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High-performance materials for the automotive powertrain

When it comes to the development of challenging components and materials for the automotive powertrain, BASF has been a globally reliable and accepted partner for the automotive industry for decades. The use of Engineering Plastics, Polyurethane systems and Additives leads to advantages like weight reduction, functional integration, improved NVH-performance (NVH=noise, vibration, harshness) and cost savings.

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The new star among the standards – the heat-stabilized Ultramid®

Legal requirements for pollutant emissions, downsizing of internal combustion engines, alternative powertrains such as electric, hybrid or fuel cell have accelerated further development of the vehicle rapidly. Glass fiber reinforced plastics, such as BASF's Ultramid®, make a significant contribution to further development. With the new development of the heat-stabilized Ultramid® B3PG6 BK23238, BASF is expanding its product portfolio of polyamides for the high-temperature range. A new type of stabilization enables heat resistance of up to 190 °C and protects sensitive electronic components from galvanic corrosion.

Please find the press release here

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Webinar: The new star among the standards – the heat-stabilized Ultramid® B3PG6

» Applications

Various applications for alternative powertrains

Whatever your specific needs for the variety of different powertrains: BASF connects new material developments and services in order to create system solutions for your idea.

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EV - Electric Powertrain

eMobility is yielding innovations in the automotive industry that seek to make our lives more sustainable. The transition to electro-mobility has several advantages, including lowering global carbon emissions, reducing the total cost of ownership of vehicles, and transforming the transportation experience. The objective of our customers is to use future-proof technologies and solutions to make electromobility safe and efficient. The key to crafting viable eMobility applications lies in material performance. Many eMobility solutions can only be implemented successfully by using highly versatile engineering plastics, polyurethane systems and specialty elastomers. We have a dedicated eMobility team that includes engineering, design and material experts who can help you choose the best material and the best grade for your application.

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PHEV / HEV - Hybrid Powertrain

Plug-in- or full-hybrid vehicles, a further increase in the use of plastic components is possible to compensate the weight of the battery and increase efficiency. Our extensive plastics portfolio offers all sorts of advantages which help to satisfy specific customer requirements. By continually developing new products in close collaboration with our customers, we are also able to adapt our portfolio to trends and changes in the market.

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FCEV - Fuel Cell Powertrain

Alongside the continued development of cars with more efficient internal combustion engines, chemistry is making an important contribution to fuel cell drive concepts. Thermal and chemical resistance, dynamic stiffness, impact strength, and good long-term performance are prerequisite for materials that are used in alternative powertrains. Special Ultramid® EQ grades have successfully been used to manufacture a number of fuel cell components. They are providing exceptional purity requirements associated with sensitive applications in the electronics industry. In the case of the media distribution plate and the water separator unit, which is exposed to a wide variety of media through the cooling water, air and hydrogen channel, Ultramid® offers excellent resistance, while at the same time meeting all requirements regarding the purity of the material.  

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ICE - Internal Combustine Engine

Plastics already make an important contribution to sustainable transport, as modern vehicles contain a significant proportion of innovative plastics. Replacing metal parts with plastics make cars with combustion engines more efficient. BASF’s engineering plastic Ultramid® with its high quality and safety features sets standards in innovation and global availability in established plastic applications for the powertrain. Like air intake manifolds, oil pans, components for thermal management, and much more. The polyamide convinces with high thermal stability, dynamic strength, impact resistance and long-term performance.

Detailed material inormation for powertrain solutions

» Engineering Plastics

Engineering Plastics

New drive concepts, advances in electrification of vehicles and trends such as autonomous driving offer great application potential for Engineering Plastics.

Due to their versatility, BASF materials offer further advantages for the use in automotive powertrains:

  • Lightweight and recycling characteristics
  • Good thermal and chemical stability
  • Static and dynamic strength
  • Impact resistance
  • Good long-term performance

The Ultramid® product line offers several grades of molding compounds, available as unreinforced, reinforced with glass fibers or minerals, or reinforced with long-glass fibers for special applications. Ultramid® is noted for its high mechanical strength, stiffness and thermal stability. The grades are based on PA6, PA66, PA66/6 or various other co-polyamides and are recommended for applications that need superior durability.

Ultramid® Endure is a glass fiber-reinforced polyamide that combines excellent heat aging resistance with the good processing properties of PA 66.

Ultramid® Structure LFX is a high-performance plastic which is reinforced with long glass fibers. At the point where even optimized plastics with short glass-fiber reinforcement reach their limits, Ultramid® Structure offers new opportunities for applications in many different sectors. 

Learn more about:

Ultramid® 

Ultramid® Endure

Ultramid® Structure

Ultramid® Advanced comprises BASF’s polyphthalamide (PPA) portfolio which based on the four polymers Ultramid® Advanced N (PA9T), Ultramid® Advanced T1000 (PA6T/6I), Ultramid® Advanced T2000 (PA6T/66) and the long-standing Ultramid® T KR (PA6T/6). They enable the next generation of lightweight, high-performance plastic parts in the automotive industry in challenging conditions. The PPA compounds can withstand humidity and contact with challenging media while maintaining their strength. The low water uptake results in a dimensional stability of the plastic parts in humid environments.

Learn more about Ultramid® Advanced

The Ultradur® product line of partially crystalline, thermoplastic and saturated polyesters is derived from polybutylene terephthalate (PBT). Ultradur provides strength in applications where high-quality and heavy-duty parts are required - a feature that is particularly important is the low water absorption and thus the fact that the mechanical and electrical properties are largely independent of the moisture content or the climatic surrounding conditions. Particularly for components that are safety-relevant and have to work reliably for the entire lifetime of a component, Ultradur® is indispensable.

Learn more about Ultradur®

Ultraform® is our co-polymeric polyoxymethylene (POM) offering excellent sliding friction properties that engineers ask for. Ultraform® can be thermoplastically processed and has a partially crystalline structure with a high degree of crystallization. Special co-monomer units account for the high stability of Ultraform® during processing and when exposed to long-term heat and to chemicals. It surpasses by far the resistance of homo-polymeric polyoxymethylene.

Learn more about Ultraform®

» Polyurethanes

Our PU systems for powertrain solutions

With their versatile properties and unlimited application possibilities, our PU systems contribute to future powertrains. BASF polyurethanes can be adjusted to many different densities, they can be soft or hard, flexible or stiff, they resist hot and cold temperatures as well as many aggressive media.

The flexible foam system Elastoflex® W decisively contributes to car comfort and improves the sound impression in the driver’s cabin. In comparison to other acoustic solutions, Elastoflex® W performs not only as sound absorber, but also dampens sound from outside the car by visco-elastic energy dissipation. Especially designed foams resist also high temperatures and media contact. These foams are widely used in direct contact to the engine as NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) and heat management solution. Engine covers with this open cell foam structure lead to weight reduction with a density on only 15g/L.

Learn more about Elastoflex® W

Although having an open-cell foam core structure, Elastofoam® I has been developed to form an integral skin as decorative and protecting surface in a one-shot process. The material forms a thick skin in the foaming process and thus fulfils the function as an integral PU engine cover. An additional cover is not required, the optical appearance is created directly in the production process.

Learn more about Elastofoam® I

Where conventional materials reach their limits, Elastollan® in vehicles can make all the difference. It is noted for its excellent haptics and mechanics, as well as its superior long-term durability and resistance to weathering. It gives freedom for a lot of design possibilities. Its strength lies in its versatility: the properties of Elastollan® can be readjusted and recombined time and again – depending on the application and the specific requirements of the component. For example, it shows high temperature as well as good media resistance and has superior dynamic properties. Its damping behavior is excellent as is its resistance against abrasion, scratch and wear.

Learn more about Elastollan®

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