigid to more flexible, depending on the vehicle manufacturer's specifications. Likewise, thermoplastics for body panels vary in mechanical properties, primarily depending on the heat performance requirements of the application. To understand the effects of paint systems on impact performance of thermoplastic body panels, two different paint systems, representing “rigid” and “more flexible,” were evaluated on two body panel grades of thermoplastics with different mechanical properties.
Technical Paper

Temperature Measurement Errors in Automotive Lighting

2001-03-05
2001-01-0859
This paper examines a variety of thermocouple and infrared measurement techniques as means of obtaining accurate and consistent temperature measurements within a headlamp system. While measuring temperature is straightforward in principle, in practice, these measurements are fraught with potential error. The paper summarizes a succession of experiments conducted at our Parts Design Center (formerly the Application Development Resource Center) in Pittsfield, MA. These experiments lead to the ability to accurately measure temperature at a given location within a lamp assembly. Using these studies and the resulting transfer functions as a foundation, a Design of Experiment (D.O.E.) is presented which explores the effect of a variety of headlamp design factors on the surface temperature of a headlamp reflector at a given location.
Technical Paper

Lens Material Development for Improved Halogen Headlamp Visibility

2003-03-03
2003-01-0991
Automobile headlamps are highly controlled products that must meet various performance standards to be commercialized. The combination of the bulb and lens must emit acceptable color and light output. Commercially available headlamps use different types of bulbs but usually a clear or slightly tinted lens. In the past few years, high performance bulbs have been used. These are known as HID or xenon lamps and are characterized by their bluer color compared to standard halogen bulbs. This paper explores some of the possibilities that new lens material can offer in terms of design and aesthetics with little or no impact on lighting performance as tested per the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J1383 [1]. Light stability of these new lens materials is also discussed.
Technical Paper

Development of an Advanced, Engineering Thermoplastic Step-Pad Bumper for a Sport Utility Vehicle

1997-02-24
970485
A conceptual step-pad bumper system has been designed for a sport utility vehicle. This bumper incorporates an all-thermoplastic solitary beam/fascia with a Class A finish and a replaceable, grained thermoplastic olefin (TPO) or urethane step pad. The rear beam is injection molded and the cover plate features integrated through-towing capabilities and electrical connections. The bumper is designed to pass FMVSS Part 581, 8 km/h impacts. The system can potentially offer a 5.0-13.6 kg weight savings at comparable costs to conventional step-pad bumper systems. This paper will detail the design and development of the concept and finite-element analysis (FEA) validation.
Technical Paper

Design and Development of a Generic Door Hardware Module Concept

1998-02-23
980999
This paper documents the design methodology, part performance, and economic considerations for a generic hardware module applied to a front passenger-car door. Engineering thermoplastics (ETPs), widely used in automotive applications for their excellent mechanical performance, design flexibility, and parts integration, can also help advance the development of modular door-hardware systems. Implementation of these hardware carriers is being driven by pressures to increase manufacturing efficiencies, reduce mass, lower part-count numbers, decrease warranty issues, and cut overall systems costs. In this case, a joint team from GE Plastics, Magna-Atoma International/Dortec, and Excel Automotive Systems assessed the opportunity for using a thermoplastic door hardware module in a current mid-size production vehicle. Finite-element analysis showed that the thermoplastic module under study withstood the inertial load of the door being slammed shut at low, room, and elevated temperatures.
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

A Comparison of C-Shaped and I-Type Cross-Sections for Bumpers Using Compression Molded Thermoplastics

1994-03-01
940171
The C-section bumper design has developed through an evolutionary process and has come to be regarded as a reasonable geometry for frontal bumper impacts, especially for use with glass-filled sheet-stampable thermoplastic composite materials. C-section bumpers are now well proven and accepted in the automotive industry, performing satisfactorily in a variety of crash situations. A new and more complicated cross-section geometry (I-type with multiple ribbing) has recently been proposed for glass-filled thermoplastic composites. While, in some specialized cases, these highly engineered bumper cross-sections can be useful, they may not perform adequately in all reasonable crash scenarios. Further, it is important to consider manufacturing limitations and the realities of material performance in such complex geometries. Data will be presented to question the practical advantages of the use of ribbed bumper designs over the traditional C-section beam.
Technical Paper

Optimizing Parts and Systems Integration with Engineering Thermoplastics to Meet the Challenges of Future Automotive Door Systems

1997-02-24
970144
As automakers struggle to meet often conflicting safety, weight, styling, and performance requirements, engineering thermoplastics (ETPs) are making increasing inroads into applications that once were the exclusive domain of metals, glass, and thermosets. A good example of this is in the door systems area, where the performance, design flexibility, aesthetics, parts integration, and lower specific gravity offered by ETPs are allowing highly integrated and efficient modules to be created that, in turn, increase assembly efficiency and reduce mass, part count, warranty issues, and systems costs. This paper will use several case studies on innovative door hardware modules and door panels to illustrate the advantages offered by this versatile class of engineering materials.
Technical Paper

Why Thermoplastic Door Hardware Systems Make Economic Sense Now

1997-02-24
970143
Engineering thermoplastics are widely used in a variety of automotive components systems because of their excellent balance of mechanical performance, design flexibility, aesthetics, parts integration, and low specific gravity. This combination of properties allows for the creation of highly integrated modules, which can increase assembly efficiency and reduce mass, part count, warranty and ergonomic issues, and systems costs. As a result, the use of engineering thermoplastic materials can enhance market competitiveness at a time of increased global competition. To evaluate the economic advantages of polymers in a specific vehicle system, a design for assembly (DFA) case study was conducted with the goal of determining the variable system cost case for a generic thermoplastic door module system vs. conventional-build door systems based on assembly savings gains. This paper will describe the study and show the results achieved.
Technical Paper

Safety Related Testing and Results of Polycarbonate and Tempered Glass Non-Windshield Glazing Applications

1998-02-23
980863
This paper presents results from a series of tests that address safety related issues concerning vehicle glazing. These issues include occupant containment, head impact injury, neck injuries, fracture modes, and laceration. Component-level and full vehicle crash tests of standard and polycarbonate non-windshield glazing were conducted. The tests were conducted as part of a study to demonstrate that there is no decrease in the safety benefits offered by polycarbonate glazing when compared to current glazing. Readers of this paper will gain a broader understanding of the tests that are typically conducted for glazing evaluation from a safety perspective, as well as gain insight into the meaning of the results.
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.
Technical Paper

Abusive Testing of Thermoplastic vs. Steel Bumpers Systems

1998-02-23
980106
Over the last decade, on small- and medium-size passenger cars, a new class of front bumper - injection or blow molded from engineering thermoplastics - has been put into production use. These bumper systems provide full 8-km/hr federal pendulum and flat-barrier impact protection, as well as angled barrier protection. Thermoplastic bumpers, offering weight, cost, and manufacturing advantages over conventional steel bumper systems, also provide high surface finish and styling enhancements. However, there remain questions about the durability and engineering applicability of thermoplastic bumper systems to heavier vehicles. This paper presents results of a preliminary study that examines the durability of thermoplastic bumpers drawn from production lots for much lighter compact, and mid-size passenger cars against baseline steel bumper systems currently used on full-size pickup truck and sport-utility vehicles (SUVs). Bumpers were subjected to U.S.
Technical Paper

First One-Piece, Injection-Molded Thermoplastic Front-Bumper System for a Light Truck

1998-02-23
980107
The first single-piece, injection-molded, thermoplastic, front bumper for a light truck provides improved performance and reduced cost for the 1997 MY Explorer® Ltd. and 1988 MY Mountaineer® truck from Ford Motor Company. Additionally, the system provides improved impact performance, including the ability to pass 5.6 km/hr barrier impact tests without damage. Further, the advanced, 1-piece design integrates fascia attachments, reducing assembly time, and weighs 8.76 kg/bumper less than a baseline steel design. The complete system provides a cost savings vs. extruded aluminum and is competitive with steel bumpers.
Technical Paper

Consistency of Thermoplastic Bumper Beam Impact Performance

1998-02-23
980113
This paper will address several critical aspects of bumper system performance, including vehicle damage protection and crash-severity sensing considerations, energy-absorption capacity and efficiency, and low-speed impact consistency and sensitivity to temperature changes. The objective is to help engineers and designers establish a realistic perspective of the capability of the various technologies based on actual test performance. The scope of the evaluation will include a comparison of several bumper-beam material constructions when subjected to a 16-km/hr swinging barrier impact over a range of temperatures the bumper could see in service (-30 to 60C).
Technical Paper

Engineering Plastics for Novel Automotive Applications

1996-04-01
91A093
Not only have engineering thermoplastics secured an accepted place in automotive manufacture, but also their penetration of areas traditionally the sole domain of metals, is growing. One group of materials in particular is driving this trend; that of advanced thermoplastic composites. Used primarily in non-appearance, semi-structural parts, thermoplastic composites are opening the way for engineering polymers to be used in large components such as tailgates, technical fascia's or front end modules, side doors and bonnets, amongst many other novel applications whose engineering criteria could previously be met only by steel. This paper will look at both the new opportunities for engineering plastics in automotive applications and at the materials capable of economically satisfying their demands
Technical Paper

Estimation of Lateral Rail Loads Incurred During Pendulum Impacts

1993-03-01
930536
A technique for estimating the lateral loads exerted on the vehicle frame during centerline pendulum impacts has been developed. These loads can either be determined by sophisticated hand calculations or by using beam finite-element analysis. The loads can either be determined as a fraction of the peak impact load, or as an absolute number. The dependence of the lateral load on frame stiffness, bumper cross-section, and bumper sweep will be shown to be quite dramatic.
Technical Paper

CAE Processing Analysis of Plastic Fenders

1992-09-01
922116
Engineering thermoplastics are being used increasingly in automotive exterior body applications; most of these applications require that the panels be painted “on line” with the rest of the car body at relatively high temperatures. The high temperatures associated with the painting/conditioning of the car have been shown to cause dimensional stability problems on automotive fenders molded from NORYL GTX®. This paper contains the results of an extensive FEA investigation targeted at determining what factors cause dimensional problems in fenders exposed to high heat. The ABAQUS FEA software was used to perform computer simulations of the process and the C-PACK/W software was used to determine molded in stress values.
Technical Paper

Field Performance and Repair of Thermoplastic Exterior Body Panel Systems

1990-02-01
900291
Thermoplastic body panels are emerging in the industry as automotive manufacturers seek to design for advanced aerodynamic styling, lower weight, and cost effective vehicles. To best exhibit the advantages of GE thermoplastic resins in these applications, an extensive study has been completed to demonstrate the impact performance of thermoplastic body panels in the field based on the current success with the Buick LeSabre T-Type, Buick Reatta, and the Cadillac Deville and Fleetwood models using NORYL GTX® 910 resin fenders. This study provides a “real life” scenario of the advantages of thermoplastics compared to steel in body panel applications.
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.
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