A brand-new plastic compound uses carbon nanotubes to achieve electrical conductivity.
Bosch engineers are the first to specify the new material, Ultraform N2320 C, a polyacetal from BASF. It will be used in a fuel filter housing for the Audi A4 and A5 where SAE standard J1645 (version of August 2006), requires a conductive material.
The SAE standard recommends a maximum specific volume resistance of 106 ohm/cm for materials that will be used in components through which fuel flows. Under measuring conditions according to ISO 3915 (four-point method), the conductive Ultraform attains a value of a mere 30 ohm/cm, making it 30,000 times more conductive than necessary.
This eliminates the risk of electrostatic charging and sparking as fuel flows through the filter.
The new Ultraform is said to retain its polyacetal properties such as toughness, dimensional stability and elastic resilience. BASF says when this material comes into contact with fuels, it is stronger and more creep-resistant than conventional polyacetal.
Carbon nanotubes are fixed in the plastic matrix. The cylindrical carbon molecules have novel properties that make them well suited for electronics and other applications. They feature great strength and unique electrical properties, and are efficient conductors of heat.