Electric mobility is a transformation that goes beyond the automotive sector. Individuals, businesses, and public entities are looking for common ground, and meanwhile, automotive parts manufacturers are demanding new materials and formulations to meet global demand. Thus, the supply chain is calling for a new type of cable to drive electric mobility.
There are some significant facts to consider, such as the energy transition that is taking place to favor the electrification of vehicles. In this respect, the presence of a network of Electricity Storage Systems (ESS) with photovoltaic modules at the charging stations of electric vehicles can solve generation imbalances and can make their use more environmentally friendly.
New consumer habits toward electromobility
Another fact is the change in consumer habits in favor of electromobility. Passenger electric cars are surging in popularity – IEA estimates that 13% of new cars sold in 2022 will be electric.
This trend brings us to the next point: hybrid and electric cars require new types of cables, such as battery and charger cables, but also new materials to withstand higher temperatures and other special features.
As far as the autonomous car is concerned, self-driving technologies, i.e. computers on wheels, lead to an increase in precision electronics in the car and therefore renewed wiring needs. For all these new generations of cable products required, new masterbatches with special polymers are necessary.
New technical requirements for cables
We are talking about thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) sheathed load cables with halogen-free compounds, flame retardant, polyolefin insulation, lightfastness, thermal stability, weather resistance, hydrolytic resistance, color stability, abrasion resistance, and mechanical strength.
All in all, we see that companies not only need to create competitive quality products, but they must also optimize their manufacturing and assembly processes, making them faster, more reliable, and more efficient. In cable production, there is a trend to make cable faster, reduce the thickness of its insulation, and shorten the length of extruders. Nowadays, this is possible without compromising the result of the product and its color homogeneity.
To meet the technical needs of automotive cables, perfect dispersion and excellent dilution, low dosage levels, high production speed, and high processability, i.e., easy to handle during production, are required. Optimizing all these factors also has a direct and positive impact on the final costs.
Materials on the rise in the electromobility cable market
Companies must look to more technical materials to insulate automotive wiring through new composite formulations. In this regard, fluoropolymers, in the form of thermoplastics and elastomers, are finding wide use in automotive applications, due to their combination of high resistance to fuels, lubricants, and elevated temperatures.
Fluoropolymers can operate at ambient temperatures from -40°C to 200°C, with excellent resilience and UV transmission, providing high resistance to energy radiation and light weight; two key factors for electric car requirements.
Silicones are also in high demand compounds, useful in various types of automotive cables, such as batteries or lighting, and high-demand wiring. Silicones allow working with a constant dielectric and dimensionally stable dielectric properties from -80 °C to 250 °C. In addition, they resist vibration and fire, produce low smoke emissions, and emit non-corrosive and non-toxic combustion gases.
The combination of high-performance, high-strength materials, and color masterbatches is ideally suited to meet the demand for new materials or formulations with higher performance. Delta Tecnic specializes in providing high-quality color concentrates for the electric vehicle industry with excellent dispersion and dilution properties, with special attention to spark reduction, color consistency, pellet size, and shape, all for the improvement of the electric mobility supply chain.