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New Skoda Octavia front end carrier made entirely of highly reinforced polyamide

News International-French

19 Apr 2013

The part is made of Durethan DP BKV 60 H2.0 EF, a highly reinforced polyamide 6 from Lanxess with 60 percent glass fibers.

The special feature of this structural component is that it contains absolutlely no sheet-metal reinforcements. This holds true even when compared to the few all-plastic front end carriers in existence, even those with top cross-member, extending all the way to the fender carriers. The lightweight component was engineered by Faurecia.

Simple, economical production process
Faurecia's objective was to simplify the production process for the front end carrier. The biggest challenge was to fulfill the high demands imposed on stiffness, for example in the region of the radiator bearing and hood lock, which are subject to very strong forces. The significantly higher stiffness of highly filled material in reference to its weight, compared to standard polyamides with only 30 or 40 percent glass fiber reinforcement, ensures that the component is strong enough to withstand the high stresses. For instance, in the conditioned state, the polyamide 6 has a modulus of elasticity at room temperature of 13,100 MPa.

One particularly “tricky” spot was the design of the cross-member at the transition to the fender carriers. Only little space is available for this section, which incorporates mounts for the headlamps and hood bumpers, making it necessary to achieve a very thin, but extremely strong design.

Thin walls, low component weight
Although the polyamide has a much greater density on account of its glass fiber content, the component nevertheless is very lightweight. Compared to a standard carrier designed from a polyamide 6 with 30 percent glass fibers, it is about 1,2 kilograms or 25 percent lighter. Responsible for these results are the significantly better mechanical properties, and also the good flow behavior of the material, which allows for very thin walls. In fact, the wall thickness in areas subject to lower stresses could be reduced to just 1.8 millimeters.

High surface quality
In addition to the mounts for the headlamps, the front end carrier also integrates injection-molded mounts for the radiator, hood lock, anti-theft system and air ducts. What is more, the component is provided directly with a decorative cover, meaning that this part need not be assembled separately.


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