Flip the switch safely — with engineering plastics from BASF

Posted on September 21, 2017

Expanded range for circuit breakers with new, globally available Ultramid® grade



Particularly suitable for household applications


BASF is now expanding its PA (PA: polyamide) range to include a new flame-retardant grade for use in the electronics and electrical engineering sectors. Ultramid® B3U31G4 impresses in the glow-wire test, is noted for its good mechanics and good processing properties and is particularly suitable for manufacturing circuit breakers for domestic use. BASF is rounding off the product range and thus offering plastics for both market segments: highly specialized circuit breakers for industrial and household applications.


Circuit breakers safeguard circuits and, in an emergency, cut off the power supply reliably within milliseconds. This occurs both in the event of brief power surges and in the event of an excessive continuous load. The plastics from which these circuit breakers are manufactured must therefore meet high requirements in terms of their mechanical properties and fire behavior (glow-wire test at 960°C). Ultramid B3U31G4 passes this crucial glow-wire test with a wall thickness of 1 millimeter.


Likewise, the circuit breakers need to be reusable after they have been triggered, for example after a short circuit caused by incorrect operation, or an assembly or commissioning fault. This means the housing of the circuit breaker must withstand the energy which is explosively released. Only then can the switch simply be flipped back after such triggering and the protective function be restored immediately. Thanks to the combination of outstanding mechanical properties with good flowability, the new Ultramid grade is particularly suitable for this application.


Ultramid B3U31G4 is available right now in white and in several shades of gray. Further Ultramid grades for this specific application are already being developed – their global market launch is scheduled for the first half of 2018.


About BASF’s Performance Materials Division


BASF’s Performance Materials division encompasses the entire materials knowhow
of BASF regarding innovative, customized plastics under one roof. Globally active in four major industry sectors – transportation, construction, industrial applications and consumer goods – the division has a strong portfolio of products and services combined with a deep understanding of application-oriented system solutions. Key drivers of profitability and growth are our close collaboration with customers and a clear focus on solutions. Strong capabilities in R&D provide the basis to develop innovative products and applications. In 2016, the Performance Materials division achieved global sales of € 6.9 bn. 


About BASF


At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic
success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately
114,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our
customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio
is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional
Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales
of about €58 billion in 2016. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in
Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at

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