Materials for Vehicle Lighting Systems Meeting Demanding Requirements

Case Study
Case Study
Materials for Vehicle lighting systems meeting demanding requirements

Empire Electronics


An Illuminating Approach to Automotive Lighting  

Materials play a critical role in complex vehicle lighting systems, where safety, driving comfort, design and styling converge to illuminate vehicle branding.  

Application Description  

Empire Electronics is meeting demanding requirements for automotive wire harness components with lamp sockets molded from DuPontZytel® HTN PPA and connectors molded from hydrolysis-resistant DuPontCrastin® PBT thermoplastic polyester resin.  

The new sockets are T20 styles with higher temperature requirements than the S8 sockets used in most North American cars. They consist of two parts assembled by ultrasonic welding. The connectors are part of Empire’s 2.8 In-Line connector series.  Empire supplies wire harnesses using the lamp sockets and connectors to automotive Tier 1’s and OEMs.  

Benefits Gained  

Sockets in Zytel® HTN PPA in Low Outgassing.  

Tests show that the Zytel® HTN PPA resin used by Empire has exceptionally low out-gassing, which limits film formation on lighting lenses to maintain light output over time.  

Heat Resistance

  • Empire’s sockets meet its customers' demanding test requirements for T20 lamp sockets.
  • Ultrasonic welding. The weldability of Zytel® HTN PPA permits cost-effective assembly and color coding of each of the socket’s two parts as an identification aid.

Connectors in Hydrolysis-Resistant Crastin®   

Tough, tight Connections.  

Empire's 2.8 In-Line connector series complies with demanding USCAR requirements for terminal pull-out resistance and retention of mechanical strength and toughness after thermal cycling tests involving hot, cold, humid and dry test conditions.  

Valuable tech support.  

DuPont specialists provided valuable technical support that accelerated Empire’s move to the market. Assistance included recommendations for material selection, mold upgrades, process optimization and ultrasonic welding parameters. The DuPont Application Development Center in Troy, Mich., conducted initial molding trials.  

High Productivity. Both Zytel® HTN PPA and Crastin® PBT allow Empire to mold high-quality parts on fast cycles with high yield. In addition, Empire can use water for mold temperature control in processing the Zytel® HTN grade selected.   

Materials Selected and Why  

For the T20 lamp sockets, Empire chose a toughened, glass-reinforced grade of DuPontZytel® HTN PPA that provides a combination of high-temperature resistance, strength, toughness and processibility while allowing the use of water for mold temperature control. DuPontZytel® HTN high performance polyamide resins are engineered for extremes for demanding environments.  

The portfolio includes both Zytel® HTN PPA grades for heat, chemical and moisture resistance and Zytel® HTN structural grades. For Empire’s 2.8 In-Line connector series, a hydrolysis-resistant, glass-reinforced grade of DuPontCrastin® PBT delivers a combination of dimensional stability, an excellent balance of resistance to terminal pull out and impact, and high flow for easy molding plus outstanding hydrolysis resistance.


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