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Molex claims industry first with bioresin automotive connector

Molex Inc. (Lisle, IL) has announced the firm received third-party verification for the bioresin content of its Stac64-e connectors for use in automotive applications. The UL Environment ECV certification validates the connector's use of 71% bio-based content in line with ASTM D6866-11. Molex said in a release that the resin was castor-oil based. No further details regarding the material were immediately available from the company.

The 20-circuit, dual-row harness Stac64-e connector has also received USCAR-2 Standard Class II validation testing for mechanical, environmental and electrical performance characteristics for unsealed connector automotive applications. According to the company, "the bioplastic resin Stac64-e connector joins an existing portfolio of Molex Stac64 PCB connectors featuring a stackable, modular housing which can be ganged together into larger header assemblies, significantly reducing time-to-market by eliminating the need for custom tooling."

Among materials suppliers, Arkema (Colombes, France) has been active in developing a bio-sourced line of polyamides featuring polyamide 10.10, 11 and 12 with castor oil as the original source of renewable content. DuPont is another supplier whose forays into renewable sourcing with castor oil have found their way into automotive applications via the Zytel RS grades of nylon. Sebacic acid is the renewable content derived from the castor oil.

“Global focus on the conservation of energy and natural resources has raised the bar on automotive manufacturers. The automotive industry plays a pivotal role in advancing sustainability initiatives beyond bringing consumers worldwide more choices in energy efficient gas, electric and hybrid vehicles,” said Mark Rettig, global marketing director, Molex, in a statement. “A logical progression in this trend is connectors developed from renewable and plant-based resin.“

Molex is a provider of interconnect solutions for several markets including automotive, telecommunications, medical, lighting, and solar. The company was established in 1938 and has 39 manufacturing sites in 16 countries.

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