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Heat-Stabilized Polyamides Tackle Electrical Challenges at Elevated Temperatures

Image: BASF car graphic illustrating applications of polyamide
Now commercially available, BASF’s PA6 GF30 meets requirements for use in hybrid and electric powertrains.

The automobile has always been subject to permanent change and facing ever new challenges. Legal requirements for pollutant emissions, downsizing of internal combustion engines, and alternative powertrains (electric, hybrid or fuel cell) have accelerated further development. These changes lead to increasing demands as well as new technical boundary conditions on products in use, such as the ability to withstand high temperatures over a long period of time and the prevention of galvanic corrosion of electrical components.

Heat resistance, long-term use properties, and weld resistance are the basic prerequisites for components in current and future powertrains. Whether in the internal combustion engine or hybrid and electric vehicles, reliable and technically flawless materials are indispensable in a demanding environment. With the development of the heat-stabilized Ultramid B3PG6 BK23238, materials supplier BASF is expanding its product portfolio of glass-fiber-reinforced polyamides for the high-temperature range.

The company’s new P-stabilization offers heat resistance at temperatures up to 190°C and prevents galvanic corrosion on electrical components thank to its halogenide- and metal-free stabilization. The halogenide content is <50 ppm. Reinforced with 30% glass fibers, the polyamide also impresses with excellent thermal aging performance, as well as vibration and hot gas welding properties.

"Some customers were looking for a PA 6 standard material that meets temperature requirements up to 190°C. In addition, metal-free heat stabilization is requested more often in order to protect sensitive electronic components in various powertrain technologies from galvanic corrosion and, thus, to avoid possible failures," explained Andreas Stockheim, Segment Marketing Manager Powertrain and Chassis in BASF's Performance Materials division. "The material developed with the innovative P-stabilization can be used in conventional environments, but is also suitable for electronic applications, such as in electric vehicles."

During the development of the new material with a focus on components in the charge air duct, the versatility of the glass-fiber-reinforced Ultramid was analyzed. For the first time, high-temperature requirements were realized by the new heat stabilization.

"Where high temperatures and versatile material properties are required, the new Ultramid can be used. The material convinces with significantly improved aging properties [compared with] existing PA6 GF30 systems, which are currently available on the market. Due to the versatile, cross-industry application possibilities, we can provide large production volumes at economically attractive conditions," added Stockheim.

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