Thursday, March 27, 2008

High-precision connector for automobile

A high-precision 36-way sectioning connector set for Renault automobile front/rear harnesses benefits from the exceptional dimensional stability, high electrical insulating property and mouldability of Arnite® polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) TV4 261 (30%GF) resin from DSM Engineering Plastics. Designed and manufactured for Renault by FCI, the two-connector set incorporates many intricate geometric features for precise positioning and locking. Arnite® TV4 261 resin’s balance of flow and mechanical properties helped enable the design of these complex parts using automated manufacturing equipment. The connector set is a standard component that fits many Renault vehicles manufactured after 2006.

According to FCI advanced engineering, "the critical design objectives were foolproof mating of the male and female connectors, and ensuring connection over the lifetime of the part. Thanks to cooperation between our design group, DSM and the harness maker, Valeo, we were able to develop an entirely new connector in a short time. In particular, the use of DSM's Arnite helped us optimize the design while keeping costs reasonable."

Arnite resin offers an excellent balance of tensile strength, high flow and elongation at break compared to competitive materials, which typically sacrifice elongation benefits as flow increases. These properties enabled the highly complex connector design, which features an intricate, moulded-in protective grid to separate and protect the wires feeding 30 signal pins and six power pins. On the male connector, a slide creates a positive lock between connecting parts for reliability; the female connector includes several pre-positioning lugs, as well as ridges that mate with grooves on the male connector.

The DSM resin also helped FCI control costs. First, this competitively priced material is a standard grade with an extensive database covering relevant properties at a range of temperatures and mold flow specifications. This comprehensive information allowed FCI to quickly set up its production line. Second, Arnite TV4 261 resin keeps costs down by simplifying the coloring process: FCI purchases the material in two basic shades and adds its own masterbatch.

About DSM Engineering Plastics
DSM Engineering Plastics is a Business Group in the performance materials cluster of DSM, with sales in 2007 of EUR 1068 million (which number includes the sales of DSM Dyneema) and approximately 1500 employees worldwide. It is one of the world's leading suppliers of engineering thermoplastics offering a broad portfolio of high performance products including Stanyl® high performance polyamide and Akulon® 6 and 66 polyamides, Arnitel® TPE-E, Arnite® PBT and PET polyesters, Xantar® polycarbonate, Yparex® extrudable adhesive resins. These materials are used in technical components for electrical appliances, electronic equipment and cars, in barrier packaging films as well as in many mechanical and extrusion applications. With Stanyl®, it is the global market leader in high heat polyamides.

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