Integrated Electronic Connector Gasket Significantly Cuts Cost, Assembly Time Taps ‘2K’ Molding Technology for Better Bonding

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, Oct 18, 2011 – A new electronic connector gasket from Dana Corp. is one of the first applications to benefit from patented 2K molding technology for the production of assemblies combining DuPont™ Vamac® ethylene acrylic elastomer (AEM) with DuPont™ Zytel® nylon resin.

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Dana Gasket

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 percent to 40 percent and component cost by 25 percent to -40 percent compared with conventional gaskets and separate wiring harnesses.
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Electronic Connector Gasket

Dana’s 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.
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The multi-shot technology, licensed solely to DuPont by Evonik Degussa GmbH, allows direct bonding of rubber and plastics and simplifies assembly by eliminating the need for primer or anchoring.

The new technology for first tier suppliers of integrated automotive components, such as Dana Corp., Neu-Ulm, Germany, is the opportunity for greater cost and processing efficiencies as well as enhanced part quality and reliability, even after heat and automotive fluid aging.

In the 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 leaks. 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. 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 maintain long-term sealing force, so the gasket can be disassembled and reassembled 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,” said 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 percent to 40 percent, and eliminates the need to machine cylinder head holes, feed cables or control wiring direction. Accurate positioning of all power connections is assured, while yielding a 25 percent to 40 percent 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.

Oct 18, 2011