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Ultramid is setting new standards for fuel cells

Ultramid will be used in the Mercedes GLC F-CELL

In close cooperation with Joma-Polytec and Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell, a subsidiary of Daimler AG, BASF has successfully used its engineering plastic Ultramid to manufacture a number of fuel cell system components. This innovative solution is being used as standard in the new Mercedes GLC F-CELL, which combines a fuel cell with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

Plastics increase efficiency – not only in hybrid, plug-in and electric vehicles but also in internal combustion engines. “Our extensive plastics portfolio offers all sorts of advantages which help us to satisfy specific customer requirements, depending on the drive concept and the specific component,” explains BASF segment manager powertrain and chassis Andreas Stockheim. “By continually developing new products in close collaboration with our customers, we are also able to adapt our portfolio to trends and changes in the market.”

The high quality and safety requirements in the automotive industry place huge demands on materials. With versatile and sophisticated polyamides (Ultramid), polybutylene terephthalates (Ultradur), polyphthalamides (PPA), and the plastics polyoxymethylene (Ultraform) and polyethersulfone (Ultrason), BASF is able to keep pace with car manufacturers’ latest developments, while also setting innovative trends.

Technical properties and high functionality are key here. For the Mercedes GLC F-Cell, it is the all-round excellence of Ultramid’s properties that counts: good thermal and chemical resistance, dynamic stiffness, impact strength, and good long-term performance.

“Earlier tests with other materials revealed mechanical problems, so Daimler had very specific requirements for the material,” explained key account manager in BASF’s performance materials division Stefan Milimonka. “Our expertise with plastic automotive components and the extensive choice of existing products meant that we were able to work out possible solutions with our partners and identify the right material. It shows that with specialist knowledge and good cooperation between everyone involved, a complex project like this can be brought to a successful conclusion.”

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