Case Studies

How process-simulation solved cracking at Fiat-Chrysler

Air-vent module K4 Frame Fiat Chrysler

Problem analysis supports the application of Trinseo products

We at Trinseo are behind every of our products. And many cases prove their quality enhancing application, e.g. in matters of mechanical performance and lightweight. 

In the case at hand, Trinseo’s involvement did not only start with supplying the structural Polymer ENLITE™ PP-LGF. We also stepped in to find solutions, when the Chinese tier-2 supplier of our customer was confronted with cracking problems: The air-vent module K4 Frame that gives Fiat-Chrysler cars asset aerodynamics, broke predominantly in areas where the fibre orientation is extreme, such as at the gates and weld-lines.

Air-vent module K4 Frame Fiat Chrysler

Our Senior Development Specialist Berend Hoek got to the bottom of the issue using process simulation software. Following the hypothesis that the part cracks in those areas where the fibres do not mix properly, he simulated different injection points and filling patterns to find alternative solutions for our long-term customer Magna.

Lowering the filling rate for a two in one advantage

The process simulation revealed, that the air-vent module burst in the areas where the PP-LGF entered too rapidly. So Berend’s suggestion was: Regulating the filling process will lead to a more homogeneous and even distribution, with less extreme orientation of the glass fibers and thereby giving the part more strength. In a second analysis, he found out that lowering the filling rate would also lower the warpage of the part – a great advantage for the rotating and closing lamella of the air-vent module.

The simulation further indicated that the lowest shear rate possible resulted in the best stability for the part.

Air-vent module K4 Frame Fiat Chrysler

If you would like to know more about this project, don not hesitate to contact our expert:

Berend Hoek, Senior Design Specialist