Injection molded by voestalpine Plastics Solutions

Source: Release Date: 2012-06-14 16:52:29 Hits: 1193

  A significant step forward in composite SWW development was recently taken with a new material/process combination that debuted on the 2011 Plastic mold year Audi A8 luxury sedan from Audi AG (Ingolstadt, Germany). It might well be the first use of short-glass pelletized thermoplastics in a SWW and is said to represent new levels of functional integration and weight reduction in this application.

  The Audi tub structure is a hybrid — a 60 percent short-glass-reinforced, flow-enhanced polyamide (PA) 6 resin (Durethan BKV 60 supplied by LANXESS AG, Leverkusen, Germany) comolded with a long perforated aluminum strip. The combination is gas-assist injection molded by voestalpine Plastic mold Solutions (Putte, The Netherlands), which produces the one-piece tub in one shot.

  The tough tub weighs only 9 kg/20 lb, yet it carries 70 kg/154 lb of additional components — seven times its own weight — including a full-size spare tire/wheel, a battery, a car jack, an air-suspension compressor and other electronic control units (ECUs). It reduced the part count from the steel benchmark of 15 to 1, and it cut capital investment by 70 percent and cut part cost and weight by 30 percent each, all without sacrificing ease of assembly. Further, the mass reduction is said to be equivalent to a CO2 emissions reduction of 499 kg/1,100 lb annually.