Gear selector lever
The automotive industry increasingly requires fiber-reinforced plastics which, in addition to high dimensional stability, possess high transverse stiffness and strength combined with easy processability. This requirement profile is met by Grivory GVX from Ems-Chemie AG, Domat/Ems, Switzerland. It is therefore ideal for replacing traditional metal applications.
For the automotive designer, Grivory GVX is a highly reliable product. Water absorption, which typically occurs with polyamides, occurs only to a very limited degree in this semi-crystalline, partially aromatic material. When conditioned, its stiffness declines by only around 5 % or less, with the exact figure depending on the degree of reinforcement. Thanks to the significantly improved fiber-matrix bond, the transverse stiffness of Grivory GVX is 26 % greater than that of a similar product. This gain in isotropic properties takes the replacement of metals, especially lightweight metals, to a new dimension.
Furthermore, warpage has been reduced by more than 50 % with Grivory GVX. This is supported by recent results, not only from Moldflow simulations, but also from measurements on test specimens and actual components. Another milestone with regard to injection molding is that, for example, a material having a fiber reinforcement of 60 % has the same flow properties as a glass-fiber reinforced material with 50 %. This makes for great flexibility and no compromises need to be made in the tensile elastic modulus (up to 28 GPa) or breaking strength (300 MPa). Given a plastic-compatible component design, it is thus possible to attain strengths rivaling those of lightweight metal components.
A typical automotive application for Grivory GVX-65H with 65 % glass fiber reinforcement is the gear selector lever for an automatic gearbox, manufactured by Leopold Kostal. Similar components can usually only be made in die-cast zinc at the moment.
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