Automotive Sensor Product Design
Laser Direct Structuring for Automotive Sensors
Sensors are devices that transfer physical quantities, such as pressure or acceleration into electrical signals that serve as inputs for control systems.
In the automotive industry, sensors are essential components of electronic control systems.
Automotive sensors are used for emissions, fuel economy, on-board diagnostics, safety (collision avoidance), comfort, tire pressure monitoring, and much more.
Automotive sensors must meet many requirements including accuracy, durability, manufacturability, and low cost.
Currently, there are 60-100 sensors on every automobile. This number is project to reach 200 per car in the near future. This translates to approximately 22 billion sensors used in the automotive industry by 2020!
Using Laser Direct Structuring the automotive design engineer is able to combine mechanical structure of the sensor unit with electrical current carrying signals to reduce size and improve durability.
Automotive sensor design can leverage a wide range of thermoplastic materials, including PC/ABS, PBT, PA-66, LCP, and PET blends. These thermoplastic materials allows automotive sensors to operate at higher temperatures.
Electroless metallization can also be leveraged depending on application requirements. Electroless metallization of automotive sensors can include electroless copper, electroless nickel, and immersion tin or gold.