42nd Automotive Innovation Awards: Part7

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The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) announced the winners and finalists for its 42nd Automotive Innovation Awards Competition on November 7, 2012 during a Gala at Burton Manor in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, USA. Winners and finalists of the Materials category were as follows. More details relating to other categories can be found in subsequent issues of Plastics.

Winner of the category Materials

Controlled crystallization polyamide to eliminate paint

Controlled crystallization polyamide

Controlled crystallization polyamide to eliminate paint (photo: SPE)

OEM/vehicles: Ford Motor, 2013 Ford Escape & Fusion, Lincoln MKZ
System suppliers: TRW Automotive, Key Plastics
Material processors: TRW Automotive, Key Plastics
Material supplier: Asahi Kasei Plastics North America
Resin: Leona 90G60 PA 66/6I
Tooling/equipment suppliers: Liberty Molds, J&J Tool & Mold

In order to support greater design freedom for any shape and length register vanes while meeting stiffness, durability, and perceived quality requirements, a partially aromatic injection moulded PA66/6I resin was used to boost modulus without increasing wall thickness or adding glass reinforcement to achieve a high-quality, MIC Class A surface without paint. Owing to the “kinked” crystalline structure of the semi-aromatic PA resin, crystallization rate can be better controlled, so parts fully pack out before skins freeze off, leading to a resin-rich surface with a smoother surface and better appearance, eliminating the need to paint.

The Materials category winners at the SPE Innovation Awards 2012 (video: SPE)

Finalist of the category Materials

Interior MIC high-gloss black door switch bezels

Interior MIC high-gloss black door switch bezels

Interior MIC high-gloss black door switch bezels (photo: SPE)

OEM/vehicles: Ford Motor, 2013 Ford Fusion & Mondeo
System supplier: Summit Polymers
Material processor: Summit Polymers
Material supplier: BASF
Resin: Ultramid A3L BK7793 PA66
Tooling/equipment suppliers: Michael Tool & Mold (Windsor), Synventive Molding Solutions

An innovative combination of processing and material was used to achieve a high-gloss, MIC, “piano black” door switch bezel without the use of paint or protective coatings. A specially formulated PA66 with a unique additive package was formulated for stable, rich colour across a range of heat, humidity, and UV exposure while achieving good scratch and mar resistance. E-Mold technology was used to achieve a high-gloss finish.

Finalist of the category Materials

Low specific gravity carbon fibre/glass hybrid SMC

Low specific gravity carbon fibre/glass hybrid SMC

Low specific gravity carbon fibre/glass hybrid SMC (photo: SPE)

OEM/vehicle: General Motors, 2013 Chevrolet Corvette
System supplier: Molded Fiberglass
Material processor: Molded Fiberglass
Material supplier: Molded Fiberglass
Resin: Inventa 753 Polyester
Tooling/equipment supplier: Century Tool & Gage

To reduce weight while using the same tooling for a special edition Corvette sportscar, two distinct composites were formulated   ? a high-strength carbon and glass fibre reinforced polyester-based SMC and a lower-density, glass and carbon fibre reinforced polyester liquid compression moulding composite, both with a unique spiral-shaped nanoplatelet technology. The parts met the mechanical requirements of existing materials and provided the same shrink properties without cycle-time or tool changes, all while saving more than 15% weight for this convertible sportscar.



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