The MANN+HUMMEL Group introduced what they claim is the world’s first plastic oilpan at the SAE World Congrass in April 2008, and they already have a customer for the oilpan, which they say will introduce a car using the plastic oil pan in the North American market for the 2009 model year.
The new plastic oil pan is expected to weigh about 60% of a traditional oil pan’s weight. It also reduces cost of production by 20%. MANN+HUMMEL is advocating the use of plastic instead of alloys in the engine bay, for the obvious benefits above. Even our Campro IAFM engine has switched to a plastic intake manifold.
MANN+HUMMEL chairman Claude Mathieu says the use of plastic in automotive component design will only get better and offer more benefits in the future because as it is, component designers simply copy the existing metal part and use plastic to make it. The next step would be to learn how plastic responds in different shock and temperature situations and design new plastic-specific components.