WEB EXCLUSIVE: A 20% glass-reinforced grade of Ultradur LUX laser-transparent PBT resin from BASF SE (U.S. office in Wyandotte, Mich.) is being used for the housing cover of a novel air-flap control actuator developed jointly by Germany’s Tier 1 supplier Rochling Automotive (U.S. office in Duncan, S.C.) and motor developer Precision Motors Duetche Minebea (PM DM). Based in Germany, PM DM is the largest motor development center within the international network of Japan’s Minebea Co., Ltd.
The small actuator, which consists of gears, an electric motor, and an electronic unit, serves to control the air flaps on motor vehicles and contribute to better aerodynamics and lower CO2 emissions. First introduced two years ago, the highly laser-transparent Ultradur LUX PBT provides the critical stiffness and dimensional stability, even in damp environments. The resin has high transparency to near-infrared light in 800 to 1100 nm wavelengths, the crucial range for penetration laser welding. Its improved transparency to laser light (60% vs. 30% for previous products) means this material can be welded faster than other PBT grades. In addition, the processing window is reportedly considerably wider and the risk of damage to the material is much lower.