One of the popular features of new automobiles is the rear mounted camera. It allows the driver to back up, parallel park and reverse with a clear view of what is behind the vehicle. This significantly reduces the possibility of collisions and protects the occupants by decreasing the risk of accidents. When a premier auto manufacturer was testing its vehicle, they discovered water and dust were infiltrating the mounted automotive camera module. The original design consisted of a plastic housing with an ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) synthetic rubber gasket. This EPDM gasket material was expected to provide a seal that would prevent dust and moisture from getting into sensitive camera electronics, even in a wide range of environmental conditions. Unfortunately, the EPDM gasket material failed during testing. High-speed temperature cycling from -40° to +60°C and salt and fog exposure caused the EPDM gasket to dry out and crumble, creating the dust problem it was trying to prevent. With that level of failure, the automobile would have had better luck with no gasket at all.
The high standards of the manufacturer required a gasket material for its automotive camera that would retain its seal through all types of weather and temperatures. Its compression force deflection (see description) needed to be firm enough to maintain a seal yet compress enough to prevent damage to the delicate mating components. It also needed good compression set resistance (see description) so it would not lose its thickness over time. Rogers’ PORON® 4701-40 microcellular polyurethane foam material provided excellent conformance. In addition, the compression set resistance properties ensured it would maintain a seal over the long haul.
PORON® materials held up under the extreme weather and temperature conditions, outperforming and outlasting the EPDM gasket materials. The superior properties protected the rear mount camera lens from the elements and also prevented rattling, making PORON® foams the perfect solution for the vehicle manufacturer. Many PORON® foams are available permanently bonded on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film, an effective fluid barrier. PORON® 4701-40-20 foam material also meets various flammability requirements, including MVSS 302 and UL94 HBF.