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German chem company BASF unveils carbon fibre reinforced PPA grades

Mar '21
BASF is adding to polyphthalamide (PPA) portfolio of Ultramid Advanced by unveiling carbon-fibre reinforced grades with fillings of 20, 30 and 40 per cent. The new materials make for extremely lightweight parts, and can safely replace aluminium and magnesium without loss in stiffness and strength. These can be used to manufacture automotive structural parts.

The new materials are also electrically conductive. The new grades combine these properties with the advantages of Ultramid Advanced N (PA9T) which makes them unique among carbon-fibre reinforced PPAs already available in the market. The new carbon-fibre (CF) reinforced grades can be used to manufacture automotive structural parts for body, chassis and powertrain, for pumps, fans, gears and compressors in industrial applications as well as for stable and ultra-lightweight components in consumer electronics. With this offering, BASF complements its PPA portfolio of more than 50 grades already available on the market.

The mechanical performance of the new carbon-fibre reinforced PPA grades can be tuned by the choice and the content of the carbon fibre as well as by the additive technology. Ultramid Advanced N3HC8 with 40 per cent carbon fibre filling shows a better strength and modulus at 80 degrees Celsius (conditioned) than magnesium or aluminium.

"Our new PPA compounds with carbon fibres are the ideal metal replacement," says Michael Pilarski from PPA business management at BASF. "And this not only from a material property point of view. Lately, we have seen safety issues at magnesium producers in different countries, which makes the supply rather unpredictable. Producing parts out of magnesium or aluminium also requires additional post-processing and tooling which increases system costs. Given the opportunities for 25 to 30 per cent weight reduction with our new PPA grades, we can offer a safe, cost-efficient and high-performance alternative for parts traditionally manufactured from metal."

Combining these new materials with BASF’s simulation software Ultrasim to correctly model part behaviour and optimise mold geometry, the Ultramid Advanced CF grades can contribute to functional integration and weight reduction in different industries - the range of cars with e-drive or fuel cell engines can be increased by weight reduction of structural or powertrain parts; lightweight, thin precision structures in consumer electronics benefit from the high stiffness and strength, the excellent dimensional stability as well as the extremely low weight and the good processability of the new PPA materials; heavy, highly loaded and long-lasting industrial equipment like pumps and compressors can be easily produced because of the good dimensional stability as well as the high chemical, heat and abrasion resistance of the new CF grades.

The carbon-fibre reinforced PPA compounds also show a lower weight and higher tensile modulus than glass-fibre reinforced polyamides (PA) with similar reinforcements. The tensile strength of a 20 per cent carbon fibre reinforced Ultramid Advanced compound is either better or equivalent to a glass fibre reinforced polyamide filled with 50 per cent while showing better processability.

Ultramid Advanced N3HC8 eg is very stable after ageing at high temperatures. It retains nearly 100 per cent of its tensile modulus after heat aging at 120 degrees Celsius for 5,000 hours or at 150 degrees Celsius for 3,000 hours.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (SV)

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