JSAE Exposition 2017: Exhibitions of resin molding processing technologies
Introducing weight reduction and molding efficiency improvement by unique materials
|A display of Daicel-Evonik's in-vehicle resin products:
The company is working on applying PEEK based material, which has been used to reduce the weight of aircraft seat parts, for automobiles
At the "Automotive Engineering Exposition Yokohama 2017 (sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan, Inc.)" held in May, 2017, the exhibition booths of material makers were filled with attendees. The makers introduced resin products and technologies for automobiles by function; including weight reduction, heat resistance, noise reduction, and environmental load reduction.
Automakers are aggressively adopting composite materials and resin parts, especially for electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHV), where the weight of the vehicle body significantly affects range. This reflects increasing demand for electrification of automobiles and weight reduction for lower fuel consumption. As for the adoption of composite materials for structural parts and resinification of fuel piping parts, Japanese makers are following the lead of Western automakers.
At this exhibition, there were many exhibits where it seemed non-Japanese material makers were aiming to appeal to Japanese OEMs and parts suppliers. Further weight reduction of the vehicle body can be realized by using carbon fiber composite materials that can be integrally molded, or adhesives that replace metal fasteners such as bolts and nuts. The makers were also displaying techniques and technologies to improve and reduce cost through means like parts reduction and shorter molding processes.
This report will introduce unique resin related materials and products that use original molding technology with the cooperation of Mr. Takeo Yasuda, the Director of the Yasuda Polymer Research Institute.
Related reports: JSAE Automotive Engineering Exposition 2017
Leading resin material makers (Jun. 2017)
Advances in electric power steering (Jun. 2017)
Toyota exhibits newly developed powertrain (Jun. 2017)
Magna: Carbon fiber composite materials
At the front of its booth, where they were easily visible for exhibition attendees, Magna displayed hoods and front subframes that use carbon fiber composite materials. The supplier has been displaying a large number of electrified components at its booth in recent years, and this year it focused on weight reduction for vehicle bodies.
Light weight composite materials
The company displayed a Cadillac V series hood made of lightweight composite materials (class A panel). It uses carbon fiber composite material that adopts compression molding technology for the first time in a mass production vehicle, thereby contributing to a shortened cycle time.
Characteristics: 1) Weight reduction: 20 - 30%, 2) Appearance quality improvement (indentations), 3) Fulfills pedestrian protection requirements, 4) Anti-corrosion material
|Hood of Cadillac V series||Front sub flame for Ford model|
Toyota Boshoku: High impact-resistant plastic
Toyota Boshoku displayed a door panel molded with a new PP based high impact-resistant plastic. The technology was jointly developed with Toyota Central R&D Labs.
As the Toyota Boshoku is not a material maker, it will use Mitsui Chemical, Inc.'s manufacturing technologies and sales channels, and seek to promote use of high impact-resistant plastic as one of Mitsui Chemical's strength modifier products in various fields including the automobile market.
Toyota Boshoku also exhibited materials utilizing plant derived fiber, kenaf strengthening PP, as well as products like sheets and door trims.
|A seat made by foam in place method||Kenaf strengthening PP|
ElringKlinger: Metal and resin composite components
ElringKlinger exhibited multiple metal and resin composite components. The products have composites of aluminum or iron pipe and thermoplastic resin. The company is developing the materials as a replacement for welded iron and aluminum parts, and die-cast aluminum and magnesium products. The resin used is (GF reinforced) PP.
- GF: Glass fiber
- PP: Polypropylene
DaikyoNishikawa: CNF enhanced polyamide
DaikyoNishikawa exhibited a prototype using CNF (cellulose nanofiber), which has been gaining attention as an environmentally friendly material.
CNF reinforced PA
The component the company displayed uses CNF enhanced PA, which is a material being advanced by the NEDO project (Kyoto Project) that the Yano Laboratory of Kyoto University has been spearheading.
|Molded product of CNF reinforced PA|
The maker was also exhibited various products, including instrument panels, back door modules, and resin engine parts.
|Instrument panel||Daihatsu THOR back door module|
|Engine parts made of resin||Subaru Impreza carbon roof|
Daicel-Evonik: Adhesive for bonding metal and resin, PulPress method for CFRP molding
In addition to the above, the maker exhibited various automobile parts made from PEEK and heat-resistant acrylic resin, including PA12 fuel tube-related applications.
- PA: Polyamide
- PEEK: Polyetheretherketone
|Fuel tube fitting||PEEK resin "BESTAKEEP"|
Celanese: Long fiber reinforced PP, flexible PPS
Celanese is the parent company of Polyplastics, the top maker of Japanese engineering plastics (45% investment). It mainly focuses on its engineering plastic materials business, with offerings including POM, PBT, LCP, PPS, PCT, UHMWPE, and LFT.
- POM: Polyoxymethylene (polyacetal)
- PBT: Polybutylene terephthalate
- LCP: Liquid crystal polymer/ Liquid crystal plastic
- PPS: Poly phenylene sulfide
- PCT: Polycyclohexylenedimethylene terephthalate
- UHMWPE: Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene
- LFT: Long fiber reinforced thermoplastics
Many of the suppliers at the show displayed their products in a clear manner; categorizing components by functions such as weight saving, rather than by resin type. Daicel-Evonik's booth also exhibited a number of resin parts that have been adopted in mass production models and categorized the products based on themes such as electrification and low fuel consumption.
DuPont: Noise suppression, adhesion technology, biomass fiber
In addition to these, the most popular materials DuPont displayed at the exhibition were thermal conductivity polyimide film and a coolant pipe (PA) produced with 3D suction blow molding.
- PI: Polyimide
- PA: Polyamide
|Polyimide film||Implementation of polyimide film|
|Coolant pipe||Plastic oil pan|
Plastic oil pan
The plastic oil pan in the image has been adopted for the new 10-speed AT in the Lexus LC. The ROKI supplied oil pan is installed in the AT, which is made by AISIN AW. It is the first time for a Japanese transmission maker to adopt a plastic oil pan. ROKI partnered with DuPont and resolved difficulties in the resinification of oil pans, including heat resistance and impact resistance. DuPont's high heat-resistant nylon resin "ZYTEL" is used. In addition, it suppresses damages even if it receives shocks and prevents oil leakage by placing many fine ribs (rear side image of the oil pan) on the surface of the oil pan.
Exhibition of unique resin products and processing technologies
Sanwa Trading's booth exhibited automotive mass production components that use the continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic "Tepex." Tepex is a lightweight and high strength sheet in which CF and GF are completely impregnated with thermoplastic resin. Sanwa Trading sells Tepex, the product of the German maker, Bond Laminates. In Western countries, it is also adopted for mass produced items such as structural parts of automobiles and aircraft, as well as sporting goods.
- PP: Polypropylene
- CF: Carbon fiber
- GF: Glass fiber
Continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic sheet "Tepex"
A product made by inserting PP continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic sheet "Tepex" into a mold and hybrid molding it with long fiber reinforced PP. It is characterized by high strength, high rigidity and low weight. Tepex is considered an alternative material for metals in automotive structural parts.
|VW Teramont front end|
Victrex is a global major maker of PEEK based materials. It displayed many parts utilizing the material's characteristics; including heat resistance, mechanical properties, and sliding properties.
- PEEK: Polyether ether ketone
- ABS resin: Acrylonitrile, Butadiene, Styrene copolymer resin
|A slide valve of a brake booster. It utilizes PEEK's excellent sliding characteristics and high durability.||ABS rod seal
Damping effect reduces high frequency noise. It also achieved a 30% cost reduction.
Fujikura Rubber introduced unique products including a CFRP torque transmission shaft and a LED silicone rubber lens. It also exhibited a high vibration damping shaft (CFRP-rubber compound technology) and thermal expansion insulating rubber.
- CFRP: Carbon fiber reinforced plastics
Taiho Group exhibited a CFRP engine mounting bracket produced by pulp molding. It also displayed a gear made of aramid fiber reinforced phenolic resin with high strength and wear resistance.
- CFRP: Carbon fiber reinforced plastics
CFRP parts produced with pulp molding
Pulp molding is the maker's unique molding method. It is a technology for strengthening fibers in resin like paper making.Flow of the production process:
|A CFRP-made engine mounting bracket produced by pulp molding|
Fuji Electronics Industries
A CFRP engine mounting bracket produced by pulp molding. Fuji Electronics Industries exhibited various in-vehicle parts that realize high quality and low cost through its molding technology.
Toray Research Center
Toray Research Center introduced a composite material fiber/resin interface evaluation method. It claims that the method can be used to examine the improved strength of composite materials by evaluating and analyzing the adhesion strength between fibers and resin.
|Composite material fiber/resin interface evaluation method||GF/resin interface adhesion strength evaluation|
The supplier is supporting material design and development by conducting analysis of automotive resin materials and their strength with its superior testing techniques. Moreover, it is likely that these methods will make a significant contribution analysis of and troubleshooting for various materials.
In addition to Toray Research Center, affiliated companies of material makers including Mitsui Chemical Analysis & Consulting Service, Sumika Chemical Analysis Service, and MC Evolve Technologies also introduced excellent analysis technologies.
Resin, plastic, CFRP, carbon fiber, molding, lightweight, electrification, multimaterial, composite, adhesive, biomass, Magna, Toyota Boshoku, ElringKlinger, DaikyoNishikawa, Daicel Evonik, Celanese, DuPont
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