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Composite guide rails for a roller-blind sunroof

13 Mar 2019

The first time that a thermoplastic composite successfully replaces aluminium for guide rails on roller-blind sunroof modules.

Composite guide rails for a roller-blind sunroof

Traditional extruded profile aluminium guide rails for sunroofs require additional time and labour to finish assembling the sunroof sub-components before mounting the system on the top of the vehicle on the assembly line. A pretested module is now available and ready to install robotically in a single step.

Upper & Lower Rail Halves Before (Left) & After (Right) Welding

Key Benefits:
> Plug-in unit, one-step robot installed, eliminates 2-3 assembly steps
> Increased space available over passenger heads
> Family modular mould saves tool and production costs. Total savings 20%

The composite rails are injection-moulded from a 15% glass-reinforced styrene maleic anhydride/acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (SMA/ABS-GF) composite to achieve precise dimensions, tight tolerances, good stiffness and strength, and excellent bonding to metal and glass substructures via a polyurethane (PUR) structural adhesive.

“Family” tool of 8 XIRAN®Parts

This innovation has been selected as a finalist for the JEC Innovation Awards 2019 in the Automotive category.

The JEC Innovation Awards - organized by the JEC Group - are recognized as the industry’s most prestigious awards that identify, promote and reward the most innovative composite projects worldwide. The award winners will be announced during JEC World 2019 on 13 March at 4.30pm.

» Publication Date: 13/03/2019

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This project has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [609203].

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