The first application of a new series of thermally conductive nylons from Lanxess, Pittsburgh, Penn.,is a modular flange for a drive used in car interior ventilation systems. Reinforced with 75% mineral filler content, nylon 6 Durethan BTC 75 H3.0 EF replaced a nylon with a glass fiber/mineral mix for thermal conductivity, and is also positioned as an alternative to nylons reinforced with boron nitride or aluminum oxide filling.
Stefan Theiler, an expert in highly-filled nylons at Lanxess noted that compared to alternative materials, this compound conducts heat better and is the most cost-effective solution. It reportedly performs best in terms of mechanical properties, resistance to thermal aging, and flowability. Moreover, thanks to its electrically neutral stabilization, it helps prevent contact corrosion. One of the world’s largest suppliers of automotive components, Germany’s Robert Bosch GmbH is using the flange made with the new material in a fan module that is being incorporated into the cooling system fitted inside the passenger compartments of several international automakers. Austria’s SFS Intec GmbH is manufacturing the flange.
Due to its excellent thermal conductivity and outstanding electrical insulation properties, the new nylon plays its part in making sure the fans operate reliably throughout the car’s service life, according to Lanxess’ Thieller. “The material’s conductivity is around five times higher than that of standard nylon 6 with 30% glass fiber reinforcement. It is at a similarly high level to that of nylons that use aluminum oxides as a thermally conductive mineral, in terms of through plane, is comparable to that of boron nitride-filled nylon.” But he noted that compared to boron nitride systems, the new compound has better mechanical properties, is more cost-effective and conducts heat on a largely isotropic basis, i.e. almost identically in all directions.
The new nylon is also well suited for housing parts of electronic systems, which tend to be prone to failure due the heat-generated during operation. Said Thieler, “For instance, we are thinking of lids for control housings, covers for small motors and LED components such as cooling elements.” He added that when used in such applications, this material can also replace die-cast metals. It is electrically insulating and offers greater design freedom, which makes it easier to product geometrically complex and more compact, space-saving components. When used in injection molding, it produces parts that do not need reworking and offers a cost-effective way of integrating function.
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