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Plastics Additives Address e-Mobility Challenges

Clariant’s additive solutions to support plastics in meeting key e-mobility challenges will be to the fore at K 2022 in Düsseldorf, Germany, in October. The materials supplier will showcase products designed to assist the automotive industry as it seeks to safely extend battery range and charging performance, achieve significant materials reuse and recycling, and decrease its carbon footprint.

“We’re working closely with the automotive value chain to validate our advanced additive technologies for plastics and to progress their focus on weight optimization; sustainable, recyclable materials; and CO2 reduction alongside performance and safety needs. We’re looking forward to new collaborations with K 2022 visitors around our flame retardants and performance additives that will unlock e-mobility developments for this industry’s sustainable transformation across design and production,” commented Nicola Lelli, Head of Additives Strategic Marketing at Clariant.

Support for sustainable e-mobility plastics includes new applications for Clariant’s established halogen-free flame retardants in polyamide and thermoplastic material-based solutions. ISCC Plus–certified renewable-materials-based options now also are available to lower fossil carbon dependency and improve product CO2 emissions. These belong to the Terra family of certified products that offer like-for-like drop-in alternatives to manufacturers.

Faster charging using lower GHG-emitting flame retardants

The trend for using higher voltages to accelerate charging is creating the need for battery and charging infrastructure materials that offer higher tracking resistance and flame retardancy.

Manufacturers of high-voltage connectors, busbars, and battery housings can now use a new Terra version of ExolitOP 1400, Clariant’s patent-protected, widely used halogen-free flame retardant for polyamides, to help achieve industry goals toward faster charging and lower greenhouse-gas (GHG) emitting materials. Exolit OP Terra enables polyamide materials to pass strict fire-safety standards, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 94 V0, in combination with the comparative tracking index (CTI) of 600 V, according to IEC 60112/ASTMD 3638 standards.

Image courtesy of Clariantautomotive applications of Clariant plastics
Some of the plastics additive solutions that will be featured at the Clariant booth at K 2022.

The EcoTaincertified Exolit OP solutions produced at Clariant’s ISCC Plus–certified site in Knapsack, Germany, are available as mass-balance certified products. Like their fossil-carbon-based counterparts, the Terra grades have little impact on recyclability of the material and, therefore, technically support proper automotive waste management with the added benefit of a reduced CO2 footprint. Clariant is currently constructing a new production facility in Daya Bay, China, to meet rapidly growing demand from e-mobility and E&E component and equipment industries in China and Asia.

Halogen-free Exolit AP flame retardants are advancing the shift from metal to low-density, high-strength thermoset composites to achieve significantly lighter battery housings capable of meeting the stringent fire-safety standards of electric vehicles. Batteries need special protection in the event of a vehicle fire or thermal run-away of the electrical cells.

Clariant offers three grades — Exolit AP 462, AP 740, and AP 742 — that enable epoxy or unsaturated polyester-based composites to comply with flame-retardant standards ECE R100 and GB 38031-2020.

Optimized plastics maximize EV range and end-of-life vehicle recovery

At K, Clariant also will discuss optimizing key vehicle plastic components, such as polypropylene (PP) rear bumpers, PP interiors (instrument and door panels), and various engineering plastic parts to extend electric vehicle range and support end-of-life vehicle recovery and sustainability goals.

Clariant is part of the three-year EU-funded Revolution Project, aimed at developing lightweight car parts and increasing circularity by facilitating the recycling of materials and use of recycled polymers. The additives team is helping to validate and develop solutions that push plastic materials beyond current performance and sustainability boundaries and help to meet minimum recycling targets for plastic components in vehicles, as expected in upcoming EU legislation.

Solutions from Clariant’s sustainable additives for e-mobility plastics, new developments for broader automotive applications, and other innovations will be featured at K 2022 in Düsseldorf, Germany, from Oct. 19 to 26. The company is exhibiting in booth J11 in hall 8.

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