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Metal-Polymer Hybrid Injection Mouldings for Lightweighting

Injection moulding is a mass manufacturing technique for plastic components. WMG has a range of these machines which enable us to produce a size range of components of commercial quality.

 

Research Challenge

To create a process for combining the strength properties of metal with the design flexibility and durability of plastic.

The research effort concentrated on selection of the metal interface with the appropriate plastic to ensure full adhesion and provide compatible thermal expansion of the two different materials. Although the process is applicable to various metals, the initial investigation with steel has demonstrated the enormous potential from combinations of these materials.

Outcomes

Panels were produced that can be integrated into a vehicle without major changes to assembly procedures. They sustain the high temperatures of the e-coating process and the metal could be pre-coated so as to avoid paint shops. Plastic encapsulation of the cut edges will protect the metal from corrosion.

The result is an automotive panel that saves weight and performs many functions of assembly, fixing, sound deadening and enhanced impact properties.

Injection Moulding at WMG: