Automotive air duct impresses SPE jury

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  • Air duct made from 20% mineral-filled PP compound
  • Part features high degree of stiffness
  • Combination of hard and soft components as a challenge

A newly developed air duct of the radiator with charge-air cooler used in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class has impressed the jury of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE). At this year’s 16th Automotive Award Night, the part received a second-place award from the jury in the “Body Exterior” category. The air duct is produced by Kunststofftechnik Backhaus GmbH, Kierspe, Germany, using a 20% mineral-filled PP compound.

Combination of hard and soft components as a challenge

The particular challenge with this application was the combination of hard and soft components. The complex sealing geometries on the side sections of the part serve as a contact surface for the bodyshell. Special attention must therefore be paid to the dimensional stability of the radiator mount. To ensure proper contact with the radiator, the part must not exhibit any warpage. Hostacom M2 U02, a 20 % mineral-filled PP compound from LyondellBasell and supplied by Hamburg-based plastics distributor K.D. Feddersen GmbH & Co. KG, was chosen for the hard component.

Air duct for radiator below with charge-air cooler for the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Air duct for radiator below with charge-air cooler for the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class (photo: Kunststofftechnik Backhaus)

Part features high degree of stiffness

This material was developed specifically for use in the automotive industry, for structural parts and so-called “under-the-hood” applications, as well as air conditioning elements. It is characterised in particular by a high degree of stiffness and low warpage.

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