Electrical and electronics devices have become smaller and more powerful. As a result, engineering thermoplastics (ETPs) are the go-to solutions for thin-wall applications that accommodate compact size, performance, and space requirements.
Applications in electric vehicles (EV) are a prime example of the necessity to transition to thinner-walled parts. Components like connectors, sensors, enclosures, and battery packs are placed into increasingly restricted spaces and asked to produce more power for faster, more efficient charging.
The proximity, heat, and often continuous-use cycles elevate failure risk if the ETPs used do not have characteristics that address the primary threat of fire.
In terms of specifications, automotive OEMs prioritize flame retardancy to maximize safety. As walls get thinner — sometimes to measurements of .4 mm — meeting this basic requirement gets more complicated.
Logically, thicker walls provide better electrical insulation and, ultimately, better protection against flammability. Without that option in many newer EV applications, automotive OEMs must seek plastics that perform.
Teknor Apex understands the dilemmas OEMs face, and our ETP solutions are extensively tested to provide proof and peace of mind surrounding flame retardancy. Our engineers subject ETP formulations to the rigors of industry-recognized standards, including:
While flame retardancy is the primary characteristic automotive OEMs focus on in terms of plastics, exacting specifications encompass many more needs.
Identifying and formulating to spec requires collaboration between the OEM and materials suppliers. The Teknor Apex team brings decades of engineering experience to the table, and we believe in the power of collaboration through conversations. These exchanges are meaningful, and reveal characteristics necessary to deem a particular ETP a viable solution for an EV application requiring thin walls. Functionality comes into focus as questions arise about certain aspects, including:
Thinner wall thicknesses have transitioned from engineering feat to automotive OEM reality in the EV space. So, too, has reliance on materials suppliers to commit to a true collaborative partnership in engineering ETP solutions that consistently meet with success in safety, performance, and functionality.
Teknor Apex has a proven ETP product portfolio of compounds that address today’s needs with tomorrow’s engineering: