General Motors’ battery pack made of BASF’s engineering plastics has received an innovation award under the Powertrain category in the Annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala conducted by the Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers International at Burton Manor located in Livonia, Michigan.
The battery pack is used in the 2011 Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car. BASF, MANN+HUMMEL and General Motors have partnered on the development of battery cell frames. The battery needs 135 cell frames, which have to retain their hydrolysis resistance and dimensional stability throughout the battery life.
The use of Ultramid 1503-2F polyamide, BASF’s hydrolysis resistant PA 66 having 33% of glass reinforced resin, has reduced both weight and cost of the part. The reduction in weight has extended the range with more performance benefits when compared to a similar metal design. MANN + HUMMEL can continuously reproduce close tolerance parts caused by the production control of BASF and its Ultramid’s quality.
The retention of dimensional stability all along the cell frames is important for assembly and to meet the long-term performance goals of the application. The battery frame must have reliable quality to ensure the battery system’s superior performance. This is the third time a part using BASF plastics has won the award under the Powertrain category. The earlier awards were for Ford Motor’s diesel-exhaust fluid system that used the Ultramid AE3G7 AB polyamide of BASF and the thermoplastic oil pan made of BASF’s Ultramid B3ZG7 OSI polyamide used in the 6.7 l Powerstroke diesel engine of the Ford F-Series Super Duty pickup truck.