Technological watch

DSM to showcase metal replacement solutions, recyclate-based polyamides at K 2019

DSM plans to showcase a number of targeted innovations at K 2019 in October headed by solutions for mobility, additive manufacturing, sports, and sustainability. The company will exhibit in hall 6 at booth 11.

EMI shielding with plastic: future of metal replacement in electrical cars. (Photo: DSM)

Novamid for classic Ducati motorbike 3D printed spare part. A lightweight alternative to metal for under-the-hood applications for more cost-efficient spare parts. (Photo: DSM)


Akulon Repurposed in high-end surfboard components: contributing to litter-free beaches and a healthier marine environment. (Photo: DSM)

With growing demand for electric mobility, electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding and thermal management are increasingly important in delivering high-quality automotive electronic systems. This is particularly the case for EMI according to Tamim P. Sidiki, Global Marketing Director Electronics at DSM. Currently, electric vehicles such as Tesla models charge at 400 V. In the future, fast charges will use 800 V and charge to 80% within 15 minutes and this higher voltage is a potential source of interference for the various sensors and radar units that will be employed in future autonomous vehicles

Metal enclosures house electronic control units, or power and battery management modules, protecting these elements from both heat and mechanical damage. Nevertheless, these conventional metal housings are heavy, driving fuel consumption and carbon emissions in case of pure combustion or hybrid cars and traction and driving experience in case of pure electric cars. DSM’s portfolio of conductive plastics enables the replacement of full-metal enclosures, with shielding efficiencies of around 40–60dB of plastic thickness, which protects from EMI and can lead to weight reductions of up to 50%.

In another mobility application, DSM and Starboard came together when the surfboard company selected DSM’s Akulon RePurposed, where the resin used is fully recycled from discarded polyamide-based fishing nets and is known for its sustainability profile as much as its performance. The discarded fishing nets are gathered from the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea and are given a new lease of life as fins, fin boxes, stand-up paddleboard pumps, and other structural parts in surfboards. The product can be applied in many other applications and is specifically targeted at the sports and leisure market.

Back on land, the athletic sportswear industry has increasingly integrated high-performance materials to deliver higher durability, stability and functional performance without compromising on weight. DSM’s expanded Arnitel co-polyester (E-TPEE) can be used in mid-soles of athletic footwear to deliver a range of performance advantages including a very high rebound rate of 75–80%, compared to 65–70% other materials such as E-TPU at equivalent densities. The material also delivers consistent performance across diverse climates; Arnitel has high consistency in modulus across temperatures from -25°C to +50°C.

The market for non-pneumatic tires, or flat-free tires that are not supported by air pressure, is being driven by the need to integrate higher levels of sustainability, durability, efficiency and reduced costs. Arnitel, a family of high-performance thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), offers a unique combination of flexibility, high-temperature resistance, strength, and processing characteristics. As such, Arnitel is increasingly being used as a lighter, smarter, greener alternative to conventional rubbers, reducing environmental impact and, ultimately, system costs.

Additive manufacturing (AM) is quickly evolving from prototyping into mainstream production, opening up a wide range of new horizons across many industries. The digital production technology enables new designs and applications, as well as reducing inventories, process waste, transportation cost, and carbon footprint. DSM has pioneered additive manufacturing for over 25 years, and at K 2019 will be outlining opportunities of AM for automotive OEMs. From creating vehicles produced in comparatively low volumes to individual requirements and tastes to the production of spare parts – an area with huge potential as it could help reduce inventory, typically 7% of an automotive OEM’s liquid assets.

Publication date: 17/07/2019

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Last update: 2020-07-14