Replacing rubber in an engine cradle mount with DuPont Hytrel TPC/ET thermoplastic elastomer reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions 95% as well as cost and weight, according to DuPont.
The component, debuting on the 2011 Ford Focus C-MAX compact multi-activity vehicle, was named finalist in the 2010 SPE Most Innovative Use of Plastics award in the Chassis/hardware category. ThyssenKrupp Tallent Ltd, Aycliffe (England), also was honored.
As introduced, in this application, Hytrel thermoplastic elastomer is molded into a net shape and then severely compressed during assembly. As a result, the material property is changed, significantly enhancing its elasticity to provide greater damping than the rubber it replaces. “Sometimes the true nature of a material extends the performance data sheet,” said Mariusz Makowski, development representative for DuPont Performance Polymers in Poland. “That is one of the benefits of engaging the materials team early in a program as we can see the many dimensions of performance.”
DuPont says Hytrel exhibits hysteresis phenomena in that it remembers its shape despite severe compression, allowing it to deliver in ways that far exceed rubber in this application. The characteristics of Hytrel – often the balance of stiffness and elasticity – have helped redefine the role of the CVJ boot and airbag door. It is often used in air duct systems and was a 2007 SPE powertrain category finalist for delivering a dual baffle and sealing function in two transmission systems.
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