Dow Silicones Help Optimize Reliability and Accuracy of ADAS Sensors
Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are designed to increase vehicle safety and support autonomous driving by acting as extra sets of eyes. These sophisticated electronics help drivers spot obstacles and risks, maneuver and park more easily, take action to avoid or mitigate a collision, and perform many other functions.
To fulfill their critical role, sensors in camera, LiDAR and radar systems must provide high performance and accuracy. Ensuring ADAS sensor reliability and consistent performance begins during assembly and continues on the road, where these electronics face harsh conditions that can interfere with their operation. Protecting ADAS sensor systems from the effects of high heat, vibration, chemicals, moisture and electromagnetic interference (EMI) is fundamental to optimizing their performance and lifespan.
Dow’s advanced silicone-based gels, encapsulants, conformal coatings, sealants and adhesives, including thermally and electrically conductive products, offer numerous benefits for ADAS sensor assembly and for ongoing protection during vehicle operation.
Dow is developing leading-edge silicone technologies to reduce vehicle weight, improve battery performance and enhance driver safety.
Why Dow Silicones?
Because of their unique properties, silicones can be engineered to perform a wide range of critical functions. They can act as adhesives, encapsulants, sealants and coatings. Specialized silicones can dissipate heat, conduct electricity and protect against EMI and moisture. Silicone formulations can be adapted for hardness, modulus (flexibility), and cure chemistry and speed.
Dow’s expertise in silicone chemistry and application development is helping to propel the growth and diversification of ADAS technology. To enable rapid advancements in ADAS designs, the company is developing targeted silicone solutions that are backed by strong technical support and assistance throughout the application development lifecycle.
Dow offers a broad and growing portfolio of innovative silicone technologies for ADAS applications developed by its world-class global research and development (R&D) team. Its silicone solutions are based on decades of experience in automotive electronics and are used by the world’s leading automotive OEMs and Tier 1 manufacturers. To stay ahead of the rapid changes in ADAS technology, Dow is strategically focused on proactively addressing market trends and the upcoming requirements of ADAS customers.
Silicone Solutions for Camera, Radar and LiDAR Systems
Silicone materials for ADAS can facilitate assembly and integration. They also help sensors perform reliably in the day-to-day operation of the vehicle. A range of innovative Dow silicone solutions are used throughout camera, radar and LiDAR systems.
Assembly of ADAS modules typically requires bonding of dissimilar materials, such as lightweight plastics and metal. Dow’s family of silicone adhesives can provide high adhesion to plastic substrates while avoiding potential damage from high temperatures via heat dissipation properties and room-temperature curing.
Silicones can also improve production cycle times. Dow’s specialized fast-assembly adhesives that cure rapidly at room temperature can accelerate the sealing and assembly of ADAS modules for higher productivity. One example is new DOWSIL™ EA-4700 CV Adhesive, a two-part, fast room temperature cure adhesive enabling increased throughput for efficient mass production with less use of energy.
The following are key ADAS assembly applications where silicones can play a role:
- Silicone encapsulants and gels protect electronic units and sensors from moisture, contaminants and abrasion.
- Thermally conductive silicones dissipate the heat generated by the PCB.
- Silicone adhesives and foams are used to assemble and seal ADAS modules.
- Electrically conductive silicone sealants shield sensitive electronics against EMI.
- Silicone conformal coatings protect sensitive components from abrasion.
Many ADAS components, such as LiDAR sensors, require an unimpeded line of sight and are mounted on the vehicle exterior where they are exposed to ambient weather and temperature conditions. Silicones help ensure the high performance and accuracy of ADAS sensors in the most challenging environments. The following are important benefits of silicone solutions to the day-to-day operation of ADAS components:
- Weather resistance: Silicones are known for their long-term resistance to rain, sleet, snow, ozone, acid rain and the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.
- Stability under challenging conditions: Silicones are highly resistant to damage and degradation from extreme temperatures, thermal shock, chemicals and oxidation.
- Resistance to aging: Silicones do not harden, crack, peel, crumble, dry out, rot or become brittle with age the way carbon-based organic materials do.
- Water repellency: Silicone materials are naturally hydrophobic, making them excellent candidates for virtually all types of waterproofing applications.
Featured Solutions for ADAS
Safer mobility is the promise of autonomous driving. Enable the future of autonomous driving and vehicle design with silicone solutions from Dow.
- Electrically conductive silicones. As automakers add more and more safety features to their vehicles, the risk of EMI increases. This interference can affect the performance, reliability and accuracy of ADAS sensors. Instead of structural protection that adds weight, complexity and cost, ADAS sensor makers can achieve success with Dow electrically conductive silicones to provide various levels of EMI shielding. Silicone materials enhanced with specialty additives can create a barrier that blocks the electromagnetic field in a space.
Dow’s DOWSIL™ EC-6601 Electrically Conductive Adhesive improves shielding effectiveness and stability in high mechanical stress environments with improved flexibility. Its unique chemistry allows engineers to use it as either a formed-in-place gasket (FIPG) or cured-in-place gasket (CIPG).
- Thermally conductive silicones. Greater functionality in ever-smaller spaces can increase the heat generated by an ADAS sensor. If not managed properly, this heat can affect the performance and shorten the lifespan of the sensor. Thermally conductive silicone gap fillers and encapsulants dissipate heat from printed circuit boards and other components. Their softness and compressibility help relieve stress and increase the protection of delicate electronics.
New DOWSIL™ TC-4551 CV Thermally Conductive Gap Filler is a soft and compressible material. Once cured, it demonstrates long-term stability during temperature cycling up to 150° C and holds a vertical position in the assembly after curing.
Imagine Designs for the Future Today
To review Dow’s e-mobility silicone materials selection guide, click here.
Driving Toward Low-carbon Mobility
In addition to promoting design innovation, optimized performance, and greater durability and sustainability in ADAS sensors, silicone materials from Dow are proven, effective solutions for a diverse range of applications in other vehicle systems. The company’s extensive expertise in silicone elastomers, adhesives, sealants and more helps to meet customers’ most challenging automotive design needs.