Desma

Modular Coupling
By MT Bureau| Oct 22, 2020

JoinPlas' Modular Coupling System Wins Materialica Award

JoinPlas, the joint venture between technology company Continental and system supplier aft automotive, impressed the 18th Materialica Design + Technology Award judges with a synthetic modular coupling system for thermal management in vehicles.

The award-winning coupling system saves material up to 15 percent, reduces weight and optimises media flow in vehicles both with electric drives and with internal combustion engines. That is the reason for it being honoured by the judges in the Process category.

The complex line systems for thermal management both in electric vehicles and in vehicles with IC engines place high demands on the individual components. To connect these to each other, the automotive industry requires a large number of custom couplings. Previously, each coupling variant needed a dedicated injection mould. That meant high design, toolmaking and process validation costs. The modular coupling system, on the other hand, needs just two tools per diameter. The connection angle can be varied, and all the production steps can be fully automatically monitored using a camera.

In addition, the optimised basic design of the coupling system enables material savings of up to 15 percent and a correspondingly lower weight. To that can be added its improved performance because pressure losses are minimised while line diameters are also smaller. The right mixture of rubber, polyamide and aluminium materials and an ingenious line geometry ensure the system has adequate inherent stability.

The smart use of existing components and the modular construction simplified production and the future-focused use in thermal management of batteries. “This CO2-efficient solution shows the way for future mobility,” declared the judges in their citation. That is because the coupling system does not just cut CO2 emissions in operation, where the weight saving results directly in low fuel consumption in IC engines in particular. Even back at the manufacturing stage, the material saving means a lower demand for resources and therefore further CO2 savings.

“We are absolutely delighted with this award. It is an affirmation for the entire team that worked tirelessly on this development. Pooling and sharing our know-how in order to drive the future of automotive lines is a further major milestone in our partnership,” declares Arndt Nikolaus, the Continental partner in the newly established joint venture. (MT)

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