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DuPont™ Hytrel® thermoplastic elastomer helps resolve “baffling” design challenge

02.02.2009
A unique approach to integrating a sealing and baffle function in General Motors’ new 6T40 and 6T45 transversely mounted 6-speed automatic transmissions helps condense packaging space and enable better clutch and transmission durability.

The two new transmissions deliver power to a wide range of vehicles available globally from GM, including the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu, Daewoo Tosca and Buick LaCrosse for the Chinese market.


Photo: DuPont
The integrated baffle and seal lip assembly, made of DuPont™ Hytrel® thermoplastic polyester elastomer, is located in the torque transfer case and is designed to reduce oil aeration, provide a seal that limits fluid from flooding the chain while ultimately enabling transmission fluid fill for life.

The integrated baffle and seal lip assembly, made of DuPont™ Hytrel® thermoplastic polyester elastomer, is located in the torque transfer case and is designed to reduce oil aeration, provide a seal that limits fluid from flooding the chain while ultimately enabling transmission fluid fill for life. The one-piece, flexible component significantly reduces overall cost because it avoids the use of costly multi-step production and assembly processes, which were typically metal stampings or plastic carriers with a rubber bead.

“We started a couple years ago and worked very closely with GM to optimise the material and process for this design so that they could cost-effectively realise the full benefits of the innovation,” said Dino Tres, DuPont Automotive development programs manager. “Hytrel® is key. Even though it’s not typically considered for transmission applications, it proved to offer the right balance of flexibility and stiffness despite temperature extremes to fit the complex geometries of the transfer case while resisting swell when exposed to oils, aliphatics and aromatic solvents.”

Two years in development saw tooling iterations and material upgrades to optimize performance for service temperatures that cycle between -40°C to +140°C. The team extensively used the Troy-based DuPont Automotive Application Development Center to test materials, various processes and tools. Now in production, the part is manufactured by Chunil Engineering in Korea and CWB Group in China.

“The success of this design on the 6T40 program was followed quickly by application of this design on the 6T45 program, which recently went into production,” said Jatin Desai, General Motors Powertrain transmission structural component global team leader. “This generation offers improved performance, yet still packages the 6-speed into the space of a 4-speed.”

The DuPont Engineering Polymers business manufactures and sells Crastin® PBT and Rynite® PET thermoplastic polyester resins, Delrin® acetal resins, Hytrel® thermoplastic polyester elastomers, DuPont™ ETPV engineering thermoplastic vulcanizates, Minlon® mineral reinforced nylon resins, Thermx® PCT polycyclohexylene dimethyl terephthalate, Tynex® filaments, Vespel® parts and shapes, Zenite® LCP liquid crystal polymers, Zytel® nylon resins and Zytel® HTN high-performance polyamides. These products serve global markets in the aerospace, appliance, automotive, consumer, electrical, electronic, healthcare, industrial, sporting goods and many other diversified industries.

DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

The DuPont Oval, DuPont™, The miracles of science™, and Hytrel® are registered trademarks or trademarks of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company or its affiliates.

Horst Ulrich Reimer | Du Pont
Further information:
http://www.dupont.com

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