Mercedes puts new pressure on powertrain

David Vink
EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

Published: October 15, 2013 2:59 pm ET
Updated: October 15, 2013 3:14 pm ET

Image By: Society of Plastics Engineers Mercedes-Benz front-end module carrier

Related to this story

Topics Automotive, Injection Molding, K 2013, Business News & Features
Companies & Associations Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE)

NEUSS, GERMANY — A front-end module carrier made for the Mercedes-Benz B-Class car with a new internal high-pressure forming (IHF) polymer/metal hybrid process has won a grand innovation award from the SPE Central Europe division.

The Society of Plastics Engineers division presented the award Oct. 14 during its automotive awards night in Neuss, near Düsseldorf.

As the leading application in the powertrains category, the application also involves three companies exhibiting at K 2013: nylon producer Lanxess Deutschland GmbH (Hall 6/C76), Engel Austria GmbH (Hall 15/B42/C8) and Evonik Industries AG (Hall 6/B28). Christian Carl Siebenwurst GmbH & Co. developed and produced the mold for the part.

Swen Malkus, product and project development manager at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Hamburg, talked about the application in March at the Association of German Engineers (VDI) automotive conference in Mannheim, Germany.

Malkus said the process combines high-pressure forming of closed tube-shaped aluminum sections with injection overmolding in a molding tool. Mercedes-Benz uses IHF at its lightweight-construction center in Hamburg to produce the front-end module carriers of the 2012 model-year compact A- and B-Class cars, as well as the instrument panel carrier of the Mercedes SL, Malkus said.

Aside from saving weight, the process offers large-series repeatable production with short cycle times, resulting in highly functionally integrated lightweight parts with structural crash integrity.

In the IHF process, a "pull-press" extruded hollow aluminum profile is bent and embossed in a computer numerically controlled process, before passing automatically into an injection molding tool. The profile has a gap between it and the mold-cavity walls, but with the mold closed, IHF fluid fills the profile interior. Its high pressure expands the profile so it forms a final precise shape against the mold cavity. Fluid pressure is maintained during overmolding of the expanded profile, preventing tube collapse under injection pressure.

Rudolf Fernengel, chairman of SPE Central Europe, stressed the ability of the fluid-filled aluminum pipe to withstand 400-800 bar injection molding pressure.

Fernegel formerly worked for BMW, and currently runs Ingenieurbüro für Kunststofttechnik, a plastics consultancy in Schweitenkirchen, Germany.

Lanxess displayed the A- and B-Class front-end module carrier at the VDI conference, identifying it as molded with a grade of Durethan that it said was a pseudo-plastic, shear thinning, easy-flow glass-fiber-reinforced nylon 6.


Comments

Mercedes puts new pressure on powertrain

David Vink
EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

Published: October 15, 2013 2:59 pm ET
Updated: October 15, 2013 3:14 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Columbine Plastics moving to new Colorado site

July 25, 2014 11:38 am ET

Custom injection molder Columbine Plastics Corp. plans to move from Boulder, Colo., to the Colorado Technical Center in Louisville, Colo.    More

Image

Metals and plastics company NN to buy Autocam in $300 million deal

July 25, 2014 10:07 am ET

A Tennessee metals and plastics company said it has agreed to acquire auto parts supplier Autocam Corp. in a deal valued at $300 million.    More

Image

Chinese auto suppliers growing in US

July 24, 2014 4:17 pm ET

Two China-based automotive suppliers are expanding in the U.S., according to information released by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.    More

Image

Injection molder, recycler Polyvulc USA puts itself up for sale

July 24, 2014 12:41 pm ET

Fred Farrell and Larry Lambiotte, founders of Polyvulc USA Inc. and its subsidiaries Polyvulc Tire Recycling Llc and Winnsboro Rubber Recycling LLC,...    More

OSHA probes alleged asthma link to Lear's Selma, Ala., plant

July 23, 2014 11:58 am ET

U.S. foam manufacturer Renosol Seating LLC is being investigated following allegations its workers are at risk of asthma from TDI exposure at its plan...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recyclers Data Report & Directory

This exclusive MS Excel database contains all the companies from Plastics News' ranking of top North American Recyclers and Brokers by reprocessed volume and also includes a directory with materials processes, services offered and company contact information. Data is based on primary research by PN editorial staff.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events