By Nick Gilbert
BASF announced that its new Ultradur LUX B4300 G4 plastic material, toughened with 20% glass fibers, is now being used by Precision Motors Deutsche Minebea (PM DM), a Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany-based motor development center, to build the housing cover of an innovative air flap control unit.
The cover of the actuator manufactured by PM DM
The unit has unique application in automotive construction. This compact actuator includes an electronic unit, an electric motor and gears. It is used to control the air flaps in vehicles, and helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions and promotes improved aerodynamics. PM DM developed the actuator along with Röchling Automotive, a car industry supplier.
The Ultradur LUX polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) is a highly laser-transparent and easily laser-weldable plastic material. It provides dimensional stability and stiffness even in damp environments. Key feature of the Ultradur LUX is its high transparency in near-infrared light with wavelength ranging from 800 to 1100 nm, which is considered as a precise range for penetration laser welding. In addition, the processing window is significantly wider and therefore there is reduced damage risk to the material.
There is a possibility to control the air flow that cools present car engines in the future, thus attaining greater efficiency than before. By using the actuator, movable vanes or air flaps equipped at the back of the radiator grill can be closed during cold weather, which helps the car engine to achieve its operating temperature very quickly. Simultaneously, the closed vanes decrease air resistance when the motor vehicle travels at high speeds, which in turn offers fuel savings.