Machine Design

Copolymers open the door for tactile nonslip grips

Two acetal copolymers that resist wear and impact are keys to success for a high-visibility automotive door handle.

Gecom Corp., a first-tier automotive supplier from Greensburg Ind. chose Celcon acetal copolymers for the inside door handles it makes for the U.S. assembly plant of a Japanese automaker. The auto door handle, actuator rod, and pivot shaft are molded from acetal copolymers and held in a polypropylene case.

The copolymers sport a range of good-looking finishes that match vehicle interiors. The copolymers also provide a tactile grip and strength to withstand the repeated stress of many car door openings and closings.

An impact-resistant Celcon acetal copolymer from Ticona, Summit N.J., forms the 3.5-in. (90-mm) long handle. It pivots about its widest part located two inches (51 mm) from the free end. A plastic shaft of Celcon M90 acetal copolymer slips through a hole in the handle to form the axis around which the handle rotates. The acetal copolymer's lubricity and low wear create handles that will operate smoothly for years.

A second hole in the handles is for a rod that actuates the door-lock release. Celcon M90 acetal copolymer is also used to snap-link the actuator rod to the handle and to hold the pivot shaft in place. Both handle and pivot sit in a polypropylene case.

The molding tool for the handle has two slides to accommodate holes in the handle. The tool is textured to give the parts a somewhat pitted, sandblasted surface so drivers and passengers get a firmer, nonslip grip when opening the door.

TAGS: Automotive
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