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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

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

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

Towards Improved Halogen Lighting Performance using a Combination of High Luminous Flux Sources and a Lens Material Approach

2004-03-08
2004-01-0797
Currently, automobile manufacturers receive automotive headlamp assemblies from headlamp manufacturers with outer lenses produced of clear or slightly blue tinted polycarbonate. Such headlamp designed to provide optimized light output have very similar aesthetics, and leave little room to differentiate one car platform from another, using the outer lens color. With edge glow technology a car manufacturer can provide an appealing aesthetic look (edge glow effect) from the outer lens. Additionally, this technology can be used to improve the quality of the beam color emitted through the outer lens. Dependent on the chosen combination of halogen source and lens formulation, a range of beam colors spanning from halogen to HID is attainable, where the beam pattern and color continue to conform to the applicable SAE and ECE beam photometry and color standards and regulations.
Technical Paper

Structural Analysis of Snap-Finger Performance in Automotive Connectors

1990-02-01
900078
The increased demands of today's complex automotive connector designs have led to the development of engineering structural analysis tools which address the performance issues of the connector's snap-finger. In designs where hand calculations were once considered the norm in evaluating snap-finger performance, the analysis tools have evolved into the use of finite element techniques which address the high nonlinearity issues of snap-finger disassembly and terminal pull out strength. The structural analysis approaches developed investigate the connector snap-finger performance in reinforced engineering thermoplastics while incorporating the effects of geometric and material nonlinearity in the results. The techniques developed allow for the evaluation of snap-finger performance of prospective connector designs before expensive tooling and prototyping is initiated, providing the benefits of limited tool rework and decreased product development time.
Technical Paper

Predictive Engineering for Instrument-Panel Application Development

1999-03-01
1999-01-0695
With parts consolidation and increasing systems performance requirements, instrument panel systems have become increasingly complex. For these systems, the use of predictive engineering tools can often reduce development time and cost. This paper outlines the use of such tools to support the design and development of an instrument panel (IP) system. Full-scale test results (NVH, head impact, etc.) of this recently introduced IP system were compared with predicted values. Additionally, results from moldfilling analysis and manufacturing simulation are also provided.
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

Material Characterization and FEA Correlation for Engineering Thermoplastics Under High Strain Loading

1999-09-28
1999-01-3175
As a result of the increased reliance on predictive engineering to reduce vehicle development resources, increasingly accurate predictive finite element models are important to help engineers meet cost and timing restrictions. For components made of engineering thermoplastics, accurate material modeling that helps predict part performance is essential. This material modeling accuracy is even more important where high speed and high loading conditions exist such as in airbag doors, knee bolsters and pillar trim. This paper addresses material modeling of engineering thermoplastics for finite element models that are subjected to high impact and high speed loading. Here, the basics of plastics behavior are introduced and a comparison of the accuracy of different material characterizations in an impact loading is presented. The material under analysis here is a polycarbonate - acrylonitrile butadiene styrene blend, PC-ABS.
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

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

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

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

Failure Analysis of Terminal Pullout in Automotive Connectors

1991-02-01
910880
The high costs of prototyping, revisions, and production tooling, with a higher emphasis on quality, concurrent with demands for miniaturization, higher-density packaging, stricter performance, and a shortened product development cycle, have led to the development of advanced analysis techniques that address the performance issues associated with failure prevention in automotive connectors. Because of the complex material and geometric nonlinearity demands in performance, traditional calculations are inadequate, and new methods, utilizing finite element analysis techniques were developed. These highly specialized analysis techniques will enable the designer and engineer to predict connector performance with a high degree of confidence. Concurrent with concept designs, structural analyses (in the areas of assembly, disassembly, and terminal retention) must be done prior to design release.
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

Energy-Absorbing Thermoplastics for Head Impact Applications

1996-02-01
960154
The August 1996 expansion of FMVSS 201 established head impact performance criteria for upper interior components This standard has forced automotive manufacturers, designers, and suppliers to change their thinking for interiors, especially pillars, compliance with FMVSS 201 will require new, structural designs and energy-absorbing materials An ongoing study has examined the implications of FMVSS 201 and its effect on pillars The results of this study have demonstrated how energy-absorbing engineering thermoplastics can be used to meet and exceed the requirements of the head impact legislation through single-piece pillar trims
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

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

1997-02-24
970726
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.
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.
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