Engineering Materials

Helping you make a safer, lighter and more sustainable electric vehicle

Working with global automotive tiers and OEMs, DSM Engineering Materials is building on our track record in the automotive, electrical and electronics industries, and leveraging our position in sustainability, providing unique material solutions for electric vehicles.  

The transition from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to connected, semi-autonomous electric vehicles (EV) is quickly accelerating — entrants to the market and growing consumer acceptance are driving electrification. Automotive OEMs are stepping up in EV technology, including software and autonomous driving functionalities to improve vehicle, passenger, and driver safety. At the same time, the added battery weight of an EV needs to be compensated by lightweight designs. EVs will need to be charged quickly, have a high driving range, and a curb weight comparable to its equivalent in an ICE vehicle. Plus, sustainability is imperative — government regulations and OEM ambitions are driving sustainability initiatives and many consumers want to actively contribute to a greener world, including sustainable mobility by driving electric vehicles.

With evolving powertrain technology being costly and time consuming, and new software and AI technology to focus on, OEMs are increasing partnerships across the value chain to obtain access to safe, lightweight and sustainable technologies and application innovations.

Safety is at DSM’s core

We have a successful record of providing materials for safety critical applications in the automotive, electrical and electronics industries. Our expertise ensures that future mobility systems, like the e-powertrain, connectivity, tanks and structural parts are made with the most reliable, safe materials that meet or exceed application standards while reduce the carbon footprint on a complete system level. Some examples of our unique materials for EV applications are:

  • DSM’s dedicated Xytron™ PPS compounds with very low ionic leaching and high mechanical strength improve lifetime and efficiency of fuel cells. This innovative material is already approved by various OEMs and Tiers in China, Japan and Europe.
  • Gasoline and hydrogen permeation as key safety and performance drivers for hybrid and fuel cell vehicles. Our Akulon® Fuel Lock PA6 offers a proven, easy-to-process alternative to High Density Poly Ethelene liners, enabling lighter tanks with significantly reduced gasoline and hydrogen permeation.
  • A broad portfolio of electro friendly materials helps avoid electro corrosion in critical applications, such as ADAS or electronics components, resulting in lower failure rates of safety critical systems.
  • A key factor of the growth of EVs is a short charging time of approximately 20 minutes for an 80% charge of a battery. To reduce the electrical losses, the industry will move towards higher voltages up to 800V and above. A better resistance of insulation plastics to high voltages will be required to ensure highest safety and reliability for such ultra-fast charging. We already launched Akulon PA66 and ForTii PPA compounds with a record comparative tracking index (CTI) of >750V and >800V.
  • Operation of CTI test equipment to meet next generation customer requirements up to 1500V AC and 1000V DC. Since the underlying IEC 60112 standard and measurement is described up to 600V, high voltage component manufacturers are keen to collaborate in high voltage CTI testing from 600-1500V to meet next generation fast charging. DSM is a pioneer to install an advanced electrical test laboratory enabling such extreme high voltage CTI material characterization.

Three examples of DSM materials making Electric Vehicles Safer (left; EV charging plug with enhanced  electrical safety properties required for fast-charging), Lighter (middle; JEC 2020 innovation award-winning lightweight FRP center tunnel for Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman) and more Sustainable (right; SPE Automotive 2021 innovation award-winning wire-harness clips for Ford Bronco Sport made of ocean plastics). Source: DSM Engineering Materials.
 

EV Lightweighting

Key for EVs is lightweighting, and we have design and materials expertise making challenging structural parts, such as plastic seatings, cross car beams, front end modules or engine mounts and brackets lighter, with ForTii® PA4T PPA and Akulon® PA6 and PA66 PAs, enabling fast prototypes of high performance while lowering total system cost.  The combination of blow molding, injection molding advanced composites with various secondary processing techniques, such as welding technologies, offers the highest design flexibility for all plastic or metal/plastic hybrid structures.

For composite designs our unidirectional tapes are used by many global automakers because they offer 50% weight reduction vs. incumbent metal solutions, a shorter production time and high functional integration. In 2020, DSM's Akulon PA66 GF60 and PA66 CF60 in JEC Innovation Award, winning for lightweight FRP center tunnel for Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman.

Also, to make lighter and safer gears and actuation systems, Stanyl® PA46 offers higher torque and durability than alternative thermoplastics such as PPO, PPA or PA66. For EV electric brake boosters and parking brakes, a smaller and lighter design is needed. Stanyl® is a proven solution that is already used more than 100 million automotive gears each year. 

Helping customers reach sustainability goals

Recently we announced an accelerated pace to cut the carbon footprint of our materials by 50% vs. alternative solutions. We are the first company in the industry to communicate such a bold ambition of reducing its total greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprint of its products by 50% by 2030, from a 2016 baseline and developing and rolling out bio- and/or recycled-based alternatives for its entire portfolio by 2030; specific grades are available for all major product lines.

For example, with its bio-based alternative materials solutions, EcoPaXX® PA410 & Arnitel® Eco TPE, we can support CO2 reduction for increased OEM sustainability requirements today without design changes or requalification. Also, Akulon® RePurposed PA6—a recycled PA6 alternative to fossil-fuel-based plastics made from used fishing nets recovered from the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea—offers like-new performance. We are proud to have received the 2021 SPE Innovation Award for first use of ocean plastic in a production vehicle—the 2022 Ford Bronco Sport cable clip is made of this fully recycled Akulon material.  

Most important to our customers is that we enable value chain transparency by providing the carbon footprint data of all main grades, based on supplier input and regional validation. The data is available to all relevant customers in our downstream value chain.

At the core of our strategy is Safer, Lighter and more Sustainable EVs, and we will continue to invest in the further development of existing and new applications, in close cooperation with partners from across the value chain.

Contact us to learn more about our materials solutions for EV applications.

Published on

02 February 2022

Tags

  • Sustainability
  • Automotive
  • Akulon
  • Arnitel
  • Stanyl
  • Xytron
  • EcoPaxx

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Tamim Peter Sidiki

Global Marketing Manager of Mobility

Dr. Tamim Peter Sidiki is Global Marketing Manager of Mobility. Tamim holds a Master Degree in Physics and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering obtained at Universities in Germany, Sweden and Scotland. Tamim has more than 20 years of experience in the consumer and automotive electronics industry and has been with DSM since October 2007.

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