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BASF has entered the Chinese automotive industry to supply a 33 percent glass-fibre reinforced polyamide resin (sold under the name Capron) to First Auto Works.
The resin will be used for moulding into the thermoplastic air intake manifold (AIM) installed in the Hongqi sedan.
The thermoplastic AIM is claimed to significantly reduce fuel consumption due to the improved airflow in the smooth walled plastic part compared with its metal predecessor. The unit will be part of a four-cylinder engine fitted to the next-generation of FAW’s flagship Hongqi sedan which is due to be launched in mid-2004.
The injection mould being used to form the Hongqi’s AIM was built in Korea and requires vibration welding to connect the three parts of the complex structure. The polymer must withstand contact with hot air at 120 C for sustained periods as well as peak temperatures of 150 C.
“That the AIM is now ready for production is in large part thanks to the efforts of engineers in Korea, USA and China who carried out structural, warpage and vibration analyses for us, as well as burst pressure tests. BASF’s computer simulations of the part’s vibration and warpage behavior also proved accurate,” says HI Park, BASF Korea’s Market Development Manager.
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