ElringKlinger AG

Light­weight plastic com­ponents
for car body.
Tough per­formers.

"Efficiency" is one of the most important trends of the automotive industry. ElringKlinger is constantly working on new technologies and innovative product solutions for the current and future generation of vehicles. In the process, we always remain focused on the vehicle as a whole. The requirements for functionality, safety, stability, environmental compatibility, design and comfort are exacting. We systematically deploy our comprehensive expertise in materials, processes and fabrication to allow us to also offer customized lightweight components for the vehicle body. This includes cockpit cross-car beams and front-end carriers made of polymer hybrids, engine and transmission carriers in glass fiber-reinforced thermoplastics and structural components in organo sheet.

Plastic meets Metal.
Hydroforming Hybrid Technology.

In lightweight hybrid construction, an ideal material combination plus connecting technology are crucial. ElringKlinger is a series supplier for cockpit cross-car beams and front-end carriers. With these new kinds of polymer metal hybrids, the strengths of both materials complement one another. These include weight reduction, excellent shape and dimensional accuracy, improved flexural rigidity and buckling resistance in theevent of a crash, realization of complex geometries, lower number of individual parts thanks to multi-functionality, time-saving due to several process steps in one working operation as well as less material used resulting in lower costs. Our structural components are produced in a world-leading manufacturing process that combines hydroforming and injection-molding in just one process step: hydroforming hybrid technology.

To produce structural components – also known as polymer metal hybrids (PMH) – ElringKlinger uses a combination tool that combines hydroforming and plastic injection-molding in just one process step. A thin-walled metal tube is placed into the mold automatically. After the two halves of the mold are closed, the interior of the tube is filled with a fluid under high pressure and it expands to assume its precise final contours.

The injection-molding process then begins in the same cavity. Molten plastic is injected into the mold and then cools down and solidifies in the cavity and around the deformed tube. The hybrid component is then removed from the mold automatically and transferred to the downstream processing stages.

ElringKlinger cockpit cross-car beams in hydroforming hybrid (HFH) technology combine maximum functionality with minimum weight. They support instrument panel, steering wheel, heating and ventilation modules, airbags, glove box, center console and other elements and connect them safely to the car bodywork. Thanks to the intelligent combination of plastic and metal, they represent a creative lightweight solution.

The front-end section produced as a hydroformed hybrid design can serve as a support for the intercooler, headlight modules, windscreen wiper water reservoir, horn, distance radar module or air intake. It also supports the bonnet. To reduce the weight, ElringKlinger relies on a combination of polymer injection molding, metal sheets and hydroforming of metal tubes.