Magna debuts torsional welding process
November 5, 2017 | By Manufacturing AUTOMATION
Nov. 4, 2017 – Magna says it has put a new twist on joining thermoplastic materials in order to help automakers cut weight and costs: torsional welding.
The torsional welding process – developed by Magna for automotive applications at its exteriors plant in Liberec, Czech Republic – presents a new way to join plastics, and features a twisting motion that creates enough friction-based heat to join a plastic bracket to a thermoplastic fascia. The technology achieves an approximate 10 per cent weight reduction, says the company, because it allows thinner materials to be joined, which in turn helps to reduce material costs. Torsional welding is currently used to make the front fascia of the 2017 Skoda Octavia, and it has potential for other applications where materials of similar composition need to be joined, explains Magna.
There may also be uses for torsional welding with the increase of advanced driver assistance systems and the development of self-driving cars, says the company, noting that the trend will be for automotive fascias to become heavier with the increase in autonomous features, due to the addition of sensors. The company says that with torsional welding, it is now possible to reduce weight on the outer skin and brackets so more sensors can be added without impacting the overall weight of the vehicle.