As OEMs and parts suppliers work tirelessly to achieve the stringent, government-regulated fuel consumption goals, they are facing new engineering challenges. Developing lightweight parts places greater demands on the materials used to fabricate them. It pushes designers to replicate functionality in new materials, and to integrate a variety of functions into a single part. It completely changes the production process.
Developing lightweight parts also takes a partner who sees these challenges as opportunities and drivers of innovation. Your requirements should become the focal point for the development of new materials and technologies. As the automotive industry has steadily focused on creating lighter weight and more fuel efficient vehicles, innovative materials have played a major role in the development of lighter parts that don’t compromise on safety.
Engineering plastics like our Akulon polyamide 6 (PA6) have been used for airbag containers in more than 120 million vehicles. With a 20-year history without a single failure, this material has helped the industry evolve from a metal airbag container that weighted 3.2 kilograms with 20 working parts, to a container weighing as little as 1.0 kilogram, made from Akulon with only five working parts. Engineering plastics like Arnite are used in brake booster valves in more than 300 million vehicles – without a single failure. And advanced materials like Stanyl reduce frictional torque in timing chain systems by 10% within the critical engine speed range, equating to a fuel efficiency improvement of more than 0.4km/L.
Replacing metals in electric power steering (EPS) systems is one of the industry’s next big focus areas. We invented the Diablo technology – licensed to a number of other plastic suppliers – provides best-in-class thermal stability for parts exposed to high continuous use temperatures. And our new ForTii Ace product provides high and linear mechanical performance up to 150°C with excellent chemical resistance, targeting metal replacement in applications that have proven too challenging, such as cross beam bridges, structural oil pans, long engine mounts, and various transmission components.
R&D teams all over the world are developing materials that meet the most stringent UV tests of more than 3,000 hours of exposure for exterior applications, like door handles. Today, all vehicles contain advanced engineering plastic materials, and 87% of all cars contain materials developed by DSM.
For car manufacturers working to meet stringent emissions targets, every fraction of a gram reduction in CO2 is relevant. Ensure your material partner backs all of their material sales with the full support of their R&D, design and engineering teams, to ensure you can co-create the right solution for every application.
Contact us today about how we can help you meet your most extreme challenges in automotive.