The multi-shot technology, licensed solely to DuPont by Evonik Degussa GmbH, allows the direct bonding of rubber and plastics and simplifies assembly by eliminating the need for primer or anchoring. The upshot of the new technology for first tier suppliers of integrated automotive components, such as Dana Corporation, is the opportunity for greater cost and processing efficiencies as well as enhanced part quality and reliability, even after heat and automotive fluid aging.
Photo: Courtesy of DANA corporation
A new electronic connector gasket from Dana integrates wiring harness, power connectors and DuPont™ Zytel® and Vamac® polymers in a primerless bond, reducing assembly time by 30-40% and component cost by 25-40% compared with conventional gaskets and separate wiring harnesses.
Photo: Courtesy of DANA corporation
This detail of the new Dana integrated electronic connector gasket shows elastomeric sealing surfaces of Vamac® AEM (shown in blue) bonded permanently to rigid structural parts of Zytel® PA66 nylon resin (shown in black) to provide oil and high temperature resistance, while eliminating leak paths.
In the case of the highly integrated connector gasket, which includes both a wiring harness and power connectors, its seal made of Vamac® AEM is permanently bonded to the gasket body of Zytel® nylon to provide long term heat and oil resistance and to eliminate leakages. The particular grade of Zytel® nylon 6,6 specified for the gasket body combines excellent mechanical properties with enhanced heat aging performance, hydrolysis resistance and improved oil resistance. For its part, when used in seals, Vamac® AEM provides high sealing performance, low permeability and excellent resistance to oil and grease. Moreover, seals made of Vamac® AEM are highly resistant to compression set and maintains long-term sealing force, meaning that the gasket can be disassembled and reassembled again for reuse.
“The greatest challenge was to seal metals, thermoplastics and rubber materials at the open window connector point. We worked closely with DuPont to modify the polymers and develop new process technology to create optimal adhesion between Zytel® nylon and Vamac® AEM throughout the gasket,” comments Berthold Schiele, sales engineer and project manager for plastic systems at Dana. “The adhesion of Vamac® AEM to Zytel® nylon exceeded our expectations. We subjected the bonded materials to a special pull force test, but the extra force necessary to separate the two far exceeded the actual operating conditions the gasket will meet in long-term service. Consequently, we can see considerable potential application for this technology and materials combination in the future.”
The Dana gasket is the first to integrate wiring harness, all fuel injector, plug, sensor and actuator/solenoid power connections. The result is a highly-integrated unit, complete with pre-assembled wiring harness that can reduce assembly time by 30-40%, and eliminates the need to machine cylinder head holes, feed cables or control wiring direction. Thus, accurate positioning of all power connections is assured, while yielding a 25-40% component cost saving compared with conventional gaskets and separate wiring harnesses.
In addition to undergoing a 150,000 mile in-vehicle endurance trial, the electronic connector gasket has met or exceeded all industry standard tests, including heat aging, and exposure to internal engine heat, oil and dynamic operating conditions. Its subsequent adoption by major players in the off-highway, construction, agricultural, stationary and marine diesel engine markets has been rapid. The first commercial installations in Europe took place from early 2010 in large diesel engines manufactured by MTU, Deutz, and Liebherr, following exhaustive validation and field trials.
DuPont Performance Polymers is committed to working with customers throughout the world to develop new products, components and systems that help reduce dependence on fossil fuels and protect people and the environment. With more than 40 manufacturing, development and research centers throughout the world, DuPont Performance Polymers uses the industry’s broadest portfolio of plastics, elastomers, renewably sourced polymers, filaments and high-performance parts and shapes to deliver cost-effective solutions to customers in aerospace, automotive, consumer, electrical, electronic, industrial, sporting goods and other diversified industries.
DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit www.dupont.com.
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