Specialty chemicals company LANXESS will have its own stand at the “Fuse Box Meets Dryer – Plastics in E&E Applications” conference organized by the South German Plastics Center (SKZ). The event is aimed at the electrical and electronics (E&E) industry and this year focuses on new material requirements regarding sustainability, the carbon footprint, and electromobility.
“At the event, LANXESS will showcase a range of new polyamide and polyester compounds along with composites based on sustainable and resource-conserving raw materials. These materials are our contribution toward promoting the manufacture of components with a reduced carbon footprint and supporting our customers on the road toward climate-neutrality,” says Sarah Luers, who works as an engineer in global E&E application development in the LANXESS High Performance Materials (HPM) business unit. Another thematic focus will be plastic compounds for electric powertrains and charging equipment for electric vehicles. The SKZ conference will take place on June 1 and 2, 2022, in Veitshöchheim, Germany.
LANXESS already offers a broad range of sustainable plastic compounds. The alternative raw materials contained in these compounds are generally certified and mass-balanced in accordance with ISCC Plus (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification). Examples include the Durethan ECO and Pocan ECO product ranges based on polyamide 6 and 66 (PA 6 and PA 66) / polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), which contain between 15% and 60% by weight of recycled fiber made from glass waste. One highlight is Durethan BLUEBKV60H2.0EF, a polyamide 6 compound made from various materials including “green” cyclohexane and reinforced with 60% by weight of recycled glass fibers. This product is part of the new “Scopeblue” range, under which LANXESS markets products that contain a significant proportion of circular (recycled or bio-based) raw materials or have a significantly lower carbon footprint than conventional products. The aim is to continuously expand this product range in the future – a recent addition being Durethan BLUEBKV30H2.0, which has a glass fiber content of 30% by weight. Luers: “We will develop comparatively sustainable compounds that fulfill typical E&E requirements such as superior flame-retardant properties and high tracking resistance.”
Another “Scopeblue” product innovation is a lightweight, continuous-fiber-reinforced Tepex compound based on flax and polylactic acid. The weight-specific stiffness of the biocomposite is comparable to that of equivalent glass-fiber-reinforced material variants. One potential E&E application includes housing components for consumer electronics.
Over its many years of business with the electrical, electronics and automotive industry, LANXESS has acquired a vast range of material and application expertise in plastics for battery and electric powertrain components. This expertise can be seen, for example, in a large plastic housing designed to accommodate high-voltage batteries for electric vehicles. The product was developed in collaboration with Kautex Textron as a near-series technology demonstrator, whereby LANXESS was responsible for material development and Kautex for component and process development. The geometrically complex lightweight component does not contain any metallic reinforcing elements and weighs somewhere in the medium two-figure kilogram range. The results of finished part tests are now available and demonstrate that the component fulfills the high requirements.
Another highlight of the LANXESS stand will be an in-house-developed concept for the modular design of charging inlets for electric vehicles. Customized materials ensure a high degree of cost-cutting functional integration. The entire module, which comprises just a few components, can be assembled quickly and without the need for screws, which also helps to reduce costs.
The LANXESS stand will also highlight the application possibilities of Tepex continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites for batteries. The material offers incredible potential, in particular regarding its flame-retardant properties. Luers: “We will be showing a film on our stand demonstrating how the superior inherent flame-retardant properties of the composites when used in battery components can really pay off in the event of a thermal runaway of the battery.” A thermal runaway occurs when the battery starts to overheat due to an uncontrolled chemical reaction, potentially causing the battery to catch fire and explode.