Lightweight and Inexpensive
The Front-End Carrier in the VW Golf 7 is made entirely of plastic. The material in question is polyamide 6 (grade: Ultramid B3WG8, manufacturer: BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany). It replaces the previous polypropylene hybrid part and sheet steel parts that were attached afterwards. Compared with the previous model, the plastic carrier is lighter and saves on costs as a result. The product was designed with the aid of Ultrasim, a simulation tool. Volkswagen produces the part in-house.
In addition to limited space for installation, the part must withstand static and dynamic latch failure caused by not closing the hood properly or slamming it closed. The stiffness and vibration behavior of the system, consisting of front-end and radiator, were optimized by computer-aided engineering (CAE) analyzes and verified in an actual shaking test.
The front end has also been fitted with crash sensors that will deploy the airbag at the right moment in the event of a collision. This requires that the plastic part exhibit dynamic stiffness at a defined location and satisfy an automaker’s crash acceleration requirements. In the test, the vibration response of the front-end carrier matched the predicted and designed response.
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