Hydrolysis-resistant polyester resin homes in on auto electrics

Presentation by Dr. Peter Eibeck, Business Development E/E, Engineering Plastics Europe, BASF SE

The challenges for materials in the automotive drive technology include amongst others high temperatures, moisture and vibrations. In order to be able to withstand such an environment over the service life of a car, the plastics used often have to be specially formulated.

This is also true of thermoplastic polyesters such as polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) which are used under the engine hood, for example for plugs, connectors and housings of electronic components. Contact with water - even in the form of atmospheric moisture - leads in the case of polyesters to hydrolysis of the polymer chains, and therefore to a weakening of the material, especially at elevated temperatures.

With its Ultradur HR grades (HR stands for hydrolysis-resistant), BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany) provides optimized PBT materials which are able to withstand hydrolysis under damp environmental conditions. As a result, the material is suitable for producing components which have a particularly long service life and withstand operation under intensive conditions. This is also true of two new Ultradur grades which combine a high level of hydrolysis resistance with integrated flame retardance and laser transparency, respectively, and therefore help to develop numerous new applications.

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