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K2010

Turning Metal into Plastic


- Challenges, Solutions, Benefits

Edwin Verhorst
Jos van Laerhoven
Outline

1. Introduction
• New application development challenges
• Perceptions about metal replacement
• Materials
• Metal conversion processes
2. Overview of Die Cast Replacement
• Advantages/disadvantages
• Benefits of plastics vs. DC metals
3. Overview of Sheet Metal Replacement
• Advantages/disadvantages
• Single sheet metal part vs. SM assemblies
• Understanding and attacking SM assemblies
4. Examples
5. Wrap-up/Summary

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Today’s Application Development Challenges

• World-wide product take back legislation


• More emphasis on life cycle management
• End of life pressures driving the need for
easy disassembly & recycle
• Demand increasing for sustainable
content
– Post consumer recycle, bio-based
• Demand for higher material performance
• Continued push for COST-OUT

New design requirements


challenge existing materials

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Myth or Fact about Plastics?

Metal
• Plastics cannot compete in structural
applications based on modulus/strength
• Plastics do not perform well at elevated
temperatures
• Plastics are an insulator and can not dissipate
heat
• Plastics are not conductive and can not be used Plastic
for EMI/RFI applications
• It is difficult to powder coat plastics
• Metal is more environmentally friendly

Historically, the above statements are true


…..
But material developments are changing
game!

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Turning Metal into Plastic is Straightforward …

Providing that you:


• Clearly define and
understand the
application requirements
• Identify the basic Opportunities
weaknesses of the exist …..
incumbent conversion
technology and material Identification
is the key !
• Build a strong value
proposition as it pertains
to the application
• Select the right material

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Three Factors that Drive Metal Replacement

1. Cost out
2. Performance enhancement
3. Product differentiation

… or a combination of the 3

Importance of each driver is highly dependent on the market


segment

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Understand the Competition
Four basic metal conversion processes
1. Machined metal
2. Die casting
3. Sheet metal stamping
– Single sheet metal parts
– Sheet metal assemblies – producing complex shapes from
simple sheet metal shapes
4. Extrusion – continuous profile

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Die Casting
Die Casting
Tool Life Comparison
• Common materials: 1000

Tool Life [*1000 shots]


– Zinc - small parts (<200 g) 750
– Aluminum
– Magnesium 500

– Brass/Copper 250

• DC mold is slightly less expensive 0


Zinc Magnesium Aluminium ETPs
than IM
• Should consider cost of trimming dies Advantage Metal: Advantage Plastic:
and machining fixtures as part of • Castings requiring
• Net cast parts –
tooling investment for DC no secondary secondary ops.
operations – Trimming
• Tool life - significant advantage for required
plastics – Drilling/taping
• Applications
designed for – Dimensional
• 2 strategies for tight tolerance parts stiffness machining
– High accuracy mold – • Geometries with – Assembly
requires high tool maintenance very thick w/fasteners
sections
– Low accuracy mold – – Paint
significant secondary machining • Tool life

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Key Considerations

• 1 for 1 material replacement is not Ultem* resin


uncommon 290 g

• Stiffness can be enhanced by slight Throttle


geometry modifications Body
• Operating temperature needs to be
considered
Aluminum
• Primary areas to drive cost-out 600 g
– Improve assembly efficiency by
the elimination of separate
fasteners Metal
– Elimination of secondary
operations Hospital
 Washing Bed Pedal
 Trimming
 Sanding/filling Verton* resin
 Painting
• Consider die cast mold conversions for
prototyping

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Sheet Metal Stamping


Single Part

Materials used:
• Low carbon steel
• Stainless steel – specialty products
• Special alloy grades of steel
• Aluminum

Advantage Metal: Advantage Plastic:


• High priority on cost … nothing else • Medium volume
• Simple geometry • Performance deficiencies
• Very high volume – progressive dies – Weight
• Little emphasis on styling/design/aesthetics – Dent/impact resistance
– Corrosion resistance
• High stiffness/strength & limited space
– Electrical insulation
• Large parts, low to medium volume
– Paint elimination
• Desire for more design freedom

Cost-out difficult to achieve with simple sheet metal


parts

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Assemblies

Materials used:
• Low carbon steel
• Stainless steel – specialty products
• Special alloy grades of steel
• Aluminum

Advantage Metal: Advantage Plastic:


• High volume – simple configuration – • Multiple sub-components
minimal assembly
• Medium volume – complicated
• High level of factory automation assembly
• Multiple fasteners
• Welding/finishing/painting –
highly aesthetic parts

Sheet metal assemblies can offer many opportunities


for cost-out and simplification

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Considerations

Primary areas to drive cost-out: Secondary:


• System simplification • Product differentiation
- Combining multiple parts
• Weight reduction
- Removal of fasteners
- Assembly time reduction • Corrosion resistance
• Functional integration • Dent resistance
•Aesthetics,
Eliminate secondary
Quality & System-Cost operations
Reduction • Scratch resistance
- Welding/grinding
• Noise dampening
- Painting
- Labels

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Sheet Metal Assemblies …. How to Get Started?

• Identify goals …. Aesthetics, cost-out, weight reduction,


environmental impact
• Understanding the application … Initiate a “teardown” exercise
– Disassemble the full product and sub-assemblies
– Understand functionality of all components
– Clearly document individual components and assembly methods
– Brainstorm design alternatives
– Prioritize ideas – safe, reach, stretch
– Initiate technical feasibility assessment for high priority ideas
• Teardowns most effective with cross-functional teams – design,
manufacturing, molder, material supplier

Successful teardowns require a team effort

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Maximize Advantages – Use DFMA Principles

1. Reducing number of parts


– Parts consolidation
– Fastener reduction
2. Improve assembly efficiencies
– Reduce the need for secondary
operations
– Simplify assembly methods –
snap fits, press-fits, heat staking
– Eliminate sanding, grinding,
painting
3. Optimize part handling
– Consider designs that limit
assembly orientation options
– Minimize added handling
difficulties

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Example: Part Count Reduction

Ask the following questions about each part . . .

Must parts move Must parts be Would combination of


relative made of different parts prevent further
to each other? materials? assembly or
disassembly?

If all three answers are “No”, the part is a candidate for elimination

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Examples
Goal: Cost and Weight Reduction
Surface box lid

Original in cast iron: Re-design:


•Corrosion •Colors possible
•Heavy weight •Weight saving > 8 kg
•High energy cost •UV resistant
•Theft risk •Less transport cost

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Goal: Cost Reduction, Assembly Simplification
Medical chassis

Existing: 13 piece metal chassis assembly (Purchase price = €200)


Proposal: 2 piece molded plastic chassis (rough estimate = € 56)
Decision: Potential cost saving warrants detailed feasibility study

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Goal: Cost Out, Equivalent Performance
Heavy truck side fairing support structure

Original Assembly Included 9 Parts One piece molded structure


• 2 die-cast aluminum stabilizers Fastening clips, releasing handles
• 2 fiberglass extruded frame bars and locking pins assembled during
molding cycle
• 1 painted stamped steel brace
• 4 painted stamped steel brackets
Savings = €60 and 5 kg per
truck
• labor intensive assembly

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Summary

• New material technologies exist to tackle today’s


challenges
• Die cast metal parts offer good opportunities. Assess the
following performance requirements first:
– Thermal Management (inside out)
– Shielding
– Heat Requirements
– Stiffness, strength, creep resistance
• Simple sheet metal parts offer little opportunity, if cost is
main driver
• Sheet metal assemblies are worth looking at closely.
More difficult to assess the real opportunity without going
through a teardown.

Metal replacement continues to


offer growth opportunities

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Disclaimer

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SUBSIDIARIES AND AFFILIATES (“SELLER”), ARE SOLD SUBJECT TO SELLER’S STANDARD CONDITIONS
OF SALE, WHICH CAN BE FOUND AT http://www.sabic-ip.com AND ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST.
ALTHOUGH ANY INFORMATION OR RECOMMENDATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH,
SELLER MAKES NO WARRANTY OR GUARANTEE, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, (i) THAT THE RESULTS
DESCRIBED HEREIN WILL BE OBTAINED UNDER END-USE CONDITIONS, OR (ii) AS TO THE
EFFECTIVENESS OR SAFETY OF ANY DESIGN INCORPORATING SELLER’S PRODUCTS, SERVICES OR
RECOMMENDATIONS. EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SELLER’S STANDARD CONDITIONS OF SALE, SELLER
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SERVICES DESCRIBED HEREIN. Each user is responsible for making its own determination as to the
suitability of Seller’s products, services or recommendations for the user’s particular use through
appropriate end-use testing and analysis. Nothing in any document or oral statement shall be deemed
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SABIC Innovative Plastics is a trademark of Sabic Holding Europe BV


*Trademark of SABIC Innovative Plastics IP BV

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