DSM Engineering Materials

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Sensor material requirements ensure automobiles are safe for drivers and passengers

1 July 2020
  • Sanjay SinghBusiness Development Manager

Today sensors play an extremely important role in automobiles since they are utilized in so many different components, including engine management, transmission controls, safety and security, chassis controls and in-cabin controls.

Sensors need to be reliable and work correctly. If a sensor is not working properly the driver will not be warned of potential maintenance issues and safety issues. For example, what if a car’s oil temperature is low and the temperature sensor doesn’t activate? Or, what if a tire pressure sensor is not working correctly and the tire is loosing air, but the sensor doesn’t go on? The driver may be in for a rude awakening when a tire goes flat, especially if he wasn’t alerted via the tire pressure sensor. Besides the inconvenience of a flat tire, this is definitely a safety issue too.

 

Regarding passenger and driver safety, sensors are used for airbags, rollover and side crash protection, and comfort and convenience. Also, for the powertrain system, the  benefits of using sensors are to lower vehicle emissions and improve fuel economy, plus onboard diagnostics. In the chassis system, sensors are used to monitor the stability and collision avoidance system.

Sensor material requirements

To ensure reliability and safety, the material solutions utilized must meet specific requirements. Key materials requirements include:

Tensile strength/shear modulus:

  • Reduced notched sensitivity–cracking.
  • For replaceable parts, fatigue performance is very important.     
  • This combination of properties will help to meet high torque requirements during installation.

Flow :

  • Most sensors encapsulate the sensor element and/or its leads.
  • Encapsulation should be without damage to the sensor/leads.
  • Material should generate a seal on these elements.

Some sensors may require a materials solution that offers high temperature relaxation/creep resistance (clamp force retention); usage temperature range from -40°C up to 70°C, peak temperature of 90°C; and part integration feasibility.

As per these technical and commercial requirements, DSM’s material solutions meet these key requirements. Arnite® is used in many automotive sensor applications in which there are moving parts, such as wheel speed sensors, water level/ temperature sensors, position sensors and air intake sensors.

To learn more about DSM's material portfolio or to request test samples, contact us or visit plasticsfinder.com for additional information, including technical data sheets.

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