DSM Engineering Plastics

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As ECUs become smaller, they are more critical for interconnecting autonomous vehicle systems

13 September 2019
  • Lennon ChuGlobal Market Development Manager

Automotive manufacturers are investing heavily in self-driving initiatives, and soon the first level five autonomous vehicles will be on the road. According to the article “The Self-Driving Car Timeline,” most manufacturers are expecting to introduce these self-driving vehicles between 2020 and 2030.  

Level five vehicles require no human driver and manufacturers are now introducing the underlying car computer technology as well as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)—these systems develop and test the technology and lay the foundation for the safety and security of autonomous driving.

Miniaturization creates a challenge

The design of the ECU is very compact, and electronics are being squeezed into the smallest packaging space possible. The challenge with connectors lies in their miniaturization—making wall thickness thinner.


As connectors become smaller there are more weld lines and stresses are localized in these miniature products, potentially causing crack issues. Reducing the PCB footprint is now critical, and in harsh environments, fulfilled reflow soldering and robust mechanical performance will be important to materials selection in electronic components and connectors. A material with good balance of toughness and stiffness is necessary to allow engineers to minimize the risk of cracking due to improved strength of the weld line.

Also, the following requirements for connectors must be met for safe and reliable operation during use of the car and throughout the manufacture of parts through the various tier processes:

  • Unlimited shelf life (JEDEC MSL1)
  • No pin corrosion (insulation material is free from halogens and red phosphorous and without iconic heat stabilizers)
  • High continuous use temperature of 150-180°C
  • Excellent chemical resistance
  • High ductility
  • High electric strength and CTI of 600V and above (PLC0)

DSM’s ForTii product line addresses all these requirements. ForTii JTX2 and JTX8 combine the dimensional stability and low moisture absorption of polyesters with the high mechanical strength of polyamides. ForTii JTX8 is the only material that meets JEDEC MSL1 and ensures zero blistering over an infinite shelf life. Also, it ensures excellent reliability during and after assembly as well as after years of use in harsh conditions. Free from halogen, red phosphorous, and ionic heat stabilizers, these ForTii grades are sustainable.

To learn more about the characteristics of ForTii JTX2 and JTX8 contact us for additional information. You can also visit plasticsfinder.com for additional information about ForTii, including technical data sheets.

The future of automotive

     

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