The significance of plastic parts to auto lightweight
Auto lightweight is a hot issue of industrial technology also has significance for the automotive manufacturing. The biggest advantage of lightweight is that it can cut down the total weight of the car to reduce fuel consumption and reduce CO2 emissions. In addition, Lightweight design also brings improvements in a variety of subjective customer experience, such as in the acceleration, handling, safety by reducing the braking distances and the effective visual range of vehicles. Sporty and safe driving is closely linked to intelligent lightweight solutions.
Today, it is achievable to create intelligent overall concepts made of lightweight materials, component geometry and process technology that significantly reduce the auto weight while maintaining the same performance and enable economical manufacturing in mass production. Plastics are the predestined materials for this challenge. Their low density paired with the design freedom and economy of the injection molding process enables the production of inexpensive large series with materials that are tailored to the specific requirements of the component function.
How Plastic parts play a essential role in auto lightweight
The application of plastic parts in the manufacturing of automobiles has experienced severe development over the years and presently is one of the most common materials used in automotive industries.
The use of plastic in the production of essential parts of the auto like chassis, suspension, brakes, support, and even some engine components, these can improve the efficiency, their designs, and most importantly make their weight more lighter. In general, the light of plastic parts applied in automotive can reduce the consumption of fuel by about 7%. The present weight of a typical modern car weight of 1,500kg is as a result of the 20% plastic part constituent. So the role of plastic parts on the reduction of car weight is vividly evident.
Application of different plastics in automobiles
Various plastics can be applied to different parts of a car, ranging from interior components to bumpers, seats, lighting, body panels, and so much more. But what is essential is to know where correctly to apply a particular plastic in an automobile. Here are some automotive parts made of plastics.
Car bumpers are employed for protective reasons of keeping person in safety. However, the application of plastic in the manufacturing of both front and rear bumpers has introduced more flexible designing as well as still footing its purpose of protection. There are manufactured from thermoplastic olefins, polyamides, polyurethanes polyesters, polypropylene, polycarbonates, and sometimes a combination of these composites.
Modern automobile lighting systems now use transparent polycarbonates lights with excellent light transmission, in place of the conventional glasses used earlier, and there have been very efficient in reducing risks of igniting and fire outbreak on impact with another surface. These materials produced to tolerate a high level of heat and cooling and can be redesigned into any desired shapes or sizes.
Most automobile upholsteries are made from Urethane foams. Recently, the introduction of CO2 has increased efficiency in the magnification of the volume of Urethane foam, with minimal impact on their comfort. Most manufacturers use these because of their ability to recycle them easily and yet retain a high level of production quality.
The Brake is one of the most useful parts of the automobile, it helps reduce accidents and control speed as well. However, some present-day brake pads are made from aramid fibre.
The use of an injection molding process can be employed in the manufacture of suspension tubing and suspension system connection links, from materials like nylon, acetyl and polypropylene. However, the use of plastic in the production of suspension parts, contribute a lot in the reduction of auto lightweight, and yet still maintain a high level of performance and effectiveness.
One significant advantage of plastics over metals has always been flexibility in designs. And this has helped in enhancing the lightweight of cars and so reduces the consumption of fuel. However, the using of plastics for the manufacturing of car fuel tanks help reduces leakages, which reduces the risk of car burn during high impact.
Some high-performance plastics using by automobile industry
These are plastics that exhibit higher chemical and mechanical properties than regular engineering plastics. They have high performance and can withstand more stress and harsh conditions as well. Besides, high-performance plastics today constitute about 70% of the body parts of an automobile. Below are some high-performance plastics used in automotive industry.
Polypropylene exhibits high electrical resistance at extreme temperature. It is lighter than other materials used to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), and possess translucent and semi-rigid properties. It can be used in the places like bumpers, door trims, and instrumental panels.
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
Made from acrylonitrile, added to polymerizing styrene in the presence of polybutadiene, is a shiny and impervious plastic which exhibits high resilience even in the face of shallow temperature. It can be used for automotive parts like car wheel covers, steering wheels, and so on.
These plastic materials are applicate for the production of auto bumpers and bullet-proof glasses, this is because of its high toughness, hardness and stiffness. This material has high thermal and electrical properties and can withstand high impact.
They have high tensile strength, resistance to abrasion and hardness, and they are used in the production of car seats and interior trims to offer comfort and protection. What is more important is to reduce the overall auto weight and save the energy.
Polyvinyl chloride is known for its resistance to fire and ability to withstand heat. They contain low leads and are very flexible. It can be used in the manufacture of automotive parts like doors, pipes and instrument panels. Manufacturing options can be by injection, compression, extrusion or blow molding.
There are two basic options for automobile plastic manufacturing, which are blow molding and injection molding. And these can the applied in the production of various parts of a vehicle. Below are manufacturing processes of both Injection and blow injection. Those there are other manufacturing options like 3D printing, extrusion, Polymer casting, Vacuum forming, and compression molding; but these two are the most widely used options.
In the future we will find more and more auto parts made of plastic materials with its economical and environmental advantiges. Lightweight cars are not faraway from our life.
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