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Engineering Materials

Reducing the risk of electronic failure in vehicles with halide-free materials

Connected car technology is transforming consumer expectations for safer and more comfortable driving experiences. Autonomous vehicles are projected to see a 63% annualized growth by 2030 – largely due to the roll-out of 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT). To facilitate this transition, automakers need to incorporate numerous electronics, including GPS, emergency braking, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and smart AI into highly connected vehicles.   

As automotive electronics become increasingly powerful and complex, they generate higher power levels and more heat, increasing the risk of electrical failure and fire. Many automotive suppliers currently use ionic additives, such as red phosphorous flame retardants or inorganic heat stabilizers, to respectively improve the thermal and flame retardant performance of the plastic components used in electronics. Yet, as components degrade over time, these additives can form acids that corrode electrical contacts after prolonged exposure to heat and moisture. This may cause an electronic component to fail or change its characteristics, potentially compromising a key vehicle safety feature, such as a sensor – which may lead to severe consequences for your brand.

Electrochemical corrosion can also occur when plastic components aren’t directly touching metal contacts. As heat stabilizers degrade over time due to heat and moisture exposure, halide ions escape the surface and corrode metallic contacts. To prevent this type of part failure, it’s recommended that plastic components near electronic circuitry contain less than 50 parts per million (ppm) of halides. As a result, more manufacturers are looking for thermoplastic materials that don’t rely on halide additives or red phosphorous for their thermal and flame retardant capabilities, to minimize the risk of electrical failure. 

DSM has a long track record of success delivering material solutions embraced by leading automotive, electrical and electronics brands worldwide. We offer a broad material portfolio that enables manufacturers to minimize the risk of electrochemical corrosion. Our teams work with customers to help them identify the materials best suited for manufacturing numerous plastic vehicle electronic components. We also help them to determine key applications requirements, and provide documentation certifying the safety performance of our thermoplastics.

Connectors

ForTii® Ace JTX8 is an advanced high temperature polyamide (PPA) ideal for producing FAKRA connectors built to withstand extreme temperatures. With Tg of 160°C, the material offers the highest glass transition temperature of any PA, and withstands long-term high-temperature heat ageing with a 2500 hrs thermal index of 188°C – without the need for halide heat stabilizers. DSM also offers a complete portfolio of Stanyl®, EcoPaXX® and Arnite® grades proven to reduce the risk of electrochemical corrosion, in addition to meeting various thermal resistance, electrical insulation, and design flexibility requirements for FAKRA connectors.

Car computer control systems

ForTii® T11 is optimized to prevent electrochemical corrosion in engine control units that interconnect multiple ADAS sensors. Halide-free grades of the material offer a best-in-class comparative tracking index (CTI) of 800V, a relative temperature index (RTI) of 140°C at 0.75mm, and UL 94 V-0 flammability rating to maximize safety performance. Both ForTii and ForTii Ace deliver outstanding chemical, thermal shock and blistering resistance for your most demanding E&E applications.

RADAR housings

ADAS manufacturers worldwide rely on Arnite TV4 261 to produce cost-effective, reliable and safe radar back covers and radomes. The material offers excellent continuous use temperatures (CUT) for superior thermal load management. Dedicated laser transparent as well as highly electrically and thermally conductive Arnite, Akulon® and Xytron® compounds meet the growing need for reliable thermal management and electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding required in electronics housings. These materials are halide-free, flame retardant, and support thin-walled designs and easy injection molding. 

DSM proactively works with automotive electronics manufacturers to understand their changing material requirements. We ensure the latest additions to our material portfolio address our customers’ most pressing safety and performance challenges to minimize the risk of costly product recalls. By staying ahead of automotive material safety concerns, we help our customers to capitalize on the business development opportunities afforded by autonomous vehicle technology.

Find out related datasheet

Learn more about Preventing E-corrosion

Published on

11 June 2021

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martin Wolffs

Product Manager

Martin Wolffs is currently product manager of Stanyl EcoPaxx ForTii for Europe with DSM Engineering Plastics. Previously Martin worked in various roles, such as product development specialist, research scientist, and project leader/program manager for DSM. He studied chemical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology and obtained his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in molecular engineering. He performed his Ph.D. research in the group of Prof. Dr. E. W. Meijer and Dr. A. P. H. J. Schennin on the self-assembly of pi-conjugated systems.

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