Machine Design

Easy Flow Polymer Steers a Winning Course

Steering-angle sensors from Bosch in Germany provide information about the position of the steering wheel for the electronic stability programs that help keep vehicles steerable during skids.

The sensors sit inside the tight confines of the steering column. To mold the sensor’s ultrathin walls and complex gerometry, Bosch engineers spec’d an easyflowing polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) from BASF Corp. Florham Park, N.J. The compound, Utradur High Speed PBT, is modified with nanoadditives that let the plastic more easily fill thin-walled parts. This translates into considerable material savings and dropped the number of rejects because the tool fills more easily.

Molders were able to shorten cycle times by 30%, as well as mold more intricate geometries than possible with standard PBT resins. Better flow also lets Bosch lower temperatures and pressures in the injection-molding machine. Energy savings of up to 20% have been reported.

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BASF Corp. (800) 526-1072, www.plasticsportal.net

Bosch designers were also able to incorporate snap-on connections to ease assembly of the steeringangle sensors inside the steering column.

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