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

Austria's Greiner building a foothold in the US rigid packaging market

April 15, 2014 1:22 pm ET

Greiner Packaging International GmbH, one of Europe's largest makers of rigid plastic packaging, now wants to make its mark in the United States.    More

Mexico reports rising auto production

April 14, 2014 1:18 pm ET

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s automotive industry assembled an unprecedented 774,731 light vehicles in the first quarter, 6.5 percent up on the...    More

Image

Engel creates new Wintec brand for Asia

April 11, 2014 2:17 pm ET

Engel Holding GmbH has formed a new subsidiary in China that will sell injection molding machinery in Asia under a new brand name: Wintec.    More

Image

Lanxess launches new compounding plant in Brazil aimed at auto market

April 11, 2014 12:32 pm ET

Lanxess AG has officially opened its auto-oriented thermoplastics compounding plant in Porto Feliz, Brazil.    More

Image

BASF's new products for Chinaplas will focus on R&D for the region

April 10, 2014 3:14 pm ET

The plastics industry in China is growing at a faster rate than its gross domestic product, and BASF SE officials believe there is growing consumer de...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

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

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events