Magna recognized at 2018 SPE Automotive Awards
Magna received three first-place awards at the 2018 Society of Plastics Engineers Automotive Awards gala in recognition of its lightweighting efforts enabled by advanced materials.
Magna (Troy, MI, US) was awarded three first-place awards at the 2018 Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive Awards gala held on July 6 in Dusseldorf, Germany. In recognition of its lightweighting efforts enabled by advanced materials, Magna's thermoplastic liftgate for the 2019 Jeep Cherokee won the body exterior category; its carbon fiber subframe prototype won the chassis category; and its torsional welding joining process won in the enabling technology category.
Composite liftgate modules are reported to achieve up to 25% mass savings over steel versions. Composite materials allow for greater design flexibility with deeper draws and tighter radii.
The carbon fiber subframe is the result of an ongoing joint R&D project with Ford Motor Company. The prototype subframe is said to achieve an 82% part reduction by replacing 45 steel parts with two molded parts and six steel parts, as well as a 34% mass savings compared to a subframe made of stamped steel. Vehicle-level testing is currently underway.
Torsional welding joins plastic brackets to thermoplastic fascia with a high-speed twisting motion that creates enough friction-based heat to meld them together. The process is currently used for the front fascia of the 2017 Skoda Octavia in Europe, and there are plans to use it soon in the North American market.
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