DuPont and MSD collaborate on ignition housings

US company DuPont Engineering Polymers has been displaying its collaborative effort with motorsport ignition systems supplier MSD Ignition during America's SAE World Congress this week in Detroit, MI. Its exhibit features 60 MSD ignition components, all made with DuPont engineering plastics or thermoplastic polyester resins, such as 'Rynite'. The technical partnership is aimed at housings that can better withstand high temperatures, high voltages and severe vibration

DuPont and MSD collaborate on ignition housings

A recent example of the benefits to the racing community involved MSD's 'Digital Ignition Tester'. Testing showed that the operation of units with a conventional, moulded plastic housing was adversely affected by electronic 'noise' from high-powered ignition systems. DuPont specialists proposed a housing moulded from 'Zytel' EMX nylon resin. Field tests then proved that units housed in this conductive resin, which has built-in shielding properties, functioned extremely well.

The partnership between DuPont and MSD is working both ways. Earlier this year, MSD supplied a high-voltage ignition tester to the DuPont Engineering Polymers Application Technologies Center in Wilmington. "The tester will be a valuable scientific tool for development and evaluation of materials and designs for new high-performance ignition components," said ATC manager John Ferrighetto.

MSD's corporate parent, Autotronic Controls, was founded in 1970 by a group of young engineers from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Their first product, a lean-burn fuel system, required more spark than a conventional breaker points ignition could provide. To meet this challenge, they developed an ignition system based on capacitive discharge technology, but with 'multiple spark discharge' (MSD). By firing the sparkplug multiple times with a high-powered spark, the MSD system delivered faster throttle response, quicker starting and more power at high engine RPM.

Russell Stephens, MSD Ignition's sales manager in El Paso, TX, said: "Working with DuPont is enabling us to develop higher-quality products that are better suited to the demanding environment of motorsport. With DuPont's technology support in engineering plastics, we've been able to create products that withstand the voltages produced by the MSD systems, as well as high temperatures."

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