Plastic oil pan

Case study: Metal substitution in the automotive sector

Plastic oil pan

Weight reduction through material change

Your strong partner in product development

Due to increasing gasoline and diesel prices, the following applies in automotive sector: The lower the component weight, the lower the fuel consumption. The replacement of heavy metal components with lighter plastic components is an elementary factor in optimizing components and selecting development partners.

Based on an analysis of existing components in an internal combustion engine, the aluminum oil pan was selected as a pilot project for component substitution. As a strategic development partner, Centroplast specified material requirements in cooperation with the customer, which helped determine the right material and a suitable manufacturing process for the part that needed to be replaced.

Decisive requirements included:

  • Temperature resistance
  • Resistance to oils and mechanical stresses (impact resistance)
  • Light weight compared to the previously used material (aluminum)

The selection of a suitable thermoplastic

from own extrusion

Due to both its thermal and mechanical properties, the material PVDF was chosen. Today, Centroplast manufactures oil pans using a milling process with the aid of a vacuum fixture specially designed for this application. These oil pans offer a number of convincing advantages over their aluminum predecessors:

  • Same rigidity as the aluminum oil pan due to a plastic-optimized design.
  • Weight reduction by approx. 50%
  • Wall thickness of 1.2 mm
  • Semi-transparent design
  • Proven temperature and chemical resistance
  • Highest mechanical load capacity

Result: Increase in energy efficiency while maintaining functionality.

By selecting the ideal material, the new oil pan not only makes its contribution to weight reduction in the overall vehicle, but also ensures the required functional reliability and durability thanks to its optimized design.