Rhodia and Inoplast break new ground by creating the first polyamide reinforcement beam for truck radiator grilles. This project, which has gone into production on a well-known range of trucks, is aimed at reducing costs and overall vehicle weight, without interfering with the function of this key structural element required to maintain the grille’s rigidity. Rhodia’s new-generation polyamide, Technyl Star™ AFX, proved to be the only material able to meet project specifications, thanks to its unequalled mechanical strength, combined with its exceptional fluidity.
The use of Technyl Star™ AFX resulted in a cost saving of 30% compared with an equivalent metal beam, as well as a reduction of over 10% in the part’s weight, contributing to a lighter vehicle and consequently to a reduction in CO2 emissions.
Technyl Star™ AFX once again demonstrated that it outperforms standard polyamide, due to its exceptional rigidity, coupled with its remarkable surface appearance regardless of its high glass fiber content (up to 60%). The fluidity of this material also contributes to the incredible ease of injection processing, while achieving a previously impossible degree of rigidity for polyamide.
The close cooperation between Rhodia Polyamide, Inoplast and the truck manufacturer also contributed to the success of this project. In addition to its product Technyl Star™ AFX, Rhodia contributed its new MMI* technology, a new-generation simulation tool, which can more accurately predict the behavior of polyamide parts by taking glass fiber orientation into consideration in structural calculations. This enabled Inoplast to more precisely define the ideal part design needed to meet rigidity and vibratory control requirements for the beam, while optimizing its weight.
“With this success, Rhodia has once again demonstrated its capacity for innovation in its efforts to help manufacturers produce lighter, more cost-effective vehicles,” affirmed Cyril Primat, Rhodia Polyamide’s structural parts manager. “Technyl Star™ AFX is an innovative material offering some truly promising new perspectives in this field, particularly as regards the replacement of metal in structural parts.”