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PET bumps PBT in auto mirror actuators

One of the world's leading suppliers of automotive micro-actuator systems has chosen Arnite A, a high-performance compound based on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) from DSM Engineering Plastics for use in its latest generation of exterior mirror adjustment units. The material outperformed several rivals in a series of qualification tests.

One of the world's leading suppliers of automotive micro-actuator systems has chosen Arnite A, a high-performance compound based on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) from DSM Engineering Plastics for use in its latest generation of exterior mirror adjustment units. The material outperformed several rivals in a series of qualification tests.



High performance Arnite A PET compound from DSM is chosen by Magna for next-generation auto mirror actuators.

Magna Auteca required a replacement for PBT, which improved the durability performance for this new application. As a result of this, the company looked at a wide range of compounds based on different engineering thermoplastics. The validation period at Magna Auteca lasted over a year, during which time the company put the materials through a wide range of tests.

Magna Auteca (Weiz, Austria) has now selected Arnite AV2 370XT, a 35% glass-reinforced PET specifically intended for applications with extremely narrow tolerances. The adjustment unit will first appear on the latest version of the Porsche 911.

"Arnite XT outperformed PBT, PA66, PPA and competitive PET products on every single test, due mainly to its high dimensional stability, high stiffness and strength, and excellent wear and friction properties," says Michael Kleinhappl, Design Engineer at Magna Auteca. He adds "in addition to providing a top-quality material, DSM also provided best-in-class support throughout the entire application development phase".

"This is a major success for DSM and for Arnite A," says Andreas Weinmann, account manager at DSM. "Magna Auteca is a trendsetter for next generation mirror adjustment units with reduced weight and improved quality. We expect the competition will follow Magna shortly, and we are looking forward working with them, too."

DSM's family of Arnite XT grades offer extremely good dimensional stability due to its low moisture absorption and a very low and constant coefficient of linear thermal expansion (CLTE) that is comparable to aluminum. Arnite XT tolerates a wide range of temperatures and environmental conditions, including chemical exposure.

DSM is able to produce Arnite XT to very narrow specifications (glass fiber content, for example, is specified to 35.0 +/- 1.0% versus a reported minimum 2.0% margin in competitive products), ensuring an unprecedented consistency from batch to batch to fulfill the demanding requirements for high-performance precision parts.

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