Sponsored By

Cable connectors made of halogen-free, flame-retardant polyamide (PA) 6 from Lanxess feature enhanced tracking resistance, processability.

Posted by Staff

September 5, 2022

2 Min Read
charging cable connectors made of Durethan BKV20FN01
Image courtesy of Lanxess

In addition to their use in battery and electric powertrain applications, engineering plastics also have great application potential in the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. This particularly applies to wall-mounted charging stations.

Wallboxes must be very safe because they are used inside buildings such as parking structures or private garages. The material selection criteria are correspondingly strict.

One plastic that meets these high requirements is the halogen-free, flame-retardant Durethan BKV20FN01 from Lanxess. The polyamide (PA) 6 compound is used to make charging cable connectors manufactured by Leopold Kostal GmbH & Co. KG, a global supplier of automotive, industrial, and solar electrics as well as electrical contact systems. The charging cable connectors are used in Kostal’s Enector wallboxes, which are distributed via Kostal Solar Electric, as well as in wallboxes from a leading German producer of industrial connector systems and charging solutions for electromobility.

High glow-wire resistance

“The key arguments for using our material in this application are its high tracking resistance and flame-retardance based on the halogen-free flame retardant package. It is also easy to process and produces components with a high surface quality,” explains Bernhard Helbich, Technical Marketing Manager, Key Accounts, at Lanxess. The PA compound meets the UL V-0 rating at a test specimen thickness of 0.75 mm.

Charging cable connectors made of Durethan BKV20FN01

The charging-cable connectors made of halogen-free, flame-retardant Durethan BKV20FN01 polyamide 6 are used in Kostal Enector wallboxes.

Because wallboxes are categorized as unattended household appliances, the plastic used must also comply with the IEC/EN 60335-1 standard. In particular, they must be proven to be flame-retardant in glow-wire testing. Durethan BKV20FN01 passes the GWIT test (Glow Wire Ignition Temperature, IEC 60695-2-13) at 775°C with test specimen thicknesses of 0.75 millimeter and above. In the GWFI test (Glow Wire Flammability Index, IEC 60695-2-12), the thermoplastic achieves the top value for plastics of 960°C (0.75-mm test specimen thickness).

Reduced risk of short circuits and equipment defects

Another advantage of the plastic compound is its high tracking resistance. For example, it achieves the top rating of 600 in the CTI A test (Comparative Tracking Index, IEC 60112) and the top value of PLC 0 (Performance Level Category) in the similarly designed UL 746 test. “This reduces the risk of short circuits and defects caused by creepage currents in the wallbox. In addition, the electrical and electronic assemblies can be designed more compactly, resulting in a smaller device overall with higher power density,” Helbich explains.

The compound, which is reinforced with 18% short-glass-fibers by weight, also possesses good strength, stiffness, and toughness. The charging-cable connector systems, therefore, are not susceptible to mechanical loads, particularly during assembly. The PA can also be economically processed in a stable injection molding process.

Sign up for the PlasticsToday NewsFeed newsletter.

You May Also Like