Although it may seem like science fiction, automated driving could soon be a reality. Prototype self-driving cars are now being developed and tested worldwide using advanced technologies that bring with them new materials challenges. One innovative developer of sensor systems for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) required a robust and reliable material to seal a laser light. The laser would be used to measure distances as part of a critical automotive radar system. The right sealing material would need to be soft and compressible enough to provide tight sealing and light blocking while accommodating for variations in the compression of the gasket. In one corner, the gasket fixture would be compressed by 50% and the opposite corner could require as much as 70% compression. Most materials will not work across wide variations in compressive force. Plus, long-term reliability requirements called for consistent performance over a lifetime of 10 or more years. Seeking a solution, the firm’s engineering team reached out to Rogers Corporation, a company that has provided materials robust enough to handle critical space missions.
The team at Rogers recommended PORON® 4790-92-12 Polyurethane material due to its high compressibility while maintaining robust material integrity. This extra soft, slow rebound material is open-celled, requiring very low closure force for maximum sealing when compared to competitive closed-cell materials. With consistent compression force deflection (CFD), the PORON® material maintains its “spring-back” force across a wide temperature range (-40°C to 90°C) and across varying levels of compression within the same gasket. This consistency would be critical for the material to meet the rigorous longevity and reliability requirements for a critical sensor system where safety was paramount.
After thorough testing and evaluation, the customer chose PORON® 4790-92-12 Polyurethane for the prototype build that could help enable the future of automated driving. With passenger lives on the line, Rogers’ material met all the rigorous requirements essential for a sealing application where failure is not an option. Another example of how the real science behind Rogers Corporation is turning science fiction into a safer future for us all.