Neuss, Germany — A skid plate on a Mercedes Benz sports utility vehicle was one of the top winners in the Society of Plastics Engineers Central Europe's annual automotive awards.
The part, made by Magna International Inc.'s Magna Exteriors business, was one of several prizes the company collected at the awards.
Graham Burrow, Magna Exteriors global president, said the polypropylene skid plate weighs much less than conventional skid plates in PVC or ABS. His colleague Johannes Götzelmann, director product and process development exteriors Europe at Magna Exteriors GmbH, added that “the technique is not unique, but the way we apply it is.”
Magna Exteriors was involved with four exterior applications submitted to the SPE jury. Winners and runners-up were presented at the organization's traditional Automotive Awards Night in Neuss, Germany, on Oct. 17.
Magna Exteriors, with European operations based in Sailauf, Germany, and global headquarters in Concord, Ontario, took both the exterior category first place and grand award for the skid plate under the bumper of the 2014 Mercedes GLA X156. Magna produces the skid plate in a mold from the Grupo Simoldes Tool Group subsidiary MDA Moldes de Azeméis SA in Oliveira de Azeméis, Portugal, on Engel Holdings GmbH equipment. The material used is a colored Polyfort filled PP from A. Schulman Inc. (Hall 8a/D12).
Key features of the application are metallic appearance direct from the mold and associated substitution of conventional paint processes. To avoid defects typical in metallic pigmented compounds, Magna produces the part using five injection gates in a cascade molding process. The properties of the PP compound also were essential to success of the development.
Magna also took the second exterior place for the “Actero” active dynamics automatic cooling grille shutter system, injection molded on KraussMaffei Group (Hall 15/C24/C27) machinery in 15 percent and 30 percent Durethan BKV glass-fiber-reinforced nylon from Lanxess AG (Hall 6/C76). The system has been applied on the Mercedes E-Class car since November 2015.