In the car interior of the latest Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator, a composite dual-wall-dash engine shroud reduces powertrain sound, vibration and harshness.
At its 190,000-square-foot plant in Conneaut, Ohio, close the Pennsylvania border, Continental Structural Plastics, the Japanese-owned composite provider based in suburban Detroit, manufactures the portion.
The Conneaut plant has 260 employees and celebrates its 50th anniversary in service. For automotive and industrial clients, the plant produces structural composite components.
The firm said the industry-first composite shroud has several benefits over all-steel parts used in other cars, including moldability and flexibility in layout for apps for under-the-hood packaging.
The compound composite of 5.4 kg (12 pounds), four-piece sheet moulding, offers an enhanced sound barrier and is heavier than a comparable printed steel component, the firm said.
Bryan Ludwig, manager of company growth for Continental Structural Plastics, commented that because of these characteristics and the design flexibility they provide, composites are an excellent option for a variety of under-the-hood apps. Since the glass fibre material is a thermoset, it provides greater heat characteristics than metal and can be made small enough to fit into the narrow areas discovered in the engine room.
At the driving dynamics laboratory of the automaker in Dearborn, Michigan, Continental Structural Plastics developed the SMC composite engine shroud with Ford, where it performs NVH testing for different settings.
The 2020 Explorer — launched at the Detroit car show previously this year — is produced at the Ford assembly facility in Chicago.
“By using our composite materials, we are continually searching for ways to assist our clients to fulfil design and engineering difficulties,” said Steve Rooney, CEO of Continental Structural Plastics. “Because of the superior damping characteristics provided by a composite, Ford has been prepared to obtain a standard of cabin tranquillity that will improve the riding experience for Explorer and[ Lincoln] Aviator users.”
Continental Structural Plastics is a subsidiary of Teijin in Japan and is not associated with Continental, a diverse German car manufacturer.l.