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North America
Plastic Additives

Electrical & Electronics

Plastics are used in most E&E applications from microchip encapsulation to wind farm rotor blades to photovoltaics. BASF provides innovative additives such as light, processing & thermal stabilizers and flame-retardants that enable plastics to reliably meet the E&E industry requirements. Our additives and metal deactivator systems make these polymers highly durable and enable them to resist heat stress and degradation.

Electrical Housing

Electronics and electrical appliances need to be shieded from environmental forces, while users require protection against the hazards associated with electric currents. Plastics have become increasingly popular for housing, thanks to their versatility as regards design and esthetics, their effectiveness in processing and use and their light weight. Office and electronic casings can be injection molded in a variety of polymers such as ABS, PC, PMMA, PC blends, high impact polystyrene and SAN, depending on the end-use requirements.

To ensure processability during production and maximum protection, durability and quality performance after manufacturing, we recommend Irganox® antioxidants.

Our special additives including our Melapur® halogen-free flame retardant, enable you to add value to your products, create new markets and provide new products and opportunities for your business.

Power Cable Insulation

Cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) is commonly used as insulation material for power transmission cables.

Depending on the final application and voltage range, different cross-linking technologies such as silane, irradiation and peroxide cross-linking are employed.

The degrading effects upon the original state and the integrity of polymeric materials are well known shortcomings of polyethylene when used in applications with high demands on long-term performance at elevated temperatures such as cable insulation.

The selection of an appropriate antioxidant system is determined by multiple technical and commercial needs. In particular the choice of the best stabilization system heavily depends upon the applied cross-linking technique.

Thermoplastic polyurethanes are among the most versatile elastomeric materials, but as are many other polymers, subject to degradation and property modification bye the influence of heat and UV-light.

Due to their versatility, TPUs are used in a wide range of applications that may require both thermal and/or light stability.

BASF offers a wide range solutions for thermal and processing, and light stabilizers tailored designed to provide outstanding initial color especially for transparent applications, excellent long-term color retention, significantly improved light stability, non-interfering with processing conditions.

Often UVAs and HALS are used together to provide a higher level of polymer light stability.

Polyvinylchloride (PVC) has traditionally been the polymer of choice in power cable construction due to its easy processing and good insulation performance. Even now with the trends toward using XLPE and other polymers, PVC still makes up approximately 50% of the polymer volume used in cable construction.

Much of the PVC used for insulation purposes is colored to standard shades for ready identification.

Colorants must be carefully chosen to maintain the insulation properties of the polymer.

Power Cable Jacketing

One or several insulated wires are protected by jacketing and sheathing made with LDPE, LLDPE or HDPE, depending upon the requirements of the final application. This jacketing and sheathing is usually colored for better differentiation and must be stabilized against thermal degradation and light.

Recently LLDPE has attracted growing interest, especially as a jacketing material for low voltage power cables. Obviously, these materials must be stabilized correctly against thermal degradation and light.

BASF offers a wide range of Hindered Amine Light Stabilizers (HALS) and thermal stabilizers that provide superior protection against degradation caused by light exposure and additional benefits such as long-term thermal stability or superior oxidative induction time (OIT).

Polyvinylchloride (PVC) has traditionally been the polymer of choice in power cable construction due to its easy processing and good insulation performance.

Even now with the trends toward using XLPE and other polymers, PVC still makes up approximately 50% of the polymer volume used in cable construction.

PVC power cable jacketing is often colored. Bright colors (red/yellow /orange) are used for warning purposes and other colors are used to match associated appliances. In both cases, however, colorfastness (resistance to fading) is an important requirement.

Print circuit board Telecommunication Wire

Standard telecommunication cables consist of copper wires surrounded by colored MD/HDPE or LDPE insulation which may be either solid or cellular.

Due to direct contact with the copper conductor, the stabilization of the insulation against thermal degradation has unique requirements. One or several of these insulated wires are protected by an outer jacket of LDPE, LLDPE or HDPE.

Copper is able to catalyze the degradation of polyolefins. Due to direct contact between the copper conductor and the insulation material, standard stabilization of MD/HDPE and LDPE with primary and secondary antioxidants is generally not sufficient.

Highly active metal deactivators are required to prevent copper catalyzed radical formation and consequent polymer degradation.

One of the fastest growing segments of the Wire & Cable industry is fiber optic cables.

For satisfactory transmission performance it is important that the optical fibers are protected from damage and pressure. To achieve this, the fibers are typically laid in colored plastic tubes. These tubes are often surrounded by an inert material (‘packing jelly’, ‘paste’ or ‘flooding compound’), with a layer of plastic sheathing extruded over the combined bundle.

The tubing for the optic fibers is most commonly made from polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) due to its rigidity and its resistance to moisture, chemicals, weather and heat.

One or several insulated wires are protected by jacketing and sheathing made with LDPE, LLDPE or HDPE, depending upon the requirements of the final application. This jacketing and sheathing is usually colored and must be stabilized against thermal degradation and light.

For jacketing applications that call for light stabilization BASF offers a wide range of Hindered Amine Light Stabilizers (HALS) that provide superior protection against degradation caused by light exposure.

Because the jacketing is in contact with filling compounds, the stabilizers must be highly resistant to extraction. Besides traditionally used stabilizer systems for HDPE and LLDPE additional benefits such as long-term thermal stability or superior oxidative induction time (OIT) can be obtained by using stabilizer blends.