Durata del Progetto: 22 Months | Start Mar 2017

Partenariato: FCA (POMIGLIANO D’ARCO) – SAPA (ARPAIA) – SÒPHIA HIGH TECH (SANT’ANASTASIA) – MD PLAST (MERCATO SAN SEVERINO);

TECA [Technological solution for Engine encapsulation for Automotive] is a Research and Developed project co-funded by Italian Ministry of Economic Development – Prog. n. F/0900190/01-04/X36 – CUP: B38I17000640008 – COR: 936779.

 

 

Figure 1 : Jeep Renegade (Test vehicle TECA)

 

Object :Research and development of new thermoplastic composites and polylaminate systems to be used in the design of innovative structural components for engine compartment encapsulating, in order to reduce consumptions and CO2 emissions.

 

The European Community regulation 443/2009 establishes that from 2015 every car manufacturer must ensure that the CO2 emissions of the vehicles it produces do not exceed, on average, 130gr / km; a subsequent lowering of the limit to 95gr / km is foreseen for 2020. In the event that this limit is exceeded, a fine of up to EUR 95 per g / km per vehicle is foreseen starting from 2019. Furthermore, the lowering of the noise limits defined by the ISO 362 standard on external noise (together with the measurement procedure changing) pushes towards a substantial elimination of the powertrain’s contribution to external noise.

 

In line with the reference regulatory framework, the TECA project focuses on design and production of an encapsulation system for the engine compartment (parts mounted directly on the body) which, allows to reduce heat loss when the engine is stopped; In this way the stored heat allows the cooling of the propulsion unit to be delayed and, at the next re-start, to reduce emissions and fuel consumption, at levels similar to those of the thermally regime engine.

 

Since these are components that must combine thermal and acoustic performance and at the same time guarantee lightness, an important phase of the project was the study of the specific combination of materials to be used, also taking into consideration the functional requirements of the components.

The project is strongly focused on the development of new materials, based on specific applications in the field of polymeric materials. The mechanical properties of plastic in fact increasingly meet the needs of modern manufacturing, for product safety, durability, maintainability, lightness and re-use.

 

 

 

 

Figure 2 Cover TECA

The new design solutions have been verified both on virtual models and directly on prototypes through a wide experimental test campaign. Specifically, the activities carried out are:
• Research and development of innovative materials in terms of thermal insulation, absorption and acoustic insulation, experimenting with additives and fillers that make it possible to obtain a self-extinguishing material;
• Design of new components with related packaging checks;
• Design and construction of equipment (Molds);
• Development of the production process with analysis of the recyclability of the material at the end of the component’s life cycle;
• Experimental plan directly on the test car for a continuous verification of acoustic, thermal and emission performance;
• Evaluation of sustainability in terms of eco-innvoation.

 

Figure 3 Dimostratore TECA

The material defined for the construction of the components of the engine encapsulation is based on polyamide, for the structural function, expanded polyurethane and carbon fiber, for thermal and acoustic insulation function.
For the checks and validation of the engine compartment system, the performance values of the same vehicle without encapsulation (hot condition) were used as a reference. To this end, in very early stages of TECA project, a deployment of features and performances was defined, with the related KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). The final project results listed below:
• Saving of 0.78 g / km of CO2 (according to the Eco innovation procedure approved by the EU);
• Approval of pedestrian impact (NCAP Rating and homologation criteria);
• Structural integrity – durability – own modes (Respect for the life cycle of the car);
• Respect the minimum gaps with the other components of the power unit (minimum distance of 25 mm and/or dynamic validation);
• Thermal safety (with respect to maximum temperatures under the hood according to FCA standard 7-T0035).