Methodology of plastic parts development in the automotive industry
Guido Muzio Candido PTI - Engenharia e Projetos LTDA. Filippo Santolia Junior PTI - Engenharia e Projetos LTDA. Marcos R. F. de Melo PTI - Engenharia e Projetos Ltda Gustavo A. B. dos Santos PTI - Engenharia e Projetos Ltda


XV Congresso e Exposição Internacionais da Tecnologia da Mobilidade São Paulo, Brasil 21 a 23 de novembro de 2006

AV. PAULISTA, 2073 - HORSA II - CJ. 1003 - CEP 01311-940 - SÃO PAULO – SP

during the oil crisis. the purpose of this paper is to introduce an automotive injection moulding plastic component methodology in order to obtain technical and economical benefits of the latest designs with reduced part development time. including the engine compartment. In 2002. B. The decision of automakers to adopt these. each vehicle used 60 to 90 kg of plastic. 8% in electrical systems and 5% in the chassis. Today you can find plastic components in almost all subsystems of the vehicle. Copyright © 2006 Society of Automotive Engineers. or material on a bigger scale depends more. the following stand out: 1 . At that time. de Melo Gustavo A. in relation to steel. It was verified that the average application of the material per vehicle was about 110 kg. Studies show that each 100kg of plastic can substitute 200kg to 300kg of mass from previous materials [1]. Besides weight. or any new component. these materials allow the development of modern style designs. the increasing use of plastic in the automotive industry complies with the desires of weight and cost reduction. In Brazil. the average of plastic used in national vehicles was about only 30 kg. plastic is still being developed in this area and it is not just because of economic reasons. automakers were developing a way to make lighter cars and reduce fuel consumption without loss of final product quality. This purpose is increasingly relevant in consideration of the intense competition that the material is submitted. Inc ABSTRACT Nowadays. Currently. material recyclability and increased performance. The plastic raw material is immune to corrosion and can increase the security of the passengers. which can be translated to lower fuel consumption. In 2002. In trucks. the main cited advantages. the customer also gains with a gradual increase of plastic impact resistance due to the latest developments. in door handles. 9% in the engine. being 63% in interior components. the European automotive industry used annually about 2 million tonnes of plastic. plastic is used in the instrument panel. with the advance of technology. over all. by the end of the 80's. where the growth of plastic application in vehicles is well documented. useful life and keeping part quality related to steel (there is no corrosion). dos Santos PTI Engenharia e Projetos LTDA. It also contributes to automakers design and production versatility. the interior cabin to the outside of the vehicle. flexibility and design of style and quality. each time. Faced with this scenario. are the reduction of weight and the absence of corrosion. the bumpers and even the fuel tank. In automobiles. Marcos R. allowed the increase of load capacity [1]. INTRODUCTION Plastic materials have expanded their application in the automotive industry in the 80's. door panels. Amongst these criteria of evaluation. Apart from the low weight. cost and production time reductions. In specialized literature. 15% in the exterior components.2006-01-2626 Methodology of plastic parts development in the automotive industry Guido Muzio Candido Filippo Santolia Jr. the considerable lightening was acquired with the use of plastic material. for having high mechanical resistance and supporting high temperatures. The use of plastic as an alternative for the European automotive sector contributed to the reduction of annual fuel consumption of 12 million tonnes and the CO2 emission of 30 million tones [1]. F. on the evaluation of the contribution that brings for the increase of efficiency. After several years. Some models can even have body structure made of plastic. it is presumed that the percentage of use of plastic will increase still more. reduced tooling costs.

structural. preliminary and detailed [2]. this type of approach provides a reduction of the development time. According to Ferreira (2002)[3]. Conceptual phase: functional structure of the product. Cost and quality of the part. survey of the necessities of customers. in • Detailed phase: elaboration of the detailed drawings of the end item. impositions. Figure 2. through which.• • • • Offering consumers of better quality performance terms. this phase involves. of considered and studied Figure 1. are the following (shown in Figure 1): • Informational phase: or design criteria means definition of the objectives of the product. definition of design restrictions and project specifications definition. improvement of the final product quality and minimizes the possibility of imperfections in the project or design problems. initially. The practical application of concurrent engineering for teams specialized in the development of plastic products reflects the work in parallel of the different necessary stages for the conclusion of the project. In short. the strategies and recommendations of project must be considered. including service and replacement must be competitive. process. development of the manufacturing tooling. thermal resistances and rheological analysis. establishment of the design requirements. including final assembly. GENERAL ASPECTS OF DESIGN FOR INJECTION MOULDING PLASTIC PARTS The development of injection moulding plastic components can be defined as being a set of procedures (processes). and restrictions related to the distinctly involved fields of knowledge in this activity (information). using adequate tools (means). Weight should be reduced. as schematized in Figure 2. the dependence and the interdependence between the corporate requirements. Phases of injection moulding plastic components development [2]. in a synthesis of the development phases. These fields are constituted by engineering design knowledge. • • 2 . conceptual. generation of alternatives of the concept of the product. it is the distinguished concept phase. durability and appearance. in some aspects. must be lower than previous or substituted ones. In the process of definition of the design specifications of these products. Amongst them. find a solution that meets the necessities of customers and contemplates the aspects. when the definition of the product characteristics must be made to determine its performance and its lifecycle. The development of these components involves the design phases: informational. materials. legal requirements. limitations. According to Malloy(1994) [4]. the definition of the project specifications followed by the generation of design alternatives of concept of the product will be made. Concurrent engineering applied in the plastic product development [4]. mould tooling and costs. Total cost of production. analyses of mechanical. METHODOLOGY OF PLASTIC PARTS DEVELOPMENT IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY The development of plastic components in the automotive industry has specific characteristics that can differentiate it. Preliminary phase: design development of a geometric model of the product. recommendations.

3 Tests applied in the preliminary physical model such as wind tunnel or other ones.5. Different hole profiles in a plastic part [5].1.3 Benchmarking. Figure 3. mainly in the phases of informational and conceptual design and automotive components normally already possess preset requirements. 2. 4.4 Addition of details in geometry to attend relative parameters to manufacturing process considering: 5.1 Functional characteristics of the product (mechanical. restrictions and functional characteristics. 2 Estimation of general characteristics of the component: 2. 5.1 Requirements for the application of the design parameters. 1.1 Structural requirements.7 Type of surface finishing required.4.4 Maximum temperature to which the part will be subjected. brightness. 2. 3 . etc. etc.3 Environment of the part (contact and interfaces with other substances and parts). 1.2 Details of characteristics of component interface or joints.1 Details of safety characteristics. 2.1 Creation of the assembly theme.).).2 Forecast of future modification of design parameters.1 Survey of the reference information (other models. 5.1 Communization with reference to existing components.5. aesthetic.).5 Economic planning of the project considering: 1.1.6 Aesthetic factors of the component (color. 2. Regions with small radii will present structural fragility of the part.3. 1.1. of security.4 Estimation of the thickness.1. 5.4 Details for assembly characteristics.1 To avoid sharp edges in the part (as shown in Figure 3) to minimize the effect of the concentration of stress (Figure 4). 2. 4.2 Amount of functional items that can design into the part without impacting in the final cost.4 Estimate of product lifecycle. 2. etc.2 Requirements for application of the characteristics of the component. latest standards in the market.1.). structural.5 Conversion of reference geometry into a surface in a CAD (computer aided design) application. 4 Establishment of the requirements of the project and relative parameters to the manufacturing process: 4. Minimum number of parts to be used in the assembly. 3.6 Manipulation of the surface in CAD. 5. 3. 2. 4. considering: 5. This difference occurs. 1. The methodology of development of injected plastic components in the automotive industry can be described by the following sequence: SEQUENCE OF INJECTION MOULDING PLASTIC COMPONENT DEVELOPMENT IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY: 1 Establishment of the design parameters: 1.2 Determination of the raw material. 2. 1.processes for the development of plastic components for general purpose. 3. 3. etc.3 Addition of details in geometry to attend specific requirements (legal.2 Market research. optical.5 Desired useful life.3 Research of requirements of the current law in the market territory. 2. apparent geometry. aesthetic petitions.3. 3 Production of the style surface: 3.4 Three-dimensional measurement of the surface of the model.6 Conditions of assembled components. texture. 2.5 Determination of the desirable maximum weight.3 Determination of the basic dimensions of the component. 1.1.4 Survey of the corporate requirements of component design.2 Construction of the preliminary physical model (mock-up).2 Tolerances of assembly and functionality. 5 Adaptation of the style surface to the relative requirements of the design and parameters of the manufacturing process: 5. 2.1. 5.1 Survey of the required properties of material considering: 2.

5. Stress concentration factor given by the relation of the minimum radius and part thickness (R/T) [6]. Other design good practices recommended to plastic parts holes profiles are illustrated in Figures 6. Different holes in plastic parts and its adaptation [5]. depending on the mechanical forces operating on the part (Figure 9). Example of increasing rigidity of a part without addition of thickness or ribs [7]. 5. 5. Figure 9.Figure 4.5 Apply draft angle for moulding ejection on the surfaces of the component considering the direction in which will be Figure 6.4 Changing of the surface for increasing rigidity. Figure 8.4.4. 7 e 8. Minimum distance between holes and part edges [6]. 4 . This type of system increases significantly the mould cost and becomes more complex in its operation during the process (Figure 5). using more rigid formations without addition of mass. Figure 5.4. Good practices for blind holes [6]. Figure 7.3 To avoid types of holes that will need side actions of sliders in the mould. 5.4.2 To avoid threads moulded in the plastic parts. because they are complicate to mould and process. Good practices for depth holes [6].

according to injection moulding fabrication. Types of parting lines for different geometries. part height and distance to core top and bottom [6]. 6 Adaptation of the surface to suit the interfaces with other components: 6. For graining walls the depth of the texture regards to addition in the draft angle according to the type of graining. Relation to draft angles. Figure 11. simplifying the parting regions (contact between core and cavity of the mould) and facilitating easier maintenance of the injection mould tool. 5 . as shown in Figure 10. Figure 12.6 Develop the parts. 5. 7 Detailing of the functional characteristics of the component: 7.1 Application of style surface requirements to the interfaces with other components (gaps and flushness). Figure 13. height of the part and distance between the base and the top of the core in the mould. Figure 11 graphically shows the geometric relation of draft angles.4. For surfaces without surface graining a minimum draft angle of 0.1 Application of estimating thickness considering: 7.moulded. The parting line (PL) of regions of sharp edges must be avoided (Figures 12.1 Keep a constant thickness on all contours of the part. Parting line details [7].5 degrees is recommended. Figure 10. preventing stress concentration in transition regions that can cause embrittlement (Figures 14. They must also be applied in the direction of the moulding of auxiliary movement systems in regions of texture application without detriment of final product quality and its extraction from the mould. Examples of the application of draft angle for moulding ejection [8]. 15). 13).1.

Types of different thickness transitions. These reinforcements can increase the rigidity of the part with little addition of mass and without compromising the process (Figures 19 and 20). In the cases which the variation of thickness of the part is inevitable. E represents shorter thickness [6].1 Addition of ribs is a common way to increase the rigidity of plastic parts without additional thickness (as shown at Figure 17). Recommended rib lay-out [9].7. 6 . Application recommended [8]. Figure 16.2.2 The addition of gussets for structural reinforcement in the regions of adjoining angled walls and internal details subjected to flexing. Figure 19. Figure 15. Examples of addition of gussets [5]. Apply constant thickness to corner radius on the part [9]. The positioning of the ribs in the products must follow the load direction to obtain better results of mechanical structure (Figure 18). Recommended profile for ribs [6]. Figure 18. Figure 14. a gradual transition as recommended as indicated in the last drawing of Figure 16. of constant thickness Figure 17.2. 7.2 Application of structural details considering: 7.

3 Elaboration of details for attachments and assembly considering: 7. 7. Example of living hinge design [8]. Figure 24.2 Addition of details for adhesion of components. etc. in the majority of the cases. Figure 23.7. It does not require other components and involves. to guarantee positioning in all the parts assembled (shown in Figure 25). push pins.3.2. preventing loss of time in the assembly process.7 Addition of details for alignment of the assembly.3 Addition of details for living hinges (Figure 22). 7.6 Addition of details for assembly locks (Figure 24). Recommended design for gussets [6]. only the mechanical effort of assembly. 7. riveting. presenting future problems on process involving premature breakage of mould tool (Figure 21). [7]. Figure 22. Example of part with problems of mass concentration and sink marks [5]. clips.1 Addition of details for specific attachments (threading. Example of pressure operated plastic locks 7. 7 . Figure 21. Examples of snap-fit design [10].3. The most common type of assembly currently applied to plastic parts.3.3.3 To avoid sharp or very close internal walls that can cause thin section regions in the core of the mould.).3. 7.3.4 Addition of details for metallic inserts in the part. Figure 20. disassembly and locking (Figure 23).5 Addition of details for assembly with snap-fits. 7. 7.3.

4 Optimization of the component based on the analyses results.The described sequence does not have to be a serial process.3 Evaluation mould tool functioning (try-out). Figure 26 demonstrates the stages of the sequence of development that can be related with the teams that compose the work and its activities in whole development time. to satisfy the necessities of the sector and accordingly to deal with the development of the injected components using the philosophy of concurrent engineering. the development of the activities and phases of the project must be in parallel. 8 Analysis and simulation of detailed geometry: 8. 7. processes.1 Rheological analysis. 9. 8. This methodology provides a reduction in the total time of development and makes possible improvement of the product quality [4]. as shown previously in Figure 2. exemplified by Malloy (1994).2 Initial phase of production. as well as the study of literature.1 Analysis of performance of the prototype. production tooling and manufacture. etc.). of inquiries and the research carried out in this area. 8. involving the engineering departments of product. 8. thermal. Figure 26.8 Addition of details for welded junctions (sonic weld. 10. vibration. heat. the implantation of concurrent engineering in a development process requires integrating tools that make possible a higher degree of information synergy between the work teams. It is possible to associate the stages of development sequence of injected plastic components in the automotive industry with the different phases of the project. Figure 25.4 Interaction between different analyses. structural.3 Evaluation of the results of the analyses. in which each activity would be completed after the termination of the previous one.3.2. Example of alignment feature design [11].2. 10 Phases of Prototypes: 10.1 Study of the conditions of component function. Detailed concurrent engineering applied in plastic products development. 9 Manufacture of tooling for first prototypes: 9. 8. With the application of the techniques of simultaneous engineering.2. the activities can often being carried out by different teams of professionals. The proposition of this methodology is generated from observation of the practice for designing automotive injected plastic components. induction. in view of the fact.2 Determination of the types of analyses to be carried out (rheological.2 Support for manufacture of the mould tool.2. 8. With the objective to reflect the relations between the involved fields of knowledge in this activity.2 Structural analysis. 9. 8.1 Revision of the product for manufacturing process.3 Thermal analysis. 8 . On the other hand. etc): 8. in other words.

Brazil. Injection moulding design guidelines. [4] Bahia. The triumph of plastics in automotive segment.This concurrent engineering technique in this study is applied to the long one of the complete process of development of products. [3] FERREIRA.V.. Bayer and plastic transformation companies. Accessed on January 16th 2006. G. A. [11] BONENBERGER. The 10 more tips of design – Available from: http://www. Integrated product development. Methodology for the phases of informational and conceptual design of injected plastic components integrating the design processes and cost estimates. Available from http://www. Available from: http://www. Research article. Accessed on January 16th 2006.B. [2] A series of plastic part design archives. 9 . PhD thesis. Mascarenhas (2002) and Santos (2004) [12. Polithecnic School.N. P. 2002. developed in shorter periods of time.. at least. This process of continuous improvement and optimization of the design comes to face up to a competitive global market with a greater variation of automotive products for even more demanding consumers. Master engineer dissertation. A great improvement in final product quality is possible.A. ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSIONS Nowadays. In some examples it will not be possible to incorporate all the design improvements. Santa Catarina. Brazil.B.. Plastic part design for injection moulding. Accessed on June 3rd 2006. for example GE Plastics. C.. [5] IMM MAGAZINE. in the case the suppliers of autoparts that work on product development together with the automakers. Accessed on May 5th 2005. 2004.V. Federal University of Santa Catarina. Introduction to plastics technology and injection moulding design.13] also analyze its application in a more detailed way e. The first snap-fit handbook. Course given for PTI Engenharia e Projetos. Available from: http://www. Ed. [8] SANTOS. evaluating the interaction and execution of each activity in such work.A. Accessed on April 10th 2004. the work presents an optional method for developing automotives products focused on injection moulded plastic component design based on specialized literatures and practical experiences of automotive designs for interiors and exteriors parts of the vehicles. Federal University of Santa Catarina.immnet. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The authors also express its gratitude for the support and help to PTI Engenharia e Projetos LTDA. Munich. Design guide for injection moulding 2005. Development of injection mould and process planning of thin walled plastic part with application of concurrent engineering: a case study. [6] DSM ENGINEERING PLASTICS. product engineering in automotive industries makes use of innumerable tools that assist the development with quality. [7] GE PLASTICS. increase understanding in the thermoplastic component design good practices. G. [9] BAYER S. Bahia Federal University.. REFERENCES [1] QUICKPLAST. [10] DUPONT S. Brazil.. Presentation in the week of product development at SenaiCimatec. focused in the phase of tooling engineering (injection mould design). Systematization of the process of dimensional lay-out injection moulded plastic components. Munich.A. C. Available at: . Santa Catarina. Hanser 1994. making possible the development of vehicles with cost and mass reduction. Despite the design process of a plastic component is complex. The objective of proposals shown on this paper is to minimize costs and avoid possible problems occurrences in the injection mould performance. but these recommendations will. General design guidelines.R. [12] MASCARENHAS.. W.pecasplasticas.bayer. [13] SANTOS. Brazil. Hanser. Ed.A. Brazil 2006. Available from: http://www. with the application of multidisciplinary teams working a simultaneous engineering technique.geplastics. this article shows simple techniques used in companies specialized in thermoplastic material manufacturing.dsm. Faced with this panorama. .dupont. Accessed on March 13th 2006. 2000. 2004.. This methodology can provide reduction of the total time of development. Ford Motor Company (Brazil) and Polytechnic School – University of São Paulo (Brazil) that have contributed to conclude this paper. R..

e-mail: gcandido@ptiengenharia. e-mail: Marcos R. e-mail: mmelo@ptiengenharia. Santos .com 10 . B.PTI Engenharia e Projetos Gustavo A.Msc .Msc . Candido. de Melo . F. e-mail: gusbusson@hotmail.PTI Engenharia e Projetos LTDA.PTI Engenharia e Projetos LTDA.PTI Engenharia e Projetos LTDA.AUTHORS Guido Filippo Santolia Jr.

ISSN 0148-7191 © Copyright 2006 Society of Automotive Engineers. contact the SAE Publications Group. To request permission to reprint a technical paper or permission to use copyrighted SAE publications in other works. that the copier pay a $ 7. Inc. Quantity reprint rates can be obtained from the Customer Sales and Satisfaction Department. All SAE papers. Direct your orders to SAE Customer Sales and Satisfaction Department. Copyright Law. for creating new collective works.00 per article copy fee through the Copyright Clearance Center. This consent does not extend to other kinds of copying such as copying for general distribution. SAE. Danvers. A process is available by which discussions will be printed with the paper if it is published in SAE Transactions. standards. Positions and opinions advanced in this paper are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of SAE. The author is solely responsible for the content of the paper.S. Inc. Engineering Meetings Board. or for resale. For permission to publish this paper in full or in part. 222 Rosewood Drive. in an electronic retrieval system or otherwise. MA 01923 for copying beyond that permitted by Sections 107 or 108 of U. without the prior written permission of the publisher. for advertising or promotional purposes.The appearance of the ISSN code at the bottom of this page indicates SAE’s consent that copies of the paper may be made for personal or internal use of specific clients. Operations Center. and selected books are abstracted and indexed in the Global Mobility Database. Persons wishing to submit papers to be considered for presentation or publication through SAE should send the manuscript or a 300 word abstract of a proposed manuscript to: Secretary. SAE routinely stocks printed papers for a period of three years following date of publication. . contact the SAE Publications Group. This consent is given on the condition however. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful