Circuit breakers protect circuits and reliably cut off the power supply in case of hazardous failures. This occurs in case of brief power surges as well as continuous overload. Plastics used for the construction of such breakers have to meet the highest demands.
Everybody knows those inconspicuous devices that control the power supply in private households as well as in industrial plants and machinery. Such a electrical cabinet comprises several circuit breakers, which control different electrical circuits. In case of failure that may cause a hazardous event, they "trip" and thus cut off the power supply within milliseconds. Reliability and reusability are the two key requirements for breakers: because a short circuit causes intense heat, failure would result in sparking and possibly a fire. In addition, circuit breakers need to be reusable after they get tripped, i.e. you simply flip the switch again and the safety function is restored. Plastics used for these circuit breakers thus must meet the high requirements for mechanical properties and fire behavior (glow-wire ignition test at 960°C).
BASF offers a comprehensive portfolio for the production of housings and other parts of circuit breakers. By using Ultramid®, Ultradur®, Ultraform® and Ultrason® it is possible to meet a wide range of requirements for applications in households as well as for highly specialized industrial applications.
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