The use of thermo-acoustic sandwich insulation can make the engine 10K warmer, thus saving energy on start-up. By comparison to a full encapsulation of the engine block using foams, all the units in the engine compartment are accessible for maintenance works without the insulation having to be dismantled.
Automobile manufacturers are turning their attention to the operating temperature of the engine, mainly with a view to increasing efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The rapid heating of the engine and transmission unit represents an opportunity to minimise frictional losses, for example. Another approach consists of avoiding the cold start situation altogether.
By delaying the cooling of the engine when turned off, it is possible to achieve significantly lower CO2 emissions and less fuel consumption. For better thermal insulation of the engine compartment, Röchling Automotive now offers a new multi-layered encapsulation technology based on low-weight reinforced thermoplastics (LWRT). This technological approach provides not only optimised thermal management but also significant acoustic advantages, says Röchling.
With its sandwich structure, LWRT material, currently up to 15mm thick, offers a high thermal insulating effect combined with lightweight components. LWRT partition panels installed on all sides ensure optimised thermal management in the engine compartment. In order to improve effectiveness, Röchling Automotive combines them with additional components, such as engine undershields made from thermoacoustic, highly effective materials and active grill shutter systems.
Overall, such comprehensive encapsulation significantly slows down the cooling process. Röchling Automotive was thus able to demonstrate in tests over a period of 7h that up to 10K more heat retention is possible in the engine compartment than without insulation.
Consequently, the engine experiences fewer cold starts, can operate with greater energy efficiency, and produce lower CO2 emissions with reduced fuel consumption. Due to additional barrier foils and coated aluminium sheets, Röchling Automotive can flexibly adjust the product to each customer and reinforce or expand specific functions such as acoustic insulation. In order to further improve the thermal insulating effect, a component thickness of up to 20mm is the stated goal of the engineers for the future.