Because these air outlet grates are visible in both the open and closed state of the hatchback lid (left and right next to the rear window), special attention was given to the surface and paint treatment of these components.
 
Air outlet grate for the Audi R8
Unmistakable design and technical precision are brought together in a unique combination for the Audi R8. Audi developers and designers have materialized their aspirations for automotive perfection in the R8. An assertion that can be verified in the largest to smallest of details, right up to the air outlet grates which adorn both sides of the hatchback.

With 420 HP under the hood, the R8 is anything but docile. Once the motor has warmed up there are very high temperatures in the motor compartment. Side-mounted air outlet grates on the motor and hatchback lid ensure that heat is vented away from the power plant in the motor compartment. The Neckarsulm developers and engineers turned to Scherer & Trier for optimization of component weight and production costs. Now these grates are fabricated and painted by Scherer & Trier as single-piece injection-molded parts with threaded inserts.

Elegant, perfect fit and durable
"Since the R8 is a premium vehicle, the emphasis for development and fabrication of these air outlet grates was placed on particularly high quality", explains Markus Braun, technical supervisor for the project at Scherer & Trier. "The grates had to develop their appeal through optimal fit precision, minimum distortion and a flawless surface. Form stability over the entire service life was the OEM's stipulation. This objective was not easily achieved, particularly for these parts, because the grates must withstand sporadic short-term heating of up to 110° C. Comprehensive experiments were carried out in the Audi wind tunnel to determine the optimal heat and air discharge range for the air outlet grates and the exact positioning of the part's slats.
  Complex task, efficient solution
The auto-maker was hoping for the simplest possible tool with which to produce these highly-complex parts. The reasoning: investments in tooling was to be kept as low as possible so that the 4000 vehicles per year to be equipped with these components could be produced as economically as possible. The tight cooperation in Michelau between product development and injection mold tool construction made it possible to come up with an efficient solution

Trend-setting innovation
Topping everything off, in order to limit part distortion to an absolute minimum, the team around engineer Markus Braun and project leader Thomas Thyroff performed sophisticated mold-flow analyses and evaluated a diversity of attachment techniques. Of course optics also played an important role: since these grilles are installed on the motor and hatchback-lid where they are visible in both the opened and closed states, special attention was given to the component's surface and its paint treatment. It was especially important that the surface treatment did not impair the grate's low distortion characteristics. "In close cooperation with Audi we were able to optimize the air outlet grates with respect to assembly and their fit to connecting parts", summarized Thomas Thyroff. "We see these air outlet grates as a prime example of how one can develop injection-molded parts with know-how and good ideas to satisfy the highest demands for appearance and functionality. "This success can be attributed to Scherer & Trier's internal cooperation between product development, injection mold tool construction and production. The result is a lot more than just "hot air" and it is a pleasure to behold.
 



Form-stability over the entire service life: these grates stand out by virtue of their exact fit, low distortion and a perfect surface.


published
2007/09/06



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