Important characteristics required for materials in Automotive Engineering Polymers have been used in the automotive industry for many decades. It is regarded as an efficient material as it is very durable and could significantly reduce production costs. However, as technology advances, new polymers are found and better alternatives are paved for the automotive industry. The vehicles we see today are very different than that of the yesteryears. This proves how far the automotive industry has advanced through technology. This eventually improved the built quality of vehicles in terms of safety, comfort, and performance. Plastics have greatly contributed to the advancement of the automotive industry. Although some may perceive that plastics yield a poorer built quality (though in some cases, it may be true), it actually is a better alternative in an engineer’s point of view. The reason why we have a contrast of opinions regarding the use of plastics is because of the type of plastics being used. Therefore, the characteristics of the material are a very important factor in achieving good built quality. The automotive industry is constantly looking for alternatives to keep the production costs low. In order to achieve that, the engineers adapted to the use of plastics on certain parts. The question was – was this a good idea? Over the years, it became evident that it really is. Hence, we see modern cars with plastic bumpers, plastic door handles, plastic mirror housing, etc. The engineers had to bear in mind that what they require is a durable and robust plastic material. They had to consider something that is able to deform upon minor collisions, and be able to return back to its original shape (reversibly deformable). The benefit of this idea is so that vehicle owners do not have to change the bumper for minor accidents. However, plastics have a limit to their reversible-deformation property. It could tolerate impacts of up to a certain degree, but beyond that,...
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