Polyamide materials are optimised for automotive electronics

March 09, 2016 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
To guarantee reliable electronics in safety-critical applications like automotive control units and sensors, chemical company BASF has developed a portfolio of polyamides that help to avoid damages through electrical corrosion.

Due to their high purity, the new Ultramid EQ materials do contain almost no are electrically active or corrosion-promoting materials and still offer good aging stability. They are subject to a specific quality assessment which includes the selection of the raw materials, the production process and the proof of halogen content. The portfolio includes undyed and black material types with a glass fibre content of 30 and 35 %. All these materials can be written on by laser tools.

 

Electronic components in state-of-the-art transmissions as well as in safety-relevant applications such as airbag and anti-lock brake control units become smaller but increasingly more complex. Frequently they are exposed to high ambient temperatures and aggressive media such as lubricating oil. The tiny integrated circuits are frequently connected to their substrates by means of delicate wires. In such constellations, interfering influences such as corrosion, ion migration, electrolyte formation or leakage currents occur frequently; in extreme cases this can lead to the failure of the entire system. Therefore, plastics for use in enclosures and components must be designed to prevent reacting with the metals used and therefore avoid failures of the electronics.

 

All types of BASF’s new Ultramid EQ materials feature an organic temperature stabiliser with very low halogen content of lower than 1 ppm. This prevents that halogens like bromine and iodine react with the metal bonding wires, that ions react with the metals and that undesired electric currents can occur. Besides the specified recipes and a sophisticated production process, all Ultramid EQ batches are thoroughly examined. This makes sure that the material is not contaminated with halogens during the production process. The materials are also well suited for deployment in electric or hybrid vehicles here typically high DC and AC voltages are encountered.