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News

Lightweight for tough work

Bayer MaterialScience AG : 30 March, 2005  (Company News)
Bodywork parts for agricultural vehicles have to be robust, lightweight and attractive. Not only that, their production also has to be cost-effective. The design of the engine hood for the new
To produce the engine hood, a robust thermoplastic film was combined with the Baydur® 110 glass fiber-reinforced polyurethane integral skin foam system from Bayer MaterialScience AG to form a high-performance composite. The part is manufactured by GMP Poliuretani S.p.A. of Oderzo, Italy.

“Our Foiled FiberPur Technology (FFT) really showed its mettle in the production of the engine hood,” says Guido Furlanetto, head of marketing at GMP. This patented process is based on a sophisticated technology in which thermoformed thermoplastic films are back-injected with a glass fiber-reinforced polyurethane.

“Polyurethane back-injection makes the molded part extremely strong. At the same time, this method retains all the benefits of versatile polyurethane RIM technology, as the molded parts can be manufactured in very complex geometries with significant variations in wall thickness,” says Furlanetto. Thanks to the high stiffness brought about by the glass fiber reinforcement, the molded parts can be designed with thinner walls than non-reinforced PUR-RIM components. The components are only reinforced where necessary. This not only helps reduce their weight, but also contributes to increasing the cost-effectiveness of production. Measuring 1.0 x 0.6 x 0.6 meters, the engine hood weighs just 14 kg, but meets all BCS's requirements in terms of impact strength.

Thanks to the high-quality surface of the colored film, the components look attractive and are already in the required color immediately after demolding. This means that time-intensive coating operations are no longer necessary – another important economic benefit.

As the liquid polyurethane mix is processed at low pressure, the molds can be made of aluminum. This cuts mold costs considerably compared to production with thermoplastics. “The combination of polyurethane, glass fibers and esthetic film meets all of our customer's technical requirements. And cost-effective processing is also a key competitive advantage,” says Guido Furlanetto.
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