As automakers search for new means of minimizing the fleet consumption of their vehicles, they have come across the concept of intelligent thermal management as a means of boosting engine efficiency. Essentially, this entails sealing off the engine compartment from its surroundings to as great an extent as possible when it is not in operation in order that it retain its heat, i.e., temperature, and thus minimize the frequency of cold-start situations.
Tier 1 supplier Röchling Automotive (Mannheim, Germany) is adopting a two-pronged approach to such thermal management, which also brings noise damping benefits to boot. Firstly, multilayered encapsulation technology based on low-weight reinforced thermoplastics (LWRT) is employed to thermally and acoustically seal the engine bay from its surroundings. As the 15-mm-thick LWRT materials are laminated with an extremely thin layer of aluminum, they are also resistant to inflammable liquids, they can be used for applications located beneath the powertrain.