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Volkswagen and Dow Automotive have received an Innovation Award from the Society of Plastics Engineers International (SPE) in the Process/Assembly/Enabling Technologies category for the bonded hybrid front-end carrier, which has recently gone into series production in Europe on the new Polo.
Judging criteria focused on how well the innovation could support the product development effort.
The bonded hybrid front-end carrier is a Dow Automotive technology which consists of an INSPIRE long glass fibre polypropylene front-end carrier bonded with BETAMATE low energy substrate adhesive (LESA) to an e-coated steel reinforcement part. Unlike more traditional hybrid solutions, this design incorporates a closed box section not possible with traditional overmolding techniques, enabling maximum stiffness with minimum weight. By using BETAMATE LESA, materials with low surface energies can be bonded to dissimilar substrates without the use of pre-treatment.
For the new Polo, the bonded hybrid front-end carrier solution enabled Volkswagen to meet its demanding cost targets, reducing weight by 25 percent while improving the overall mechanical performance. In addition, this hybrid (plastic-to-metal) solution offers improved flexibility, allowing for the implementation of design changes late in the product development phase. The application has been developed by a team of experts from Dow Automotive, Volkswagen and part producer Simoldes Plasticos. The part is currently running in series production in Portugal and Poland.
Now in its 35th year, the SPE Innovation Awards Gala is one of the oldest and most prestigious recognition events for the automotive and plastics industries. SPE’s Automotive Division is active in educating, promoting, recognizing, and communicating technical accomplishments for all phases of plastics and plastic based-composite developments in the global transportation industry.
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