Front end carrier removes metal from the equation


The front end carrier in the new Golf 7 is completely made from plastic. This is reportedly the first without metal reinforcement and was developed with extensive CAE and simulation work.

Replacing the previous polypropylene hybrid part with an all-plastic part required use of not only an engineering plastic in the form of Ultramid B3WG8 (a highly reinforced polyamide) but according to resin supplier BASF (Ludwigshafen, Germany) its Ultrasim simulation tool during development. The sheet steel parts that had been attached previously are now eliminated. This reduces the weight of the front end module significantly compared to that of the predecessor model, saving assembly time and thus costs. Volkswagen produces the part in-house.

In addition to limited space for installation, requirements of the all-plastic part include a variety of very challenging load cases: among them, static and dynamic hood latch failure, where incorrect opening and closing of the engine's hood is simulated and tested under the harshest conditions. At the same time, the stiffness and vibration behavior of the system comprising front end and radiator was based on CAE analyses and validated in an actual vibration test.

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