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Motor developer PM DM uses Ultradur LUX plastic for laser welded control unit

News International-French

2 Aug 2012

The new Ultradur® LUX is being used in an air flap control unit, an unusual serial application in automotive construction. Motor developer Precision Motors Deutsche Minebea (PM DM), based in Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany, is employing this highly laser-transparent and thus easily laser-weldable BASF plastic of the PBT family (PBT: polybutylene terephthalate) to make the housing cover of its novel control module.

This small actuator consisting of gears, an electric motor and an electronic unit serves to control the air flaps in motor vehicles, thus contributing to better aerodynamics and lower CO2 emissions.




Temperature management under the hood

In the future, it will be possible to control the air flow that cools modern car engines, achieving even greater efficiency than before: movable air flaps or vanes installed behind the radiator grill can be closed by the actuator in response to cold weather, helping the engine to reach its operating temperature more quickly. At the same time, the closed vanes reduce air resistance when the vehicle is travelling at high speeds, which also saves fuel. The PM DM company developed this actuator in a joint effort with Röchling Automotive, a supplier to the car industry. The market leader and inventor of air flap systems integrates the modules into its components and also takes care of the validation for its automobile customers. The performance parameters of the PM DM actuators as well as their very compact design allow the supplier to respond flexibly to the requirements in various types of cars.




Laser-transparent PBT

The highly laser-transparent PBT Ultradur LUX accounts for stiffness and dimensional stability, even in damp environments, two properties which are particularly important in the electric and electronic realms. The product’s key characteristic is its high transparency toward near-infrared light in the 800 to 1100 nm wavelength, precisely the crucial range for penetration laser welding. The improved transparency to laser light means that this material can be welded faster than other PBT grades available on the market. Moreover, the processing window is considerably wider and the risk of damage to the material is much lower. The grade used here, Ultradur® LUX B4300 G4, is reinforced with 20% glass fibers.




About PM DM

PM DM, Precision Motors Deutsche Minebea GmbH is the largest motor development center within the international network of the Japanese Minebea Co. Ltd., Tokyo and is based in Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany. As part of the Minebea corporation, with its 54,000 employees worldwide one of the leading manufacturers of mechanical and electronic parts, the development center in Villingen-Schwenningen employs over 250 technicians, engineers and scientists who come up with innovative electronically commutated direct-current motors and stepper motors as well as other drive solutions. Aside from its core business, namely, designing spindle motors for hard drives, the center also develops precision motors for the automotive and industrial sectors, readying them for serial production. The entire development process goes hand in hand with making cutting-edge manufacturing and measurement equipment for serial production. After a successful production start, the process is then finalized in the European and Asian manufacturing facilities. A new focus of development is the realm of energy harvesting. Moreover, PM DM offers complete systems and special machinery for a wide array of industrial sectors.



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