The composite engine shroud will work on the concept of creating an air gap between the engine compartment and the steel front bulkhead by wrapping around the back of the engine and meeting the strut towers on each side of the engine bay. This will offer various benefits over the all-steel components used in the luxurious SUV models of the competitors. The shroud also works in reducing mass; at just 12 pounds, the 4-piece assembly is lighter than a similar shroud stamped from steel. It offers moldability and designed flexibility needed to support a complex, under-hood packaging environment, due to its composites designing.
The dual wall dash made up of composite offers various other benefits such as reducing engine noise, improving acoustics by dissipating sound before it reaches the primary dash panel, providing superior thermal protection for electrical components, and accommodating engine assembly and serviceability concerns.
“Composites are a great choice for a number of under-the-hood applications, because of these properties, and the design flexibility they provide,” explained Bryan Ludwig, business development director at CSP. “Because our glass fiber composite is a thermoset, it actually offers better thermal properties than a metal, and cam be molded thin enough to fit in the tight spaces found in the engine compartment.”
“We are continually looking for ways to help our customers meet design and engineering challenges by using our composite materials,” added Steve Rooney, CEO of CSP. “Because of the superior dampening qualities offered by a composite, Ford was able to achieve a level of cabin quietness that will enhance the driving experience for Explorer and Aviator owners.”
Continental Structural Plastics will manufacture the dual wall dash at its facility in Conneaut, Ohio.
Source: Continental Structural Plastics