Skoda Octavia front end carrier made from highly reinforced polyamide

The Skoda Octavia front end carrier.
The Skoda Octavia front end carrier.

The component was engineered by Faurecia Kunststoffe Automobilsysteme GmbH, Ingolstadt, Germany, using LANXESS' Durethan DP BKV 60 H2.0 EF, a polyamide 6 (PA 6) reinforced with 60% glass fibres. 

Faurecia's objective was to simplify the production process for the front end carrier.

“We wanted to design a totally plastic part, so that we could manage with just one injection mould and eliminate the complicated handling and shaping of sheet metal,” explains Pascal Joly-Pottuz, head of development for the carrier component at Faurecia.

The biggest challenge was to fulfill the high demands for stiffness. The region of the radiator bearing and hood lock, for example, are subject to very strong forces.

“The significantly higher stiffness of our highly filled material in reference to its weight, compared to standard polyamides with only 30-40% glass fibre reinforcement, ensures that the component is strong enough to withstand the high stresses,” reports Boris Koch, structural components expert at LANXESS.

In the conditioned state, the polyamide 6 has a modulus of elasticity at room temperature of 13,100 MPa.

Although the polyamide has a much greater density on account of its glass fibre content, the component nevertheless is very lightweight. 

“Compared to a virtual carrier we designed from a standard polyamide 6 with 30% glass fibres, it is about 1.2 kg or 25% lighter,” Koch says.

This is a result of the material's better mechanical properties, and also its good flow behaviour, which allows for very thin walls. In fact, the wall thickness in areas subject to lower stresses could be reduced to just 1.8 mm.

In addition to mounts for the headlamps, the front end carrier also integrates injection-moulded mounts for the radiator, hood lock, anti-theft system and air ducts. The component is also provided directly with a decorative cover, meaning that this part need not be assembled separately.