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2022-06-09

Giving heat the cold shoulder

  • Cooling element made from PA6 for the charge controller of an electric sports car
  • Outstanding thermal conductivity and flame-retardant properties
  • High tracking resistance reduces risk of short circuits and defects
  • Great potential for use in battery components of electric vehicles

Cologne, June 9, 2022 – Thermally conductive plastics have great potential for use in thermal management of charging systems for electric vehicles. One example is the charge controller in the fully electric vehicle of a sports car manufacturer based in southern Germany. The controller contains a cooling element that dissipates the heat generated in the plug contacts of the controller when charging the batteries. The cooling element is made of the thermally conductive and electrically insulating polyamide 6 Durethan BTC965FM30 from LANXESS. “As well as preventing the charge controller from overheating, our structural material meets the strict requirements for flame-retardant properties, tracking resistance and design,” explains Dr. Bernhard Helbich, Technical Key Account Manager at LANXESS. The manufacturer of the entire charging system for the sports car is Leopold Kostal GmbH & Co. KG of Lüdenscheid, a global system supplier of automotive, industrial and solar electrics as well as electrical contact systems.

Efficient heat dissipation with special mineral particles

Charge controllers convert the three-phase or alternating current fed in from the charging station to direct current and control the charging process. During the process, they limit the charging voltage and current to prevent overcharging of the battery, for example. A current with an amperage of up to 48 amps flows through the plug contacts in the charge controller of the sports car, causing significant generation of heat during charging. “Our polyamide is filled with special mineral heat-conducting particles that conduct this heat efficiently away from the source,” says Helbich. These particles give the compound a high thermal conductivity of 2.5 W/m∙K in the direction of melt flow (in plane) and 1.3 W/m∙K perpendicular to it (through plane).

Freedom in component design

In addition, the halogen-free flame-retardant polyamide 6 material ensures that the cooling element is highly fire-resistant. As required, it passes the UL 94 flammability test of the US testing institute Underwriters Laboratories Inc. with the best classification, V-0 (0.75 millimeters). Its high tracking resistance also contributes to greater safety. This is demonstrated by its CTI A value of 600 V (Comparative Tracking Index, IEC 60112). Helbich adds: “The tracking resistance gives designers greater freedom in engineering the component, as they can arrange electrical assemblies even more compactly without having to worry about short circuits and device defects caused by creepage currents.” Consequently, along with guides and ribs, the cooling element is equipped with six closely spaced cavities to house the plug contacts.

Good processing characteristics

Despite the high content of thermally conductive filler (68 percent by weight), the polyamide 6 has good flowability. “In terms of its processing characteristics, the material is similar to highly reinforced types of polyamide 6 that have a glass fiber content of up to 60 percent by weight,” explains Helbich. The heat-conductive thermoplastic also has potential for use in electric vehicle battery components such as plugs, heat sinks, heat exchangers and mounting plates for power electronics.”

You can find more information about LANXESS products, developments, technologies and services that use polyamides, polyesters and thermoplastic composites for new forms of transportation and particularly electromobility at lanxess.com/en/Products-and-Solutions/Focus-Topics/LANXESS-e-Mobility and www.hiant.de.

Forward-Looking Statements
This company release contains certain forward-looking statements, including assumptions, opinions, expectations and views of the company or cited from third party sources. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause the actual results, financial position, development or performance of LANXESS AG to differ materially from the estimations expressed or implied herein. LANXESS AG does not guarantee that the assumptions underlying such forward-looking statements are free from errors, nor does it accept any responsibility for the future accuracy of the opinions expressed in this presentation or the actual occurrence of the forecast developments. No representation or warranty (expressed or implied) is made as to, and no reliance should be placed on, any information, estimates, targets and opinions contained herein, and no liability whatsoever is accepted as to any errors, omissions or misstatements contained herein, and accordingly, no representative of LANXESS AG or any of its affiliated companies or any of such person's officers, directors or employees accepts any liability whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from the use of this document.

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LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 7.6 billion in 2021. The company currently has about 14,900 employees in 33 countries. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of chemical intermediates, additives, specialty chemicals and plastics. LANXESS is listed in the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World and Europe) and FTSE4Good.