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BASF: Busbar holders made of Elastollan® R 2600 FHF – More safety for future mobility

Newly developed thermoplastic polyurethane overmolding for busbars is more resistant to thermal cycling due to optimized thermal linear expansion

The transformation of the car from the combustion engine to the electric powertrain is progressing. Highly efficient battery systems are the key to success of electromobility as the power is transmitted from the charging components to the battery and from there to the electric motor. This is done by metal busbars. Plastic overmoldings ensure electrical insulation of the busbars and, thus, safe distribution of the high-voltage currents.

Optimized thermal linear expansion

BASF is expanding its portfolio with a newly developed thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) from its Elastollan® product line for these busbar holders. Compared to standard engineering plastics, Elastollan® R 2600 FHF particularly stands out due to the optimized thermal linear expansion. Its linear thermal expansion coefficient is close to copper and comparable conductor materials. This reduces the risk of cracks occurring during temperature changes which increases the safety standard. Furthermore, Elastollan® is halogen-free flame retardant achieving the classification UL94 V-0.

In addition to the main aspect of thermal linear expansion, the TPU also has three convincing advantages compared to materials such as polyphenylene sulfide (PPS). It can be processed at lower temperatures, has a lower density and, due to its white color, can be easily colored even with bright pigments.

Simulation supports customers in product design

Moreover, BASF is able to simulate the design of busbar holders. “Like several other Elastollan® grades, the new Elastollan® can be simulated by our Ultrasim® tool. We use this tool to support our customers in the design of components. As a result, production steps can be saved and the full potential of the material can be utilized”, explains Dr Thomas Bayerl, Segment Marketing Manager E&E from BASF’s Performance Materials division.

Due to their mechanical processability, busbar holders made of Elastollan® contribute to the mass production capability of electric cars and form an important piece in the mosaic of future mobility.


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