Aluminium heat shield makes engine bay packaging easier

Paul Boughton

Federal-Mogul Corporation is offering a solution to difficult heat and weight reduction challenges, as well as other engine compartment packaging challenges, with a versatile, lightweight heat shield material called Nimbus GII. The company’s heat shield technology provides both high thermal efficiency and high formability for creating complex shapes for custom applications. Nimbus GII also is up to approximately 80 per cent lighter than typical steel sandwich heat shields.

Weight reduction has become an increasingly important enabler for fuel economy improvement and emissions reduction. The concurrent use of engine downsizing strategies and the proliferation of turbocharging creates a need for more effective and lightweight thermal management products to protect heat sensitive electronics and materials under the hood.

Nimbus GII is a distinctive heat shield with a unique construction that interlocks two thin corrugated aluminum sheets, providing high formability and a rigid structure. An insulating air pocket between the two layers increases the inherent high thermal performance of the aluminium. The result is a 15- to 30-per cent improvement in thermal protection when compared to a typical sandwich-style heat shield construction.

The Nimbus GII corrugation provides high formability by allowing the material to be stretched without tearing and compressed without wrinkling or buckling. This formability enables the heat shield to be designed to cover large and complex areas with a single-piece design where multiple heat shields may have previously been required due to the formability limitations of other materials. The resulting Nimbus GII shield is a rigid, highly efficient thermal barrier that can be formed and fit into complex, tight environments within and around the engine compartment.

Along with the thermal management and weight reduction benefits of the Nimbus GII technology, there is the inherent corrosion resistance of aluminum, without the need for the coatings required by conventional heat shield material. This technology also provides a heat shield that is completely recyclable and without the assorted fillers that may be used in other sandwich style-shields.

Nimbus GII heat shields are in production for several major global automakers at Federal-Mogul’s manufacturing facilities in Skokie, Illinois; Port Elizabeth, South Africa; Tepotzilan, Mexico and Nanchang, China.

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