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DSM in Automotive

Flexible body plugs: Strong and heat resistant

Body plugs are an essential part of every car chassis. They need to be tough. They need to be heat resistant. And…they need to be easy to install for those working on the factory floor. Arnitel® TPC (TPE-E) from DSM meets all these criteria for flexible body plugs and more through its unique combination of strength and flexibility.
Close-up of a man's hand holding a body plug

Plugholes are essential in the car chassis to enable both the outside and inside of the chassis beams to be coated against corrosion. During assembly, these holes need to be sealed to keep water out, hence body plugs.

Because body plugs can be exposed to the curing temperatures of the electrostatic painting line, they need to withstand temperatures of up to 200 °C for up to half-an-hour. Enter Arnitel - a flexible, high-heat sealing solution.

Arnitel has been used for some 25 years for this key application at various grades of strength ranging from 38 Shore D to 60 Shore D with a typical tensile modulus range of 60 MPa – 300 MPa.

What makes Arnitel ideal?

Arnitel has the high-melting point crucial for maintaining the stiffness and strength needed to survive the (very hot) electrostatic painting step.

As a thermoplastic polyester elastomer, Arnitel is very flexible – which makes it easy for production staff to insert the body plugs into the plug holes (unlike metals and stiffer plastics which require some serious strength). It’s also easy to combine the hot melt sealants when needed.

Added to this, Arnitel has the lowest viscosity in the industry, which makes processing very easy – in fact 32-cavity tools are often used by customers.

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