Tokyo Motor Show 2017: Plastics utilized for autonomous driving and electric vehicle components
Plastic parts and materials exhibited were designed for specific applications
The 45th Tokyo Motor Show 2017, with the theme of "BEYOND THE MOTOR", was held from October 25to November 5, 2017 at Tokyo's Big Sight exhibition center. The exhibition was considered a great success. According to the event organizer, the number of visitors totaled 771,200 (the previous exhibition was 812,500).
JSAE Exposition 2017: Leading resin material makers (August 2017)
JSAE Exposition 2017: Exhibitions of resin molding processing technologies (August 2017)
Tokyo Motor Show 2017 related reports:
Toyota unveils numerous concept vehicles (November 2017)
Exhibits from Nissan, Honda, and Mitsubishi (December 2017)
Exhibitions from Bosch, Denso, Aisin, and Mitsubishi Electric (November 2017)
EV systems and other electrification technologies (December 2017)
EV systems/engine components/fuel tanks: Mahle, Schaeffler, Keihin, Yachiyo Industry, etc.
Mahle: High voltage PTC (positive temperature coefficient) heater
While heating is accomplished with high-temperature coolant heated with engine waste heat in vehicles powered by an internal combustion engine, a PTC heater is used for EVs because EVs do not have such a heat source. PA66-GF30 is used to make the heater body because of its excellent heat resistance, while PBT-GF30 is used for the side panels of the control board because of its excellent balance of physical properties including its electrical characteristics.
- PA66: Polyamide 66
- GF: Glass fiber
- PBT: Polybutylene terephthalate
|High voltage PTC heater||Plastic products for engine room|
Schaeffler: Thermal management module
Schaeffler's thermal management module is used to control the temperature for cylinder heads, cylinder blocks, engine and transmission oils, the passenger cabin, etc. The housing is made of PPS, which has good resistance characteristics, including heat resistance and chemical resistance (LLC: Long Life Coolant resistance).
Other peripheral engine parts made of PA materials that Schaeffler has designed for German applications were also exhibited at the company's booth.
- PPS: Poly phenylene sulfide
- PA: Polyamide
|Thermal management module||Using PA materials for engine peripheral parts|
Keihin: Intake module
The product modularizes the intake manifold, injector, and throttle body and is made of PPA (PA6T). PPA was used for its excellent heat resistance, chemical resistance, and mechanical properties.
- PPA: Polyphthalamide (PA6T: Polyamide 6T)
In addition to engine room components, plastic products, including an HVAC unit were displayed at the company's booth.
|Intake module||HVAC unit
Mikuni: Coolant control valve
Nippon Thermostat: Resin housing integrated thermostat for FCV, motor control valve
The plastic integrated thermostat for FCVs is used to control the temperature of the FC stacks. It adjusts the following 1) and 2) to optimize control of the FC stacks.
1) Cooling when the temperature of the stacks increases due to heat generated by the chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen
2) Adjusting to the appropriate temperature as power distribution efficiency declines when the stack temperature drops too low
The housing is made of PPS, taking advantage of its material properties, including heat and hot water resistance.
- PPS: Polyphenylene sulfide
By optimizing control of the engine water temperature and the amount of water distributed to the various pipes, and depending on the operating environment of the engine, the motor control valve improves fuel efficiency by reducing engine warm-up time, reducing mechanical loss, and improving combustion efficiency. The housing of the motor control valve is also made of PPS.
|Resin housing integrated thermostat for FCV||Motor control valve|
Yachiyo Industry: Fuel tank for HVs
The fuel tank is made of a composite material of HDPE and EVOH plastic. Yachiyo Industry utilizes plastic insert molding technology to attach valves to the inside of the tank, reducing the number of openings and decreasing fuel transpiration.
The sound of gasoline movement in the fuel tank can create an unpleasant sound in vehicles such as HVs that are very quiet. The noise created by the movement of gasoline in the fuel tank is reduced by the use of the plastic insert molding technology.
- HDPE: High Density Polyethylene
- EVOH: Ethylene-vinylalcohol copolymer
|Fuel tank for HV
Installed in the Honda Odyssey North America model
|Fuel tank lineup
Display panel: fuel tank for PHEV (development)
Toyoda Gosei: Hydrogen tank liner for FCV
PA is used for the tank liner for its property to act as a hydrogen barrier. The tank liner is constructed by the welding of multiple injection molded parts.
- PA: Polyamide
In addition, Toyoda Gosei introduced its product lineup which included engine room parts such as turbo ducts.
|Hydrogen tank liner for FCV
(Product on the left in the photo above)
Tokyo Roki: Water level sensor, fuel filter
|Water level sensor||Fuel filter|
NGK Spark Plug: Hydrogen leak detection sensor
Shock absorber/brake system: KYB, Aisin, HKT, NTN
KYB: Next-generation lightweight strut type shock absorber
Aisin: Electronically controlled brake system
HKT: Solenoid valve
NTN: Electric motor actuator
A direct-acting electric actuator is used in combination with a DC motor and a ball screw. The housing is made of PPS, which has favorable characteristics such as heat resistance, hot water resistance, and chemical resistance (LLC resistance).
|Electric motor actuator
Autonomous driving and telecommunication systems: Toyoda Gosei, Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric, Omron, etc.
Toyoda Gosei: Emblem compatible with millimeter wave radar
In recent years, millimeter wave radars have been installed close to the emblem for vehicle control technologies, including autonomous driving. Although plating may make the design of the emblem more attractive, plating adversely affects the ability of the sensor to receive radio waves. This emblem technology has a unique surface structure containing gaps, which is designed to allow radio waves to pass through the plating. The emblem is made of PC. This plastic was likely used for its surface gloss and impact resistance.
- PC: Polycarbonate
|Emblem compatible with millimeter wave radar
Hitachi Automotive Systems: Autonomous driving unit
At the core of this autonomous driving unit is a single controller that integrates various advanced-driver-assistance systems such as adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance emergency braking systems, and lane departure warning systems. The surface of ECU is coated with metal to diffuse heat. The type of plastic used for the housing is determined based on the customer's specifications.
|Autonomous driving ECU||Autonomous driving system/ Products for EVs|
Mitsubishi Electric: Automotive gateway system, battery management unit
The vehicle gateway system performs software updates via wireless communications and detects in-vehicle communication abnormalities by remote monitoring. The housing is presumed to be made of PBT, which has an excellent balance of physical properties, including electrical characteristics.
The battery management unit is a system for detecting and controlling unique situations that may occur in the large number of secondary batteries used in electric vehicles. The housing is presumed to be made of PBT.
- PBT: Polybutylene terephthalate
|Automotive gateway system||Battery management unit|
Omron: Driver monitoring system
This device is comprised of a camera, sensor, and communication system. The housing is made of PC / ABS resin, which has an excellent balance of physical properties and an attractive appearance.
|Driver monitoring system|
Sumitomo Electric Industries: Central gateway, Ethernet SW ECU
Car Mate: Drive action recorder
Body/door/interior: Toyota Industries, U-SHIN, Tokai Rika, Motherson, etc.
Toyota Industries: Plastic glazing for rear window
Koito: License plate lamp module
Mitsuba: Direct drive wiper system
Mitsuba exhibited a direct drive type wiper system, which directly connects the wiper arm and blade to the wiper motor without using a link mechanism. The system uses the world's first brushless motor, which has a high degree of controllability as well as features such as small size, light weight, and quiet operation. For the wiper arms and blades, PBT is used, which has excellent strength, friction abrasion resistance, and balanced physical properties.
|Direct drive wiper system
Aisin: Door system and structural adhesives
The door system appeared to utilize engineering plastics such as POM and PBT, which have excellent slidability, mechanical properties, etc.
- POM: Polyoxymethylene (polyacetal)
- PBT: Polybutylene terephthalate
Also noteworthy is that the Aisin exhibit displayed examples of products produced using epoxy structural adhesives.
|Door system||Epoxy type structural adhesive
U-SHIN: Rear access module
The rear access module has modularized components (license light / rear view camera / door open switch, etc.) individually attached to the backdoor to achieve a smart appearance. In addition to simplifying the vehicle assembly process, all of the module's components, including the garnish, can be manufactured in-house, optimizing the fit between parts and improving the overall appearance. The housing is presumed to be made of an ABS composite plastic having an excellent balance of physical properties and an attractive appearance.
|Rear access module
Tokai Rika: Multi-function lever-type switches, and peripheral seatbelt parts
|Multi-function switch||Seatbelt parts|
Samvardhana Motherson Group: Decorative interior parts
Decorative interior parts are made by decorating the PMMA-based film imbedded into the base material of parts made with PC / ABS plastic. Various interior products were displayed at the company's booth.
- PC: Polycarbonate
- ABS resin: Acrylonitrile, Butadiene, Styrene copolymer resin
- PMMA: Polymethyl methacrylate
|Decorative interior parts
Display Panel: roof molding
|Cluster meter for Toyota Etios|
Motor show, resin, plastic, CFRP, carbon fiber, heat resistance, high rigidity, molding, lightweight, electrification, adhesive
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