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Technical Paper

Engineering Development of a Fully-Integrated Polypropylene Instrument Panel Concept

2001-03-05
2001-01-0841
In the present paper the engineering development of a structural instrument panel (IP) concept made of a Polypropylene (PP) rubber modified compound filled with 15% talc in which the metal cross car beam has been eliminated, is discussed. The design concept consists of three main injection molded shells which are vibration welded to each other to form a stiff structure. The steering column is attached to the BIW and plastic structure by means of a separate column support made of steel, aluminum, magnesium or fiber-reinforced plastic. The concept has been developed for the European market and is therefore not intended to meet the unbelted FMVSS 208 requirements. The total IP assembly has a substantially lower cost and weight than conventional cross car beam based IP structures while meeting all of the performance requirements. The concept development was supported by static and dynamic numerical analyses using well established, widely used FEA codes.
Technical Paper

Infrared Post-Cure of RIM Body Panels: A Significant Cost Savings

1998-02-23
980988
A new RRIM system produces a polyurea polymer that is capable of going through a traditional assembly process including E-coat bakes of up to 200C. In order to achieve the necessary performance characteristics, the high temperature resistant polyurea RIM polymer requires post-cure temperatures between 180C and 200C. Existing ovens are designed to post-cure materials below 160C. Also, existing ovens may not be large enough to handle pickup truck rear fenders. The existing ovens need to be refurbished or new ones built to meet the new market demand. To reduce the cost of the post-cure process, infrared (IR) radiation was tested to determine its utility for post-curing RIM parts. It was demonstrated that a infrared radiation can be used to pre-heat the RIM part in 1/10th the time of a convection oven in the laboratory. The benefit of using infrared radiation is improved dimensional stability and impact properties with acceptable flexural modulus.
Technical Paper

Use of Simulation as an Aid to Design and Optimization for the Low Pressure Moulding Process

1998-02-23
980721
The use of Low Pressure Moulding (LPM), in its many forms, is becoming more widespread in the Automotive Industry. Design and setup of this process generally relies on experience built up over years of working with the process and often several tool and process changes in the development phase in order to optimise the process. This paper outlines a method of designing for LPM using C-Mold® software from AC-Technology, and the experience of working with the process and materials, which will reduce the number of iterations required to design for LPM and further increase the benefits to be gained by use of the process. The paper shows some of the characteristics of the process and the extent to which this can be simulated using the software.
Technical Paper

Evolution of Plastics IP Technology Technical Feasibility of Integrated Modular IP System

1998-02-23
980435
Fully-integrated structural instrument panels (IP) have been in commercial use in passenger cars, light trucks, and sport utility vehicles for some years now. They offer a cost-effective alternative to the more traditional IP construction that utilizes full-size cross car beams to achieve the structural stiffness and energy management required to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 208 and corporate performance requirements. The natural evolution of interior designs demands an increasing level of integration of the different components in the interior of the vehicle. Therefore, the natural extension of current structural IP technology is to integrate the steering column subassembly, i.e., steering column and column support, and the heat, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) unit into a modular pre-assembled system.
Technical Paper

Mass ABS Development For High Quality Thin-Walled Interior Door Panels For The 1998 VW GOLF

1999-03-01
1999-01-0853
The trend in the automotive industry to establish higher quality, comfort and safety levels, while at the same time reducing cost and weight, is pushing production techniques, materials and the development cycle to become as efficient as possible. The automotive supplier has to choose from a broad range of fabrication technologies and material alternatives to achieve the highest performance level at the lowest possible cost. This paper outlines the process followed by a multi-functional team to design and develop the interior door panels for the VW Golf, in ABS resin for large scale production. The team effort, headed by the Tier 1 (Sommer Allibert Industrie), with extensive interaction with the OEM, and the support of the material supplier and tool-maker, led to a thin-walled part with integrated mountings, high quality appearance and excellent dimensional stability.
Technical Paper

The Multi-Live Feed Injection Molding Process - An Evaluation of Mechanical Properties and Part Aesthetics in Automotive Applications

1999-03-01
1999-01-0849
Currently, throughout the automotive industry, a major emphasis is being placed on reducing costs of plastics part manufacturing. For example, manufacturers of plastics parts used for interior trim applications have traditionally painted parts, to improve part aesthetics and cover over such surface defects as weld lines. Part painting can typically add from $.60-$2.00 to the part costs for these applications. Furthermore, due to the loss in mechanical properties found at weld lines, structural integrity can also be sacrificed. This paper discusses the use of the multi-live feed molding process as a solution to minimize weld lines, improve mechanical properties and part aesthetics, and potentially reduce costs by eliminating steps in manufacturing operations such as painting.
Technical Paper

Engineering the 1999 Mercury Cougar Hybrid Instrument Panel

1999-03-01
1999-01-0692
In a joint effort between Ford Motor Company, Visteon Automotive Systems, Textron Automotive Company, and Dow Automotive the 1999 Mercury Cougar instrument panel (IP) was designed and engineered to reduce the weight and overall cost of the IP system. The original IP architecture changed from a traditional design that relied heavily upon the steel structure to absorb and dissipate unbelted occupant energy during frontal collisions to a hybrid design that utilizes both plastic and steel to manage energy. This design approach further reduced IP system weight by 1.88 Kg and yielded significant system cost savings. The hybrid instrument panel architecture in the Cougar utilizes a steel cross car beam coupled to steel energy absorbing brackets and a ductile thermoplastic substrate. The glove box assembly and the driver knee bolster are double shell injection molded structures that incorporate molded-in ribs for added stiffness.
Technical Paper

The Contribution of Molded Polyurethane Foam Characteristics to Comfort and Durability of Car Seats

1999-03-01
1999-01-0585
The major element of contact between the occupant, the vehicle and the road surface is the automobile seat. Flexible polyurethane foams are the material of choice for this application, not only because of the economies offered by large-scale molding operations, but also because the cushioning characteristics of the foam/seat assembly can be adjusted. The automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s) worldwide are looking for optimization of the balance between foam weight and foam specifications, with more emphasis than ever on comfort and durability. This goes with specific requirements for the various foam pads, i.e., front cushion, rear cushion, front backrest and rear backrest. Commercially useful foams can be made from a variety of polyurethane molding chemistries.
Technical Paper

An Examination of Blow Molding as an Alternative to Injection Molding for PC/ABS Automotive Interior Impact Components

2004-03-08
2004-01-0016
PC/ABS blends have been used with much success in energy management applications for the last 10 years. These systems are typically injection molded; however as blow molding technology advances, a re-examination of applicable applications is warranted. The attributes of the two molding techniques will be compared in a technical manner to illustrate which process delivers the most cost effective solution for automotive interior impact components. Material morphology and property consistency, energy management capability, weight savings, and total systems costs will be explored. Both fabrication techniques will be examined using FEA simulations to demonstrate energy management and weight savings. High magnification microscopy will depict part microstructure for both techniques, illustrating differences in morphology and rubber phase orientation in PULSE* Polycarbonate-Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene Blends (PC/ABS).
Technical Paper

Considerations in Material, Part, and Process Design for Downgauged RRIM Applications

2003-03-03
2003-01-0209
To address the automotive industry's initiative to maximize the utility of each component by decreasing both weight and cost to improve the performance and value of its products, it is logical to try to minimize the thickness of any part whose main function is ostensibly decorative. A example of such a candidate part on the vehicle would be the fascia and body side claddings. The fascia and claddings of vehicles do provide some impact resistance and resiliency functionality to vehicles, but more and more, the energy management functionality is being taken on by improvements in the engineering design and support systems behind the exterior part. The function of these exterior parts then, is, to a large degree, to be aesthetically pleasing when painted, and maintain their high quality fit and finish over the life of the vehicle. These applications are therefore justifiably subject to investigations into the reduction of their wallstock.
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