- Plastic coolant pipes to replace metal in automotive applications
- Process: water-assisted injection molding
- First time used on the Lexus NX
According to the company, the pipes are produced using the water-assisted injection molding process. Based on a similar principle as gas-assisted injection molding, this molding process uses water as a packing material and allows to mold plastic pipes with three-dimensional curves with very good mechanical strength and dimensional stability. The pipes weigh about 40% less than conventional water pipes made of iron or stainless steel. The new complexly shaped pipes also contribute to downsize the engine room. In addition, the integrated molding process allows to integrate brackets and other components into the pipe in one production step.
The pipes are used on the Lexus NX released in July 2014 as the coolant pipes for the intercooler of the turbocharger engine.