Norma Group invests research and testing resources in Mexico
Norma Group announced US$ 1 million investments to expand its research and testing resources in laboratories for lighter exhaust, powertrain and electric vehicle parts.
To achieve this goal, the company currently runs a components development program at facilities located in Auburn Hills and St. Clair, Michigan, as well as Apodaca, Nuevo Leon.
The St. Clair facility makes plastic products such as quick connectors for charged air and cooling water systems and for ventilation and exhaust lines in the engine. Auburn Hills’ production focuses on metal clamps while Apodaca has a test stand for urea transport systems for diesel engines.
The systems transport liquid urea for selective catalytic reduction of nitric oxides to atmospheric nitrogen and water in exhaust gases.
New plastic tubing and components for next-generation system designs are lighter and easier to assemble than current product solutions that rely on metal or rubber, according to Jonathan Heywood, director of product engineering for Norma Group’s Engineered Joining Technology business unit in Maintal, Germany.
“Tubes and connectors in a wide variety and combination of plastics provide an optimal solution for many customer needs for durable, recyclable lightweight parts,” Heywood added. He cited plastic components with low fluid permeability and temperature resistance as being ideal for hydrogen lines and battery-cooling applications. Tubing with multiple layers of different plastics provide broad properties and flexibility in performance and price.
Norma Group’s new product development facilities will evaluate the performance of fluid systems, such as cooling-system water pipes and urea systems, subjecting them to a broad range of temperatures from minus 40 up to 300 degrees Celsius; pressures of up to 20 bar, and different vibration frequencies.
Simulation testing will take into account variations in temperature and pressure and will include chemical resistance to different media, such as glycol-water mixtures, oil, diesel, gasoline and urea.
Norma Group’s CEO Werner Deggim noted that plastic materials which can be reused or recycled are becoming more and more important and offer an opportunity to replace conventional materials such as rubber and metal, which often are heavier and more expensive.
“By investing in our global network of laboratories, we will be able to meet an even wider range of customer test requirements,” said Deggim. “Our goal is to take a leading position in the development of high-temperature resistant plastics as well. In labs around the world, we are developing and testing individual product solutions together with our customers on site.