DSM Engineering Plastics

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K 2019: Safe and reliable connectors make smart homes safe homes

8 October 2019
  • Candace Roulo Global Manager of Messaging and Content Development

Smart homes are not a future concept—thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) smart homes and intelligent devices are here today, enabling a more convenient and comfortable lifestyle, plus the possibility to help you save some energy too.

Some of the intelligent household appliances and systems that are connected to the smart grid include lighting, security and entertainment systems, heating and air conditioning systems, and appliances like coffee makers, refrigerators, washers and dryers, and even kitchen and bathroom faucets. You can control electrical and electronic devices in your home from your smart phones and tablets. 

This level of connectivity between smart homes and intelligent devices depends on many things, but one of the most important parts of a smart home is the connector. Gone are the days of a simple connector—today’s connectors are a combination of metal conductors and plastics insulation. Designers continue to demand more performance, reliability, and ease of use in a much smaller footprint.

To simplify connectivity, power and signal lines are frequently integrated into the same connectors. Given that such components are intended to last the lifetime of the appliance, this significantly raises the challenge for designers. This is the case with connectors for pumps and motors in certain household appliances, such as washing machines, clothes dryers, air conditioners, refrigerators and freezers, which require higher amperage than other system components.

Without the right design and material solutions, connectors can increase the risk of electrical failure with potentially serious consequences. In order avoid these risks, there is an increased need for safety and reliability of the connectors themselves. It’s a must that insulation plastics for electrical interconnects with higher performance in electrical resistance, flame retardance, and heat or chemical resistance (high CTI/flame retardancy/glow wire) are used when designing connectors for these intelligent home appliances.


Meeting regional requirements

One of the main challenges appliance and connector manufacturers face is to produce one product that will satisfy all regional regulations. Many regions have different performance requirements for appliance connectors.

Advanced engineering plastics from DSM are coming to the aid of appliance connector designers. We have developed several materials that achieve the highest UL 94 flammability rating, V0, at a thickness of just 0.4mm, which also enable end products to pass the IEC 60695-11-10 Glow Wire Test (GWT) without igniting at 850°C. These materials also have a high comparative tracking index (CTI) of 400V.

Visit us at K 2019—the world’s premier fair for the plastics and rubber industry—in Düsseldorf, Germany, Oct. 16-23, 2019, in Hall 6, Booth B11, to learn more about these connector material solutions. Plus, make sure to sign up for our tech seminar about “Safer connected homes around the world.” Click here to reserve your seat to attend the tech seminar today!

If you haven’t registered to attend the K Fair yet, visit https://www.k-online.com/ to buy your ticket today!

 

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