Ludwigshafen, Germany – BASF has developed a new grade of TPUs to make overmouldings for the metal busbars that transmit the power in electric vehicles. These overmouldings ensure the busbars are effectively insulated, and thus able to distribute the high voltages safely.
The company claims Elastollan R 2600 FHF has a linear thermal expansion close to copper and comparable conductors, reducing the risk of cracks during temperature changes. The flame retardant plastic is halogen-free.
It has three further advantages over conventional materials such as polyphenylene sulfide, BASF said. It can be processed at lower temperatures, has a lower density, and as it is white in colour is easy to colour with bright pigments.
The company is also able to simulate the design of the busbar holders using its Ultrasim tool. ‘We use this tool to support our customers in the design of components,’ said Thomas Bayerl, segment marketing manager for E&E in BASF’s performance materials division. ‘As a result, production steps can be saved, and the full potential of the material can be utilised.’