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Magnesium and the 2015 Cadillac Escalade

When Sea Link International was approached by a major Tier I lighting supplier to assist with the design and potential manufacturing of heat sinks and a carrier bracket for the Cadillac Escalade we tackled the challenge with all of our resources.

It became apparent early in the DFM process that an Aluminum bracket of the complexity required to meet the design and styling constraints would be expensive and have a higher than desired mass.

To overcome this challenge, Sea Link proposed an alternative technology that utilized Thixomolding to produce a highly accurate and lightweight component that improved the cost, lowered the mass and improved the vibration dampening of the headlamp assembly.

Our manufacturing and lighting experts provided component design guidance for the Tier I on this part which supports (9) Individual LED modules. Using mold flow, tooling design best practices and decades of expertise the optimized Bracket realized a general wall thickness of 2.2 mm with sections that are under 1.5 mm. This was accomplished despite the large envelope of the Bracket that measures approximately 280 mm X 160 mm X 85 mm.

As a manufacturer Sea Link understands that innovative technological implementation is just beginning with the completion of the successful virtual design. Our team supported our Tier I partner with machined prototypes for design validation and with education and navigation of the design specific issues related to magnesium in the end use application. Extensive testing, benchmarking data and validation in the pre-production cycle allowed our Tier I partner to eliminate all secondary machining and corrosion treatments on the Thixomolded parts.

The journey continued with design, construction and production launch of a (1+1) RH/LH Family die (shown at the left) to mold the parts. Additional process steps included trimming, deburr and packaging. Sea Link also provided material procurement and assembly services for the ball bushings and bumpers that are shown in the front view of the bracket on the right. The highlights and benefits of this component Case Study are shown below:

  • ProcessThixomoldingwithout CNC
  • MaterialAZ91D Magnesium
  • Mass Savings200 grams per part compared to AL – 55%
  • Tooling: (1+1) Family Tool250,000 Shot guarantee. A single tool for the program life

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