New CNT-infused conductive plastic used for Audi's fuel filter housing

27-Mar-09
BASF has unveiled new plastic material, Ultraform® N2320 C (polyoxymethylene) containing carbon nanotubes (CNT) for use in pump and supply units of fuel supply modules in automotives. The material, company claims, acquires a high level of electric conductivity without much of a decrease in toughness and is less costlier than other conductive plastics. The material has already gone into its first serial application at Bosch, for a fuel filter housing for the Audi A4 and A5. Though pump and supply units of fuel supply modules have been made of company's unreinforced and glassfiber-reinforced POM grades, Bosch wanted to comply with the high requirements of SAE standard J1645 (version of August 2006) for its filter unit. The standard recommends a maximum specific volume resistance of 106 ohm .cm for materials that will be used in components through which fuel flows. Under measuring conditions according to ISO 3915 (four-point method), the conductive Ultraform attains a value of a mere 30 ohm .cm, making it 30,000 times more conductive than necessary, so that it meets the requirements of SAE J1645 with ease. This eliminates the risk of electrostatic charging and sparking as fuel flows through the filter. Due to the type of additives and the way they have been incorporated, the new Ultraform has retained its POM-typical properties such as toughness, dimensional stability and elastic resilience. Also, the material is said to be stronger and more creep-resistant than conventional POM when in contact with fuels. Further, its abrasion resistance makes it suitable for the manufacturing processes employed for (micro-)electronic components where, under clean-room conditions, static charging has to be prevented and the absence of dust is paramount. This material is easily processed by laser welding and injection molding.
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