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Thinwall technology benchmark in automotive exterior
2004 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this work is to analyse the current wall thicknesses on exterior polymeric and composite parts at Volvo Car Corporation, its competitors and the rest of the Ford Motor Group, which gathers Land Rover, Ford Europe, Jaguar and Aston Martin. It corresponds to a benchmark of the wall thickness of front and rear bumper skins, rocker panels, plenum panels and front fenders. The wall thickness measurement has been realised by using an ultrasonic thickness gauge, which permits to sketch the profile of the wall section. This thesis work is part of a project named: "thinwall technology": that is why three different ways of reducing the amount of material used in the plastic parts are presented. Two ways correspond to thinwall technology itself, reducing the thickness and having a constant wall section, reducing the thickness but with variations in the wall section, and the third way is foaming the material with a microcellular foaming process. The premium cars have the thickest exterior plastic parts. It appears clearly for the front and rear bumper skins and as well for the front fenders. Rocker panels are mostly found on premium cars and it is not possible to compare the two categories, however thinwall technology has been observed with rocker panels using reinforced PUR instead of PP/EPDM. The thinnest plenum covers belong to both the premium and non-premium category but are realized by the same manufacturer, they represent as well a technological improvement because they possess integrated seals thanks to a two-component injection moulding process. Both constant wall section and varying wall section is used in thinwall technology and the best examples are realised by non-premium brands, which even follow models of design for some of the exterior parts like rear and front bumper skins and front fenders. The very recent microfoaming process is able to save up to 30% of the weight of the part and is used so far to produce bodies of TVs and printers and non-visible parts in the automotive industry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Keyword [sv]
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-53389ISRN: LTU-EX--04/326--SELocal ID: a68ec69d-eeb4-4f52-82d4-fb98e8054078OAI: diva2:1026763
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Materials Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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