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10. July 2009

Automotive vacuum brake tubing made of TPC

Ford has selected Arnitel TPC from DSM Engineering Plastics for the production of vacuum brake tubes for its recently launched new Fiesta. Ford already uses the material in similar applications in a number of its models: Mondeo, S-Max, C-Max, Galaxy and Focus.

According to DSM Engineering Plastics, design criteria for hoses and tubes in automotive engineering as well as in industrial environments are characterised by growing demands on performance, processability and design freedom of the materials used. In this respect, Arnitel thermoplastic copolyesters are emerging as a cost-efficient and sustainable alternative that exceeds established materials in critical properties, says the company.

Automotive vacuum brake tubes must not only resist elevated temperatures and fluids common in this environment, including battery acid. They should also show a maximum resistance to punctures and, above all, cracks and tears. The material delivers the ductility to meet these requirements over a wide range of continuous use temperatures from 40°C to +110°C as well as at short-term peak temperatures of up to 180°C.

Arnitel’s heat resistance can often eliminate the need for additional heat shields or over-length tubes, thus reducing system costs and vehicle weight, says the company. In addition, the product meets the strict requirements of the FMVSS 106 standard with regard to the ozone resistance of materials used for brake tubing.

In a benchmarking exercise, comparing the TPC solution with a metal/rubber system, results clearly demonstrate that its high temperature resistance enables a more compact design of the vacuum brake tube, leading to a significant system cost reduction.

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