Tier 1 automotive suppliers turn to composite materials for anti-vibration systems

As a well-known tier one supplier in the automotive industry, Cooper Standard has 120 factories worldwide and employs more than 30,000 people. It is the world's largest supplier of automotive sealing systems.

In addition to the sealing system, the company also produces fuel and brake systems, fluid delivery systems and anti-vibration systems.

In terms of anti-vibration system product categories, the Cooper Standard is undergoing a major material transition from the use of mature traditional metals to the use of composite materials.

Cooper Standard's anti-vibration system involves anti-vibration body, strut and engine suspension, usually made of cast aluminum, stamped steel and rubber.

'These large and sturdy traditional parts have been manufactured for more than half a century.' Joe Emmi, vice president and global general manager of the anti-vibration systems business, said, 'Our company's mission is to innovate and deliver quality products. Thanks for the materials. Advances in science and design have enabled us to develop composite parts that are now able to pass all our tests.'

Joe Emmi cited three factors that prompted the company to switch to fiber reinforced plastics:

★ Consumers are increasingly demanding comfort, which means that both cars and trucks require lower vibration.

★ In order to achieve better fuel economy and ensure that the vehicle can accommodate more facilities, OEM requirements for weight reduction are very urgent.

★ If the performance standards are met, the design of new structural composite parts is gaining recognition from OEM customers.

Joe Emmi explained that compliance with standards is critical to these structural components. For example, there are two types of body suspensions that attach the body of a passenger car to a structural frame: one is made of traditional steel and rubber. The suspension made, the other is the hydraulic damping suspension.

The hydraulic suspension is formed by conducting fluid between the two chambers to create damping and improve the responsiveness of the vehicle. These suspensions are usually made of stamped steel or cast aluminum, but have now been replaced by composite materials.

'We have changed the hydraulic suspension that originally had a rubber sleeve inside the steel casing to a fiberglass reinforced nylon composite.' He pointed out that in addition to significant weight reduction, the composite casing also meets customer performance. Claim.

'These are key components that must ensure that the body is firmly fixed to the frame.' He added, 'Our customers have some concerns about the design of the composite, which is understandable, but we have proven its reliability.'

Supported by Cooper Standards' DynaFib Innovation Program, another composite development case was developed in collaboration with a university and a composites supplier to European OEMs.

Joe Emmi said: 'This strategic effort is to advance process and material and component design. ' The DynaFib Innovation Program seeks to expand the applicability of plastic stents by providing increased tensile strength while significantly reducing weight.

The team worked with Coriolis Composites of France to develop an automated production process to surround a continuous glass/thermoplastic fiber on two torque-isolated suspensions designed to handle engine torque. Peak load, then coated with polyamide to the ring and suspension.

Joe Emmi explains that this composite torsion beam suspension is designed for engine suspension systems, which reduces weight by 50% over conventional aluminum components and provides better tensile strength than metal solutions. .

'We are planning to apply this to a model in 2019. In our anti-vibration system business, we are replacing composites with metals to make parts that require high tensile strength, such as brackets, torsion arms and beams. Suspension. '