Machine Design

Puttin’ the Pedal to the Metal

Three engineering polymers help an electronic accelerator pedal increase safety and comfort and reduce energy consumption and CO2 emission in the Mini Cooper and other vehicles.

Edited by Jean M. Hoffman

The accelerator-pedal sensors are used to detect the pedal position and produce pedal-force feedback. German system supplier Hella was the first to develop integrated electronic accelerator-pedal sensors for diesel and gasoline engines.

The sensors are installed in cars with drive-by-wire systems and electric vehicles and designed to let both the accelerator pedal and the systems for pedal-force feedback and signal generation be combined in a single modular unit. The unit controls the engine response according to the specific situation and leads to reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emission. Celstran LFRT, Hostaform POM (acetal copolymer), and Celanex PBT from Ticona Engineering Polymers, Florence, Ky., serve in five key components of the pedal to improve the operation of this drive-by-wire technology.

Celstran LFRT is strong and lightens the weight of the pedal plate and housing. This material’s high dimensional stability and insensitivity to moisture and temperature, coupled with its good mechanical properties, reportedly lets the pressure impulses from the driver’s foot be precisely sensed for smooth and sensitive acceleration. Celanex (2300 GV 1/30) protects the sensitive sensor housing with its high stiffness, excellent dimensional stability, and good electrical and dielectric properties, which are unaffected by the expected range of temperature and moisture. Hostaform POM helps in the mechanical sliding elements of the pedal with special friction and wear characteristics of the tribologically modified polyacetal copolymer. Hostaform XAP for automotive interiors also ensures compliance with the emission requirements.

“Throughout the car’s lifetime, there will be no unpleasant noises from the accelerator pedal. In addition, Hostaform and Celstran resins meet automotive manufacturers’ vehicle interior emission requirements,” says Michael Hrr, project manager for automotive interiors at Ticona.

Make Contact Ticona Engineering Polymers, (800) 833-4882,

<p>Electronic accelerator pedal sensors from German system supplier Hella go in cars with drive-by-wire systems and electric vehicles.</p>

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