LANXESS: Polyamide 6 for cooling elements in electric vehicle charge controllers

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Thermally conductive plastics have great potential for thermal management in electric vehicle charging systems. An example is the charge controller in the all-electric car of a sports car manufacturer based in southern Germany. The controller contains a cooling element that dissipates the heat generated by the controller’s plug contacts while the battery is being charged. The cooling element is made of thermally conductive and electrically insulating polyamide 6 from LANXESS
Made of Durethan BTC965FM30.

Bernhard, Technical Key Account Manager, LANXESS
Dr. Helbich explained: “In addition to preventing the charge controller from overheating, our materials of construction meet stringent requirements for flame retardancy, tracking resistance and design. The manufacturer of the entire charging system for this sports car is Leopold
Kostal GmbH & Co. KG, a global system supplier for automotive, industrial and solar electrical and electrical contact systems.

Efficient heat dissipation with special mineral particles

The charge controller converts the three-phase or alternating current input from the charging station into direct current and controls the charging process. In the process, they limit the charging voltage and current to prevent the battery from overcharging, e.g. up to 48 amps of current flow through the plug contacts of the sports car’s charge controller, causing a lot of heat to be generated during charging. Bernhard
“Our polyamides are filled with special mineral thermally conductive particles that efficiently conduct this heat away from the source,” Helbich said. “These particles give the compound a 2.5 Å in the melt flow direction (in-plane).
High thermal conductivity in W/m∙K with a thermal conductivity of 1.3 W/m∙K perpendicular to the melt flow direction (through the plane).

Freedom of widget design

In addition, the halogen-free flame-retardant polyamide 6 material ensures a high degree of fire resistance of the cooling element. As required, it passed the UL of U.S. testing agency Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
94 flammability test, got the best classification V-0 (0.75mm). Its high tracking performance also contributes to increased safety. It has a CTI A value of 600V (Comparative Tracking Index, IEC
60112) proves this. Helbich added, “Tracking resistors give designers more freedom in designing components because they can arrange electrical components more compactly without worrying about short circuits and device defects caused by creepage currents.” Therefore, in addition to the rails In addition to the ribs, the cooling element is also equipped with six closely spaced cavities to accommodate the plug contacts.

Good processing characteristics

Despite the high content of thermally conductive fillers (68% by weight), polyamide 6 has good flow properties. Bernhard
“In terms of its processing properties, the material is similar to highly reinforced polyamide 6 with up to 60% by weight glass fiber,” Helbich explained. This thermally conductive thermoplastic also has potential for use in electric vehicle battery components such as plugs , radiators, heat exchangers and mounting plates for power electronics.”