2014-03-12 15:24:39 -
Mannheim, Germany, 03/10/2014 – The automobile industry is looking for the perfect balance between different needs. On the one hand, there is a high demand for improved engine response, enhanced fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. However, this demand can only be satisfied using additional technical components – and weight, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions increase as a result. Röchling Automotive has developed a turbocharged air duct which perfectly meets the needs for better engine response as well as improved fuel economy and reduced emissions. Featuring a significant weight reduction and an optimized space-saving architecture, this environmentally friendly application is 100% recyclable. The air duct is currently in successful use in 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline and diesel engines produced by a German
premium car manufacturer and has been presented with the prestigious SPE (Society of Plastics Engineers) Innovation Award in the “powertrain” category.
Enhancing Performance and Comfort
Röchling Automotive’s award-winning solution transports the air into the engine after it has been compressed by the turbocharger and cooled down by the charge air cooler. The turbocharged air duct weighs 1.4 kg less than its predecessor. This is partly the result of a reduced number of parts, for example due to the omission of several rubber hoses and metal clamps. Thanks to the more compact design, it was possible to reduce the packaging space in the engine compartment. Also, vibrations or movements of the air duct are now absorbed by the whole component instead of this happening at certain specified positions only, so it was also possible to reduce the distance to other parts.
In addition, the quality improves significantly because the risk of leakage at the connections virtually no longer exists as the number of connections has been reduced considerably.
Since the air duct is able to decouple engine movements from the intercooler by itself, there was no need to design bellows for this solution.
Here’s Dr. Ing. Fabrizio Chini, who is responsible for the engine air intake product line at Röchling Automotive: “This design reduces pressure losses and the turbine work necessary at high engine loads, and this in turn saves energy for the pumping work done inside the turbocharger while maintaining the same boost pressure at the air-intake valves. Additionally, we rearranged the acoustic properties in a positive way
Innovative Design Meets High Quality
Advanced net-shape processing allows pre-formed components to be built in order to skip trimming phases such as the trimming of sensor seat and resonator, and it saves material resources too. Additionally, there is no need for an internal protection layer to shield the material from exposure to acidic blow-by fluids. This high-performance thermoplastic isomer (TPE) consisting of alkyl acrylate copolymer (ACM, acrylic rubber) and polyamide 6 (PA6) combines the positive properties of two materials in one composite. Compared to the kind of rubber used for similar applications, the specific rubber phase is more oil-, grease- and heat resistant, it improves flex fatigue properties and it ensures flexibility at low temperatures, while the polyamide plastic phase is easy to process. This compound effortlessly withstands 2.7 bars of overpressure at 125 degrees Celsius, making it meet the highest possible demands in terms of physical resistance. In contrast to other types of rubber, both materials are fully recyclable, so they reduce overall costs dramatically.
Taking the Next Step in a Longstanding Tradition of Awards
As a symbol of excellence, Röchling Automotive has been presented with an award for its innovative turbocharged air duct by the Society of Plastics Engineers, which consists of the leading experts in plastics manufacturing worldwide. In the course of a festive gala evening, the German supplier received the award in the category “powertrain” from the SPE Automotive Division in Detroit in November 2013. Winners of the 43rd SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Competition were chosen on the basis of a prequalification round as well as presentations made before a panel of experts from industry.
This award is the fifth step in Röchling Automotive’s history with regard to SPE Awards. As a result of innovative developments and many years of consistent high-quality manufacturing, the plastics specialist has already received one US SPE Award and three European SPE Awards.
About the Röchling Group
The globally operating Röchling Group stands for competence in plastics with more than 7,500 employees at 60 plants in 20 countries. With their two divisions High-Performance Plastics and Automotive Plastics, the company focusses on processing high-grade plastics to fabricate semi-finished products, parts and systems for a host of industrial applications.
Röchling stands for innovative products and cutting-edge technology in processing technical plastics.
The High-Performance Plastics division has a product spectrum ranging from semi-finished products, such as sheets, rods, tubes and plates, profiles and casted parts right up to machined finished components.
The Automotive Plastics division supplies automotive manufacturers and system suppliers throughout the world with technologically sophisticated plastic applications used to solve the ongoing challenges of the automotive industry: reducing weight, consumption and emissions, and optimizing costs.