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Polymers in Automobiles. Candace “Mustang” DeMarti Henry “Firebird” Antonovich Kevin “Camaro” Reinhart. Overview. Plastics vs. Metals Polymer Applications in Automobiles - Instrument Panels - Engine - Windows - Tires - Body Panels. Why use plastics?.

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polymers in automobiles

Polymers in Automobiles

Candace “Mustang” DeMartiHenry “Firebird” AntonovichKevin “Camaro” Reinhart

overview
Overview
  • Plastics vs. Metals
  • Polymer Applications in Automobiles- Instrument Panels- Engine- Windows- Tires- Body Panels
why use plastics
Why use plastics?
  • Oil Embargo (1970’s) and Japanese Competition
  • Compete with other materials based on:
    • Weight savings
    • Design flexibility
    • Parts consolidation
    • Ease of fabrication
instrument panels ip
Instrument Panels (IP)
  • Polycarbonate/ABS resins
  • Introduction of airbags in IP design
  • Injection Molding vs. Blow Molding
engine
Engine
  • ULTEM polyetherimide (PEI) resin to replace aluminum under the hood for 1st time
  • High-performance amorphous resin from GE
  • Complete air management modules can be made of thermoplastic

Throttle Body

body panels
Body Panels
  • Plastic Body Panels - Chevy Corvette since 1953

Sheet Steel - still most commonly used for vehicle body structure

Aluminum- weighs less but costs more

Plastics - increasingly used for metals parts replacement

choosing a material
Choosing a material:

1. Cost

2. Flexural Modulus

3. Coefficient of Thermal Expansion

4. Chemical Resistance

5. Impact Resistance

6. Heat Deflection Temperature (HDT)

slide11

Better color match

  • Incorporate in existing facilities
  • Assembly line temperatures exceed 200oCAlloys:
  • Polyphenylene ether/polyamide ABS/Polyesters
  • ABS/Polycarbonates
  • Larger choice in materials
  • Additional steps take time
  • More plastics will enter the market as assembly lines are redesigned

“On-line” vs. “Off-line” painting

sheet molding compound smc
Sheet Molding Compound (SMC)
  • Highly cross-linked and highly filled
  • Polymer component is polyester
  • Suitable of compression molding
  • Molded product combined high modulus with high strength
  • Body panels (hoods and deck lids)
  • More expensive than metal, but lower tooling cost
applications of smc
Applications of SMC
  • Bottom line benefits
    • Tooling for SMC hood was 23% of steel
    • Weight savings of 18%
  • Growth of applications
    • - Body panels on GM’s Lumina, TransPort, and Silhouette
    • - Structural components - valve covers, grille- opening reinforcements, fascia supports, etc.
  • 250 million lbs. of SMC was used in 1997
applications of smc1
Applications of SMC
  • Composite front fenders and hood design for 1995 Lincoln Continental
  • Result of need for lighter-weight and more cost efficiency integrated system
  • SMC fenders and hood
  • Bottom line benefits:
    • SMC fender tooling was 40% of projected tooling for steel fenders
    • Comparative weight saving was 33%
solitary bumper beam
Solitary Bumper Beam
  • For 1997 Saturn coupe
  • Injection molded from GE Plastics’ Xenoy 1102
  • Single part that replaces functions of 17 parts on previous system
  • To absorb impact, specially designed molded-in towers crush upon impact
windshields
Windshields
  • Toughened Safety Glass (TSG)- tempered glass
  • Laminated Safety Glass (LSG)- two panes of glass bonded together using polyvinylbutyral
tire components
Tire Components
  • Tread
  • Sidewall
  • Bead-high tensile brass-plated steel coated with rubber
  • Radial Ply-belts ofrubber coated cord
  • Innerliner
  • Reinforcing Fillers-carbon black
  • Chemicals-antidegradants, curitives
elastomers in tires
Elastomers in Tires
  • Natural Rubber (NR)
  • Polyisoprene Rubber (IR)
  • Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR) - 1.89 billion lbs/yr (1993)
  • Polybutadiene Rubber (BR) - 1.03 billion lbs/yr (1993)
natural rubber nr
Natural Rubber (NR)
  • 99.99% cis Polyisoprene
  • Good low temperature flexibility.
  • Low Tg (-65 C). Low heat buildup.
  • 200,000 to 400,000 MW. Easy Processing.
  • Has high tensile and tear properties. Stress crystallizes.
  • Excellent dynamic fatigue
  • Poor resistance to oxygen, ozone, hydrocarbon solvents and heat.
polyisoprene rubber ir
Polyisoprene Rubber (IR)
  • Same cis structure as NR, but also contains low levels of 3,4 and trans 1,4 polyisoprene.
  • Above structures prevent stress crystallization and thus has lower tensile and tear properties.
  • 300,000 to 500,000 MW.
  • Other properties similar to NR .
polybutadiene rubber br
Polybutadiene Rubber (BR)
  • Good low temperature flexibility.
  • High abrasion resistance.
  • Low heat buildup.
  • Low tensile strength. Generally blended with SBR or NR.
  • Improves aging resistance of NR.
styrene butadiene rubber sbr
Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR)
  • Dynamic properties determined by styrene, 1,4 and 1,2 butadiene levels.
  • Improved strength, abrasion resistance, and blend compatibility over BR alone.
  • Addition of styrene results in lower cost and contributes to the good wearing and bonding characteristics.
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