TROY, Mich.—Magna International Inc. has developed a new welding process for its exteriors plant in the Czech Republic.
The Canadian auto parts company said the torsional welding technique allows it to join thinner thermoplastics, cutting material costs and creating lighter weight vehicles.
The torsional method involves a high-speed twisting motion that generates enough friction-based heat to join a plastic bracket to a plastic vehicle fascia. It results in an approximately 10 per cent weight reduction because it’s able to join lighter components.
While Magna initially developed the process for the 2017 Skoda Octavia, it said the new technique can be put to use on a wider range of similar applications. Specifically, the company pointed to the potential for using torsional welding for autonomous vehicles. It said the process could attach more sensors to the exterior of a vehicle without adding extra weight.