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DSM expands CTI test lab to support high-voltage testing up to 1500 VAC and 1000 VDC for EV makers

DSM Engineering Materials has expanded its Comparative Tracking Index (CTI) test laboratory with equipment to validate tracking resistance to voltages up to 1,500V AC and 1,000V DC. High-voltage component manufacturers have shown significant interest in collaborating with DSM on this testing for voltages between 600 and 1,500V.

High-voltage charging systems require materials that have a higher Comparative Tracking Index (CTI) for connectors, cables and insulating materials. Tracking refers to the breakdown of the insulation material that exists between conductive surface elements.

Insulation materials with a higher CTI reduce the risk of high voltage connector failures due to arcing and short circuits, despite ever-smaller creep distances.

In the past, a high CTI was nice to have, but not mandatory. However, with high-voltage charging, it becomes a material requirement.

This move builds on a long track record of working with automotive tiers and OEMs, and leverages DSM’s leadership position on sustainability as well as its strong credentials in the automotive, electrical and electronics industries. By installing the industry’s most advanced CTI test capabilities, it is now enabling a new standard to support manufacturers in increasing the voltage of EV batteries safely and shortening charging times even further to help accelerate the shift to electric mobility.

Driven by growing consumer demand, regulatory pressure, and technological advances, the transition to electric mobility is accelerating and is forecast to accelerate further. However, long charging times remain a key barrier to the wider adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). Shortening these charging times requires higher battery voltages up to 1,000V or above.

To enable this ultra-fast charging at the right safety and reliability levels, manufacturers will need to use insulation plastics with better resistance to high voltages.

DSM Engineering Materials has already established a portfolio and approach to make electric vehicles safer, lighter, and more sustainable:

  • Leveraging its expertise in critical applications, DSM Engineering Materials is ensuring that key future mobility systems—such as the e-powertrain, connectivity, tanks and structural parts—are made with the most reliable, material solutions that meet or exceed application standards while at the same time reducing the carbon footprint of the component.

  • DSM Engineering Materials has extensive expertise making structural parts, including actuation systems and seating materials, lighter with ForTii PA4T PPA and Akulon PA6 and PA66 PAs, offering best-in-class strength and thermal performance for metal replacement.

  • DSM Engineering Materials has communicated its ambition to reduce its total greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprint of its products by 50% by 2030, from a 2016 baseline, and developing and rolling out bio- and/or recycled-based alternatives for its entire portfolio by 2030. Specific grades are already available for all major product lines.

We are very happy to see that DSM is investing in strong materials as well as the right test laboratory. We look forward to cooperating more closely to understand the impact of high-voltage exposure on material properties and to implement suitable materials for our next-generation high-voltage systems.

—Franz Janson, Principal Product Development Engineer, PEE Global Automotive Resin Material Platform at TE Connectivity


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