(GMT) have been around for years now, finding a home in automotive interiors
among other applications. But these materials, which consist of short
glass-fiber mat in various thermoplastic base resins, have not made any headway
automotive components where cosmetic, structural, and production concerns have
so far limited their appeal.
Take the Wheel- Automotive
plastics have come a long way from their early days in the carís
less-than-critical components. And today, plastics routinely see use in vital
underhood or structural applications whose mechanical or thermal requirements
would have called for a metal not so long ago. Materials advances over the years
have helped propel plastics into this growing role.
What are the major materials issues confronting design engineers
key issue is accounting for the effects on material of the forming process. For
example, short glass fiber reinforcement increases the stiffness of plastic and
when you mold the material, the final orientation of the glass fibers determines
the properties. With flow analysis, we can predict the final orientation and
then calculate the modulus in different directions. This information can then be
used for structural analysis.
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