The oil pan consists of a die-cast aluminium upper shell and a multifunctional lower shell made from glass-reinforced PA. According to DuPont, it is the first time an oil pan module made from a thermoplastic polymer is used for serial-produced cars.
The design assures the part’s stiffness at the same time as achieving a 1.1 kg weight reduction compared to a full aluminium design. In addition, production efficiency is increased due to the high flow of the heat stabilised, glass-fibre reinforced PA, enabling long flow distances, short injection times and the reliable moulding of thin-walled sections. A single, central gate was used to fill the mould cavity, permitting short moulding cycles.
To minimise warpage and deformation, and to eliminate the potential for leakages at the joint with the aluminium top, a sandwich design with a second injection-moulded part was created. The oil pan has withstood severe test conditions after 1000 hours of aging in oil at a temperature of 150°C.