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News

Ford's first thermoplastic grill opening reinforcement able to endure e-coating process

Du Pont Engineering Polymers : 07 October, 2002  (New Product)
Ford Motor Company and Venture Industries combined design innovation with the outstanding heat, strength and dimensional stability of DuPont Rynite PET polyester resin to produce Ford's first thermoplastic grill opening reinforcement that can withstand the heat of the e-coating curing process. The new one-piece GOR also delivers significant weight savings compared to a thermoset sheet molding compound component. The new GOR debuts on the redesigned 2003 Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition.
Ford Motor Company and Venture Industries combined design innovation with the outstanding heat, strength and dimensional stability of DuPont Rynite PET polyester resin to produce Ford's first thermoplastic grill opening reinforcement that can withstand the heat of the e-coating curing process. The new one-piece GOR also delivers significant weight savings compared to a thermoset sheet molding compound component. The new GOR debuts on the redesigned 2003 Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition.

Using Rynite helps lower complexity and reduces assembly time by eliminating the need for labor intensive drilling and trimming steps required by a SMC GOR. The end result is a robust e-coat capable, one-piece thermoplastic GOR that provides a solid foundation for headlights and other key front-end parts.

'The GOR is crucial for the fit and alignment of key vehicle front end components,' said Nick Stanziola of Venture Industries. 'The excellent strength and resistance to warpage from Rynite helps ensure essential parts, such as headlights, stay properly focused and fenders line up precisely with the hood.'

The unique crystalline structure of Rynite delivers high resistance to heat sag which helps reduce warpage to ensure the GOR returns to its original shape after the material expands and contracts during e-coat baking. This kind of stability protects long-term component fit and improves durability by avoiding material degradation. DuPont technicians worked closely with Venture and Ford engineers to help ensure the GOR remained within tolerances during the extreme 376 degree Fahrenheit heat conditions of e-coating. DuPont used its manufacturing expertise and material knowledge to help reduce part-production cycle time. Technicians worked with Venture to refine a customized water-cooling process for the mold and decreased the cooling time from eight to two minutes.

The success of this GOR program may also open more opportunities for high-heat resistant thermoplastics in demanding body and chassis applications.

'This application demonstrates there is still a great deal of unrealized potential for high-performance thermoplastics in the automotive industry,' said Ken Hines of DuPont. 'DuPont is ready to focus and apply our expertise in polymer formulation, component design, and manufacturing to improve total part economics and function.'
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