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The benefits of using thermoplastic composites for automotive throttle body applications was the topic presented by several Visteon (NYSE: VC) engineers to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) 2001 World Congress last week.
Historically, throttle bodies, which control airflow to the engine, have been made from machined die cast aluminum. Research behind Visteon’s technical paper, titled “”Lightweight Thermoplastic Composite Throttle Bodies for Car and Truck Applications,”” illustrated how replacing these metal systems with lightweight thermoplastics can be more beneficial in demanding under-hood applications.
“”One of the fundamental challenges automotive engineers face is finding ways to cut total system costs and the overall weight of today’s vehicles,”” said Mike Rabideau, a Visteon Senior Plastics Engineer. “”Lightweight thermoplastics meet both of these requirements, which is why we designed thermoplastic throttle bodies.””
The paper outlined many additional advantages of using thermoplastic composite for throttle body applications including: increased design flexibility enabling improved throttle body functionality; improved throttle body packaging in the engine compartment; reduction in throttle body assembly weight, improving vehicle fuel economy; simplified manufacturing process and reduction in required manufacturing floor space and flow paths; reduction in in-process inventories and scrap; reduction in direct labor; and reduction in overall tooling costs, including tooling wear.
Visteon Corporation is a leading full-service supplier that delivers consumer-driven technology solutions to automotive manufacturers worldwide and through multiple channels within the global automotive aftermarket. Visteon has 80,000 employees and a global delivery system of more than 130 technical, manufacturing, sales, and service facilities located in 25 countries.
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