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DSM in Automotive

Bringing you the world’s best material for airbag containers

Airbags are a critical safety element in the car and need to be 100% dependable. This key safety restraint system also presents a prime opportunity for metal replacement and reduction in weight – and thus CO2 , and costs for manufacturers. Enter Akulon® polyamide 6 – proven to deliver in all these areas, and used in over 120 million vehicles.

The most important question for any airbag is simply: Will it work?

Our toughened Akulon family is a proven technology for airbag housings capable of withstanding an airbag deployment in all OEM conditions – which makes it the most robust product available for airbags today.

Not surprisingly, we subject parts made with Akulon to fearsome test conditions including our unique Dynamic Burst Pressure test, which simulates real deployment conditions. Having been installed in over 200 different vehicles types globally without a single fault, it’s clear that Akulon brings not just inherent strength but also extreme durability: High-grade plastics don’t rust or snap – as metals tend to do.

Lower weight, costs and CO2

Guaranteeing safety is key. But so too is balancing this against the need to provide a lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicle with a lower carbon footprint.

Akulon delivers all these benefits. Consider this: Ten years ago a metal-based airbag container contained 20 working parts, weighed 3.2kg and involved 12 separate processes. Today, using Akulon, it has five working parts, weights a little as 1.2kg (passenger side) and involves only six processes.

For our customers this equates to a reduction in system costs, a reduction in weight – and therefore a reduction in fuel consumption. Reducing carbon emissions by just one gram per vehicle will not only contribute to a greener planet but can also save potentially millions in fines and/or incentives around the world as sustainability continues to climb the corporate agenda.

Working with customers

Over the past 20 years we have built up experience and expertise in designing airbag housings in plastics by working in partnership with our customers.

Using plastic instead of metal (including high-flow grades like our Akulon Ultraflow) is helping design engineers to re-imagine this important part of the vehicle, aided by our own in-house experts, and supported by extensive material data.

Our portfolio of grades:

DSM grades for airbag housings

Grade    Driver airbag Passenger airbag Knee airbag
K225-PG8 GF40 IM Y Y Y
K225-PG6 GF30 IM N For designs less critical in strength (e.g. IP mounted) For designs less critical in strength
K-FPG8 GF40 IM HF For designs less critical on impact For designs less critical on impact For designs less critical on impact
K224-HG8 GF40 Only for designs not critical on impact N N