Saturday 18 May 2019

What is the thermal conductivity of plastics? Thermal conductivity of 96 plastics for EV application design support

Thermal conductivity of 96 plastics

In emerging electric vehicle applications which includes traction motors, battery cages, and power electronics the focus is kept more and more on the material parameter “thermal conductivity”. Removal of entrapped heat is important due to heat’s high impact on overall system performance. Thermal conductivity is the transfer of heat from one body to another body which is in contact with first. It is measured as W/mK.

The rule of thumb for thermal conductivity in plastics is as follows:
1. For amorphous thermoplastics at 0-200°C, the thermal conductivity lies between 0.125-0.2 W/mK.
2. For semi-crystalline thermoplastics at 0-200°C, values can exceed 0.2 W/mk. Inherently ordered crystalline regions lead to higher thermal conductivity

“What is the thermal conductivity of xyz-plastic?”
I created a table based on published literature, which can support you in quickly accessing thermal conductivity data of different polymers. There are some compounders which have specialized in offering thermal conductive, electrical insulated polymers, reaching over 1 W/mK.

Thermal conductivity of plastics overview
Thank you for reading and till next time!
Herwig Juster

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[2] Saechtling Plastics Handbook


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