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DSM in Automotive

In pursuit of perfect plastic pedals

Clutch and accelerator pedals have long been made from polyamide 6. These critical parts of the car need high fatigue and impact resistance – which is why manufacturers are increasingly using our Akulon® material for metal replacement. As a result they are benefiting from lighter weight, more flexible design, component consolidation, and lower costs…
Man holding an engineered plastics pedal

Why Akulon polyamide 6 for pedals and pedal module? The simple answer is that this tough thermoplastic offers the robust performance you would expect from metals – without the weight and permanent set. That includes high strength and stiffness (from -35°C to 85°C) and very good impact properties that last for the lifetime of the vehicle.

In fact, the grades we offer for pedal systems are glass fiber-reinforced ranging from 30% to 50% GF depending on the individual needs of customers. For example, for floor-mounted accelerator pedals with a living hinge, we developed a tailor-made grade of Akulon that offers the necessary fatigue resistance.

More than strength

However, strength and durability are only part of the story. Akulon provides good creep resistance and surface appearance. It’s up to 40% lighter than metal, and – being a thermoplastic - enables ease of design into integrated complex pedals.

This not only helps you improve productivity and reduce system costs but the associated weight reduction also has a major environmental impact. Lighter cars consume less fuel – which means lower carbon emissions.