- Here the complete list & pictures & detailed project description
- Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) announced winners
The Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE®) announced the category and Grand Award winners of its 44th-annual Automotive Innovation Awards Competition. The Safety category winner also was the event’s Grand Award winner selected by a panel of Blue Ribbon judges as the year’s Most Innovative use Plastics.
CATEGORY: Body Exterior
PANORAMIC SUNROOF FRAME
- OEM Make & Model: 2015 Hyundai Motor Group Kia* Sorento* cross-over utility vehicle (CUV)
- Tier Supplier/Processor: Inalfa Roof Systems Korea
- Material Supplier / Toolmaker: GS Caltex Corp./ Hyundai Motor Group
- Material / Process: Hiprene* ALC12B polyamide 6 (PA 6) / injection molding
- Description: This large but very light panoramic sunroof frame utilizes carbon fiber-reinforced
thermoplastic, which has been optimized for density, mechanical properties, and reasonable
cost. This is the first carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastic application in a sunroof frame. It
allowed 33 steel parts to be integrated into just four reinforced plastic ones.
CATEGORY: Body Interior
SECOND-ROW SEAT BACK
- OEM Make & Model: 2015 Ford Motor Co. Ford* Mustang* sports car
- Tier Supplier/Processor: Continental Structural Plastics Inc.
- Material Supplier / Toolmaker: Hanwha L&C / Century Tool & Gage
- Material / Process: glass-mat thermoplastic (GMT) composite 45% GF unidirectional / compression molding
- Description: This second-row seat back successfully meets the extremely challenging European safety regulations ECE luggage-retention load case through the use of unidirectional glass-reinforced GMT composite rather than typical steel. The compression-molded design, which required over 100 iterations of FEA to finalize, eliminates five parts from the earlier steel design and saves 3.1 kg/car in a thinner construction that also is easier to install
CO-EXTRUDED THERMOPLASTIC COOLANT TUBE
- OEM Make & Model: 2015 Renault Group Renault* Twingo* city car
- Tier Supplier/Processor: Tristone Flowtech
- Material Supplier / Toolmaker: DuPont Automotive / not stated
- Material / Process: Zytel* LC6200 PA 6/12 / co-extrusion
- Description: This co-extruded coolant tube with patented bellows design replaced aluminum tubing and rubber hose while meeting all the high-temperature and high-pressure demands of the coolant system. The co-ex tube uses functionalized high-temperature PP with hydrolysisresistant PA 6/12 to withstand internal temperatures to 125o C and external temperatures to 150o C. The application delivers a 60% weight reduction and enhanced flexibility and formability vs. previous technology.
CELLULOSE FIBER COMPOSITE CONSOLE ARMREST
- OEM Make & Model: 2013 Ford Motor Co. Lincoln* MKX* luxury CUV
- Tier Supplier/Processor: Johnson Controls, Inc.
- Material Supplier / Toolmaker: Weyerhaeuser NR Co./ not stated
- Material / Process: Thrive* 20DX235 PP / injection molding
- Description: This application represents the first time glass fiber-reinforced PP has been replaced by a natural fiber-reinforced PP with equivalent performance but improved environmental impact. This armrest console uses 20% renewably sourced cellulose fiber obtained from sustainably harvested forestry by-products. The resulting part is cost neutral but 6% lighter, reduces tool abrasion, and lowers process energy 10% thanks to lower temperature and faster process cycles. From a lifecycle analysis standpoint, it reduces CO2 emissions by 11% and saves 2,500 gal of fuel over the vehicle’s life.
METALLIC APPEARANCE FINISH PANELS
- OEM Make & Model: 2015 Ford Motor Co. Ford* Mondeo* sedan
- Tier Supplier/Processor: International Automotive Components Group (IAC) / Key Plastics Löhne GmbH
- Material Supplier / Toolmaker: Samsung Chemical / Michael Tool & Mold Ltd.
- Material / Process: Luminous* LX-1098 PC/ABS / injection molding
- Description: This MIC metallic-look part features a weldline-free surface around holes (despite complex geometry), and sports a lush gloss surface (without grain to hide surface imperfections) and eliminates the need for paint. Additionally, special gate/runner designs and a special tool finish technique were used in combination with the eMold process (to elevate resin temperature in key areas) with continuous venting. A new high-flow material with optimum flake size and amount was developed specifically for the parts. The result is improved part appearance that also reduces warranty claims vs. previous painted parts, plus a direct $13 USD / vehicle cost savings with further indirect cost savings and environmental benefits owing to paint line avoidance.
CRANKSHAFT COVER WITH INTEGRATED OIL SEAL
- OEM Make & Model: 2014 Volkswagen AG MDB engine platform
- Tier Supplier/Processor: Kaco GmbH + Co. KG / Engel Austria GmbH
- Material Supplier / Toolmaker: DSM Engineering Plastics B.V. / Elmet GmbH
- Material / Process: EcoPaXX* Q-HG10 PA 4/10 50% GF / injection molding
- Description: This is the world’s first sustainable crankshaft cover, which is molded in a PA 4/10 formulated from 70% renewable resources and certified to be 100% carbon neutral from cradle to grave. The design itself features a friction-optimized dynamic seal in polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which replaced a wet chemistry surface treatment and is activated via a vacuum-plasma process. The entire production process is eco-driven with no net waste. The CAE-optimized design enables a plastic flange to be used as a torque support for assembly operations during vehicle manufacture. The resulting part is 40% lighter than the incumbent aluminum part it replaced.
CATEGORY: Process / Assembly / Enabling Technologies
SINGLE-COLLIMATOR MOLDED LED LENS
- OEM Make & Model: 2015 Ford Motor Co. Ford* F-150* pickup
- Tier Supplier/Processor: Ventra Plastics Div. of Ventra Group Inc. & Flex-N-Gate Corp. / DBM Reflex
- Material Supplier / Toolmaker: Bayer MaterialScience / DBM Reflex
- Material / Process: Makrolon* LED 22.4.5 PC / multi-shot injection molding
- Description: This is the first application of a single-collimator, all-plastic molded lens for both low and high beam LED headlamp applications replacing glass. The efficient optical lens provides stylists with a new level of design freedom and vs. multi-lens designs save approximately $5 USD/vehicle. A special optical grade of PC material was used for optical efficiency; a multi-shot injection molding process forms the 45-mm thick lens, whose surface tolerances must be held within 40 microns. Cycle times vs. glass are significantly reduced as well
ACTIVE GLOVE BOX
- OEM Make & Model: 2015 Ford Motor Co. Ford* Mustang* sports car
- Tier Supplier/Processor: Faurecia
- Material Supplier / Toolmaker: Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. & Advanced Composites, Inc. / Extol, Inc.
- Material / Process: TP850N / ADX5028 / ADX5017 TPO / injection molding
- Description: This patented application is an industry first where an injection-molded knee airbag is integrated with the glove-box door, reducing weight 65% and space 75% vs. separate traditional knee airbags plus glove-box doors. Instead of a woven textile airbag, a special bladder is hot-plate welded to the door and then checked with a hydrostatic burst tester to ensure the strength of the resulting hermetic seal. This saves $5-10 USD/car while providing consumers with more interior space and decreasing vehicle mass for better fuel efficiency.