Plastics replaces metal in automotive gear shift module

Modern vehicles are being increasingly equipped with automated gear boxes and dual clutch transmissions because they ensure higher driving comfort and lower fuel consumption. Having recognised the trend to automated gear shift systems at an early point, a German automotive company produce highly sophisticated systems in the field of gearbox actuators and gear shift cylinders. These new systems, made of long glass fibre reinforced plastics, represent a lighter and less cost-intensive solution to gear shift modules made of metal.

In order to be fit for exposure to complex structural loads, the material has to fulfil high requirements, including stiffness, low shrinkage and creep resistance at high temperatures. The material is being already used in the manufacturing of a Southern German car manufacturer’s new gear shift module for a 7-gear dual clutch transmission. The long glass fibre reinforced plastics  shows very resistant to oils and chemicals and is characterised by very high stiffness and strength.

Moreover, the material features increased energy absorption and notched impact strength, higher heat deflection temperature and creep resistance. The warpage and the shrinkage behaviour of the material are improved by the long glass fibres, which are more evenly oriented in an injection-moulded component.

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