Recyclable thermoplastic composites liftgates offer weight savings
Magna to launch two more thermoplastic liftgates this year.
Magna (Troy, MI, US) has launched two thermoplastic liftgates this year – on the 2019 Jeep Cherokee and 2019 Acura RDX. The company has announced it will launch two more later this year in China.
"Magna's thermoplastic liftgate modules answer the growing demand for products that help automakers cut vehicle weight, improve fuel efficiency, reduce CO2 emissions, extend electric vehicle battery range, and improve aerodynamics," says Magna Exteriors president Grahame Burrow.
Magna’s liftgates use a long glass fiber polypropylene (LGFPP) for the inner panel that is 40% glass reinforced. According to Magna, reinforcing details are often added to the inner panel in the form of metallic (steel or aluminum), additional LGFPP pieces, glass or carbon reinforced mats or tapes or hybrids of any of these, placed in high stress areas. Outer panels are typically talc reinforced, high modulus, low coefficient of linear thermal expansion (CLTE), thermoplastic olefins (TPOs).
Continuous Compression Molding process produces structures 30 percent lighter than aluminum at costs that have both Airbus and Boeing sold.
Oven-cured, vacuum-bagged prepregs show promise in production primary structures.
Suppliers of thermoplastics and carbon fiber chime in regarding PEEK vs. PEKK, and now PAEK, as well as in-situ consolidation — the supply chain for thermoplastic tape composites continues to evolve.