The car´s veins

Water-assisted injection molding of fluid-conveying tubes –  series production
PME has actively pushed the development of water-assisted injection molding technology (WIT) for manufacturing hollow plastic parts for its customer Teklas, Turkey. The car supplier Teklas has recently started to produce fluid-carrying tubes for automobiles in high volumes from BASF’s special Ultramid® A3HG6 WIT. This glass fiber reinforced hydrolysis stabilized polyamide 66 grade has been developed specifically for WIT, and offers good inside and outside surfaces as well as the required high chemical resistance. The new tubes that are currently developed for all large European automobile manufacturers provide individual conveying of cooling water, air and oil in the engine compartment.

Suitable for any engine compartment
In addition to resistance to the fluid being conveyed, a low pressure drop is one of the primary requirements that fluid-conveying tubes in the engine compartment must satisfy. Thus, the inside surfaces have to be especially smooth. For the parts to be economical, the wall thickness must be uniform and as thin as possible. Just as the number of car models continues to increase, so do the constraints within the engine compartment, so that maximum design freedom and flexibility for the manufacturing process is essential when it comes to developing very specific, integrated solutions. By using the latest technology for injection molding, Teklas is able to manufacture a variety of tube shapes and combinations with different wall thicknesses and great complexity. Use of plastic tubes in place of the heavier metal tubes results not only in weight savings, but also the production costs are very low.

New level of technology: highly automated with a low reject rate
For post-molding processing of the tubes, Teklas relies on a high level of automation: The numerous finishing steps that are needed in the course of manufacturing the tubes, e.g. cutting and sanding, incorporation of metal rings or elastomer (TPE) seals, are performed by robots. This contributes to a low reject rate. Teklas is currently very successful with this innovative PME WIT process and the wide range of manufacturing options, and is supplying and developing a variety of different tubes. Plans already call for expanding capacity.

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