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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

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

Predicting the Bumper System Response of Engineering Thermoplastic Energy Absorbers with Steel Beams

2002-03-04
2002-01-1228
An efficient energy absorber (EA) will absorb impact energy through a combination of elastic and plastic deformation. However, the EA is typically coupled with a steel reinforcing beam, which can also elastically and plastically deform during an impact event. In order to design and optimize an EA/Beam system that will meet the specified vehicle impact requirements, the response of the entire assembly must be accurately predicted. This paper will describe a finite element procedure and material model that can be used to predict the impact response of a bumper system composed of an injection molded thermoplastic energy absorber attached to a steel beam. The first step in the process was to identify the critical material, geometric, and boundary condition parameters involved in the EA and Beam individually. Next, the two models were combined to create the system model. Actual test results for 8km/hr.
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

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

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

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

Lightweight Thermoplastic Composite Throttle Bodies for Car and Truck Applications

2001-03-05
2001-01-1140
The drive to reduce weight, simplify assembly, and cut total system cost in today's vehicles is relentless. Replacing metal systems with thermoplastics has been of considerable interest in the engineering community. The current generations of engineering thermoplastic resins are enabling the use of plastic systems in demanding underhood applications. Technical data and discussion regarding the materials, design, molding, and assembly of lightweight composite throttle bodies will be presented in this paper. Comparisons with machined aluminum throttle housings are drawn to establish a baseline with the throttle body housing component that is most common in production today. Design flexibility and process simplification are some of the approaches highlighted. Much of the technical information provided in the paper applies to both cable driven mechanical throttle bodies as well as electronic throttle bodies under development.
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

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

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

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 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

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

Trends Driving Design and Materials Changes in the Instrument Panel System

1997-02-24
970445
The instrument panel (IP) is one of the largest, most complex, and visible components of the vehicle interior, and like most other major systems in passenger cars and light trucks, it has undergone considerable aesthetic and functional changes over the past decade. This is because a number of design, engineering, and manufacturing trends have been driving modifications in both the role of these systems and the materials used to construct them since the mid- '80s. This paper will trace the recent evolution of IP systems in terms of the trends affecting both design and materials usage. Specific commercial examples will be used to illustrate these changes.
Technical Paper

Correlation of Finite-Element Analysis to Free-Motion Head-Form Testing for FMVSS 201U Impact Legislation

1997-02-24
970163
Automotive engineers and designers are working to develop pillar-trim concepts that will comply with the upper interior head-impact legislation, FMVSS 201U. However, initial development cycles have been long and repetitive. A typical program consists of concept development, tool fabrication, prototype molding, and impact testing. Test results invariably lead to tool revisions, followed by further prototypes, and still more impact testing. The cycle is repeated until satisfactory parts are developed - a process which is long (sometimes in excess of 1 year) and extremely labor intensive (and therefore expensive). Fortunately, the use of finite-element analysis (FEA) can greatly reduce the concept-to-validation time by incorporating much of the prototype and impact evaluations into computer simulations. This paper describes both the correlation and validation of an FEA-based program to physical free-motion head-form testing and the predictive value of this work.
Technical Paper

Rationalizing Gas-Assist Injection Molding Processing Conditions

1995-02-01
950562
Gas-assist injection molding is a relatively new process. It is an extension of conventional injection molding and allows molders to make larger parts having projected areas or cross sectional geometries not previously possible using existing equipment. However, controlling the injection of the gas has been a concern. The plastics industry is attempting to establish logical techniques to set up and rationalize processing conditions for the method. Although gas injection equipment permits a number of adjustments, an optimum processing window must be established to provide control and repeatability of the process to mold consistent, acceptable parts. This paper describes a strategy and equipment for rationalizing and accurately controlling gas injection processing conditions that are applicable regardless of the type of molding machine or processing license a molder is using.
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