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DSM in Automotive

Shifting gears to higher performing plastic

The gear shifter housing needs to be stable, reliable and durable. Traditionally polyamide 66 was used for this key application but manufacturers are increasingly turning to Akulon® polyamide 6 from DSM. Quite simply this unique material performs – and looks – better with the potential to reduce both weight and component cost.
Man holding a gear shifter console

The gear shifter console housing supports and controls the various positions of the gears. It’s an important part of the car and of course needs to be 100% dependable; managing the internal mechanism to ensure gear movements are as stable and consistent as possible over the lifetime of the car.

Traditionally, polyamide 66 was specified for this application. But our Akulon polyamide 6 is increasingly being chosen by OEMs and tier one automotive suppliers alike. This thermoplastic is cost competitive while offering unique performance and appearance benefits – not least excellent weldability and superior weld-line strength.

Our customers are using glass-reinforced Akulon grades in shifter bases, with glass fiber levels ranging from 25% GF to the higher 50% GF for stiffness and strength, depending on the design. Meanwhile lower glass fiber concentrations (25% and 30%) are helping to reduce both weight and component cost.

It’s a proven, and increasingly popular solution.