PSM International has introduced a lightweight aluminum insert for injection molded thermoplastic automotive parts, called the Tri-Step.
The insert weighs about one-third of brass and steel inserts — a key feature as cares become lighter to get better fuel efficiency. For example, PSM said that a conventional inlet manifold can have as many as 15 inserts.
“Engineers are looking for weight savings. Even 20 grams per component is meaningful,” said Nick Price, general manager for PSM North America in Newberry, S.C. “You need an insert to provide thread strength and other performance criteria that you can't achieve by screw directly into plastics.”
A plug-in electric vehicle could use more than 50 inserts to fasten the battery housing and battery call frame, according to PSM.
The company said Tri-Step can be installed using a pre-heating process or an ultrasonic heat-generating process.
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