BASF material reduces weight by 20% for Valeo's new steering column top switch module

Delivery time:

2022-09-16 11:16

It is not just the steering wheel that affects the driving experience, but also the steering column top switch module that connects the steering wheel to the control unit. French automotive supplier Valeo has developed a new steering column top switch module: its housing and rocker are made of BASF's engineering plastics Ultramid® (PA: polyamide) and Ultradur® (PBT: polybutylene terephthalate) ), which is about 20% lighter than the previous product, and has the advantages of excellent surface quality, UV resistance, and excellent physical properties. This module is already used by the BMW Group for rear-wheel drive models from the 3 Series to the 7 Series.
Jochen Fößel, responsible for component optimization and injection molding at Valeo, said: "Our steering column is based on a proven integrated design and is highly adaptable to the different interior architectures of the BMW 3 Series to 7 Series. In order to develop stable performance , The steering column top switch module with outstanding functions and beautiful appearance, we have selected suitable materials from BASF's many engineering plastics; in addition, BASF's services in component design, material development and processing have also provided us with a great deal of Help." The indicator and wiper rocker of the module are made of BASF's surface-designed polyamide Ultramid® B3EG10 SI (SI is surface-enhanced). The two-part core module uses PBT Ultradur® B 4520 and Ultradur® B 4300 G4. The latter is used by Buck Spritzgussteile Formenbau in Flachslanden, Germany. The surface polyamide for the rocker combines mechanical properties with an aesthetically pleasing appearance.
A special feature of the indicator and wiper rocker is the use of BASF's Ultramid® B3EG10 SI material, which has excellent surface quality and stability. With a glass fiber content of up to 50%, this polyamide achieves an ideal balance between mechanical properties and visual effects and is therefore used to produce surface components with high demands on appearance, stability and UV resistance. Originally developed for the furniture industry, the material is now used in a wide variety of designs and office chairs. Jochen Fößel recalls: “We were a little surprised when BASF introduced us to the furniture material at first. But as soon as we saw the uniform, shiny surface we were overwhelmed. Later our tests also proved that the material is excellent. Mechanical properties and UV resistance." Valeo tested the resistance of interior components according to DIN EN ISO 1043--1/GS 93016.
Custom Ultradur® for Steering Column Top Switch Module Two Piece Housing
The two-piece core of the steering column top switch module is made of various Ultradur® materials, the lower half of the load-bearing shell is made of 20% glass fiber reinforced Ultradur® B 4300 G4 material, which is used by the German company Buck Spritzgussteile Formenbau using MuCell® process to process. During the physical molding process, the polymer melt is filled with nitrogen gas during the injection molding process to form a foam structure, which reduces the material weight by about 10% and improves dimensional stability, but its high stiffness and chemical resistance are not affected. any impact. Unreinforced Ultradur® B 4520 PBT is used for the upper half of the housing for the steering wheel, which has the advantage of extremely low water absorption and excellent dimensional stability. In addition, the material maintains an aesthetic appearance and excellent dimensional stability even in high temperature environments. The well-balanced material properties ensure that the steering wheel can be securely mounted to the steering column top switch module.

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