PSM International has recently introduced a new range of Compression Limiter Assemblies (CLA) for use in high load-bearing automotive plastic components. These application specific compression limiter and captive bolt assemblies help reduce cost by eliminating bolt handling at the production assembly stage. PSM worked closely with its customers and automotive OEM’s to develop a wide range of CLA that satisfy every exacting application requirement. They are simply cold pressed into a moulded hole in the plastic, remain captive and provide a controlled resistance to pushing out. This design achieves a defined radial float of the bolt ensuring the bolt thread is able to retract axially within the compression limiter.
The benefits of using a compression limiter are to prevent damage to the plastic during bolt tightening and prevent bolt loosening due to plastic “creep”. The length of the CL is dependent upon the plastic thickness; designs can be headed or plain and may including special ribs or a knurl as an additional retention feature. Standard bolts can be used such as Hex Flange or Pan Head, but in many instances special bolts are specified.
For high volume applications, both the compression limiter and bolt are cold formed and assembled automatically to provide the lowest possible cost. They are available in a wide range of commercial finishes, with the specification usually defined by the automotive OEM.
Due to increasing demand, PSM has invested more than £250,000 (€281,000) in fully automated assembly equipment to captivate its full range of compression limiter assemblies. To meet demanding automotive quality requirements, the equipment conducts a proof load test on every assembled part to ensure the bolt is securely captivated and remains permanently attached to the compression limiter.
Compression Limiter Assemblies are typically designed to the customer’s application requirements due to the large number of variables. PSM assesses the complex requirements and develops a unique engineered solution for each customer.