Plastic is the material of choice for Dana Corporation’s cylinder-head, cam-cover module being supplied for DaimlerChrysler’s 4.7L V-8 engine for the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, Dodge Dakota, and Dodge Ram vehicles. The new thermoset plastic cylinder-head cover module was developed in just 12 months and replaces a magnesium component. Due to innovative manufacturing processes, Dana was able to reduce the overall cost of the module, while incrementally improving noise, vibration, and harshness, or NVH. “Innovation within modules and systems provides a wonderful opportunity to reduce complexity, improve functionality, and create added value for our customers,” said Dana chairman and CEO Joe Magliochetti. “The cylinder-head cover module for DaimlerChrysler demonstrates our commitment to satisfying customers’ needs with new and unique solutions.” “Dana brought an extensive range of advanced capabilities and technologies to the development process, helping DaimlerChrysler meet its aggressive launch deadline while also increasing the value of the final solution,” said Mike Laisure, president of Dana’s Engine and Fluid Management Group. The vinyl ester glass-reinforced thermoset plastic modules, which are unique to the left- and right-side cylinders, include the cover, gasket, and fasteners. These components are produced at Dana’s Composite Sealing Center in Paris, Tenn. With this new sealing system, Dana developed a custom compound material for gaskets and grommets. Dana also provided prototyping for the gasket and isolator moulds to ensure the design met all of the customer’s specifications. The system relies on a self-retaining, “press-in-place” gasket to improve function and quality consistency. This innovation eliminates the time- consuming and costly steps of precisely aligning and attaching the gasket to the valve cover with adhesive. Dana engineers worked closely with DaimlerChrysler’s technical staff to provide 3-D solid models to fit tight, under-the-hood requirements. Dana also provided material development and component validation to ensure robust system performance. This collaborative effort eliminated the prototype step for the cover housing, which in turn reduced development time and cost by allowing the component to move directly from design to production. A leader in the reduction of NVH, Dana provided extensive finite element analysis, or FEA, to ensure accurate NVH predictive analyses during the product development process. This capability allowed an incremental NVH improvement to be realized over the already favourable acoustical performance of the previous die-cast magnesium component. Dana also supplies piston rings and rod bearings for DaimlerChrysler’s 4.7L V-8 engine.