Headlamp Optical Concept Introduced Valeo Sylvania introduces the new Baroptic headlamp, which provides flexibility in the front-end styling of vehicles, while optimizing aerodynamics. Due by 2000, the system's bulk is significantly reduced as compared with complex-shape headlamp technology allowing enhanced management of "under-hood" packaging. The Baroptic headlamp can be positioned vertically, following the lines of the vehicle, or horizontally, perpendicular to the road. This flexibility means that the lighting system can be adapted to various automotive styling options. Ward's Info No. 201

Range of TPE uses in CVJ Boots Extended DSM Engineering Plastics introduces a new grade of Arnitel, the company's range of copolyester thermoplastic elastomers, for use in constant velocity joint (cvj) boots. The new grade, Arnitel EB464, shows excellent low-temperature fatigue behavior at -49 degrees F (-45 degrees C), long-term abrasion resistance and long-term, high-heat grease resistance of up to 212 degrees F (100 degrees C). In cars, CVJ boots retain the joint grease but keep out mud, water and salt. TPEs are increasingly replacing thermoset rubbers in both outboard and inboard CVJ boots. TPEs offer several advantages over chloroprene rubbers. They are up to 50% lighter with 90% shorter cycle times and are recyclable, using, for example 30% recycled material, which will result in lower boot prices, says the company. Ward's Info No. 202

Super-Slim, Low-Cost Borescope Thanks to a technology that mimics the way insect eyes work, a Rochester, NY, company is introducing a new small-diameter borescope that offers images as good as today's micro borescopes at a fraction of the price. Borescopes are members of the endoscope family: precision optical instruments used to look into places the human eye can't see. Endoscopes are use d in medicine; borescopes are used in a wide variety of industrial applications. The Super Slim borescope, part of the Hawkeye Precision Borescope line made by Gradient Lens Corp., is only 0.09 ins. (2.4 mm) wide - about the width of pencil lead. The instrument is packed with innovative optics that bend light much like the compound eyes of insects and afford a view of surfaces that normally would be hidden. The Super Slim's small diameter makes it useful in checking for the tiniest defects in engine manufacturing and service, says the company. The device is perfect for looking into deep holes, tubes, or pipes and checking for burrs, cracks, roughness, pits, tearing, or other defects. Workers already use borescopes to examine molds, fuel injectors, transmissions, engine injectors and solder joints. Ward's Info No. 205

MSC/NASTRAN Releases Suspension Software The MacNeal-Schwendler Corp. offers the latest release of MSC/NASTRAN. Version 70.5 gives automotive engineers a new geometric and nonlinear damping feature that will help them better design suspensions. This also is a first step in the development of the capability to analytically predict loads between suspension and body components due to road surfaces. Analytical road loads capability will help reduce the need for physical prototypes and data measurement through vehicle instrumentation, which will reduce cost and time to design a new vehicle. Another enhancement allows users to more reliably solve brake squeal problems, the company says. Ward's Info No. 206

Calibration Tool Reduces Development Time A new engine calibration tool from Zytek will help automotive engineers overcome problems with quickly and accurately transferring engine calibration data between the test-beds and development vehicles. VECS uses software-configurable look-ups to control ignition, fuel delivery, emissions control, turbo boost, OBD-II and other functions including traction control if required. All map sites can be configured by the user via a PC link and Zytek's sophisticated mapping aid software. For manufacturers of low-volume and niche-vehicles, Zytek is able to take the development of engine management systems from concept to production within exceptionally short time scales, says Zytek. Data from VECS can be directly transferred into production units to ensure total consistency into manufacture. Zytek already has developed and supplied engine management systems for Rolls-Royce, Jaguar and Aston Martin. Ward's Info No. 207

High-Strain Phenolic Composites Offered Rogers introduces a new high-strain moldable phenolic composite (MPC) material for molding components that must endure high heat cycling and high stress, yet provide greater resistance to cracking than standard reinforced phenolics. This glass-reinforced material is ideal for molding powertrain and electric-motor components, where these components need to resist creep, maintain high strength and elastic stiffness, withstand high temperatures and provide exceptional resistance to the chemicals found in automotive environments, the company says. Ward's Info No. 208

The 1998 Mercury Mountaineer and Ford Explorer Limited Edition are the first North American sport/utility vehicles to use a solitary bumper system. Developed by Visteon Automotive Systems with support from GE Plastics, it is molded from GE Plastics' Xenoy 1102 PC/PBT resin. GE Plastics' bumper system designs aim to replace the traditional metal/foam bumper assembly to reduce weight and assembly time, while increasing impact resistance, says GE. The application of the bumper system to Ford vehicles marks the first time non-metal and non-glass mat technologies have been used on SUVs in North America. This system replaces the traditional steel or aluminum beam, impact-absorbing foam or honeycomb components, and associated supports, brackets, and fasteners, with one high-performance, lightweight injection-molded thermoplastic system. Ward's Info No. 209