Trusty Partners That EVs Just Can't Do Without! — Weatherability Solution for Charging Stations

12 Jan, 2022

Author : Specialty Chemical Business Unit

The electric vehicle's trusty partner—the charging station—is currently the most important issue in the industry. While long-term exposure to sunlight outdoors usually causes yellowing and fading of charging stations, weatherability expert Everlight Chemical has the solution—a new special light stabilizer for PA and white PC/ABS, effectively improving the weatherability of charging stations!




Hardworking hero behind EVs—the charging station


To meet the global increase in environmental awareness and the demand for green energy, electric vehicles are undoubtedly a future trend in the automotive industry. In order to improve the popularity of electric vehicles and their convenience to drivers, their indispensable trusty partners—“charging stations”—have naturally become one of the most important issues in the EV industry! How to improve the durability of charging stations so that drivers are able to quickly and conveniently charge their cars and stay on the road is without a doubt a major goal the EV industry is trying to achieve.



Structure and materials of charging stations


To improve the performance of charging stations, we first need to understand the structure of the hardworking hero behind the provision of abundant power supply for electric vehicles: a charging station consists of a station body (the casing and interface for human-machine interaction), electrical modules (electric sockets, a cable transfer terminal block, and surge protection devices), a metering module and other parts. A very high proportion of the materials used in a charging station is plastic.


A total of six components of a charging station are made with plastic, namely the charging station casing, the charging station plug, the charging station sockets, the connector casing, circuit breakers, and the casings of contactors and the power source module. The casings of charging station plugs and sockets are mainly made with PA6.6 materials of good electrical insulation functionality, while the casings of charging stations and charging connectors are generally made with white PC/ABS modified materials. All PC/ABS materials have a high degree of impact resistance whether at room temperature or in low temperature environments, so they are suitable for making casings.





Climatic factors take their toll on appearance and performance of charging stations


However, when a charging station is exposed to heat and sunshine, wind and rain outdoors, a large number of polymer materials in its structure will still be inclined to deteriorate due to the effect of UV light, temperature changes, humidity, and so on, and this will affect charging efficiency and safety. So, how can we improve the weatherability of charging stations and enable them to consistently operate efficiently and safely, so that EV drivers can recharge their power at any time? For the different polymer components of charging stations, Everlight Chemical has introduced various weather-resistant products suitable for plastic materials to achieve the best protection and performance.



Everlight Chemical launches comprehensive weatherability solution for charging stations


First of all, when the PA6.6 used in charging station plug and socket casings are exposed to sunlight for a long time, the amine in the polymer easily absorbs UV light, which causes degradation, resulting in the embrittlement and fracture of plastic parts, which affects the safety of use during charging. Everlight Chemical's new Eversorb® PA3 light stabilizer, can effectively solve the problem of PA deterioration and achieve excellent weatherability.


As shown in the figure below, the PA6.6 blank group (without light stabilizer added) was tested for 1,000 hours, and its extention  retention rate was only 30%. The rate of the group added with product A is about 62%, while the rate of the sample which had Eversorb® PA3 added could be maintained at as high as 98%, which demonstrates a significant improvement in weatherability for PA6.6 materials, able to provide excellent protection for charging station plug and socket casings, and also help ensure the user’s safety while using electricity. 



Eversorb PA3



Furthermore, the casings of charging stations and charging connectors are made with white PC/ABS materials, and their physical properties can easily be degraded by yellowing due to the absorption of UV light, which affects the appearance of the charging station. Most light stabilizers do not provide a high degree of protection, so Everlight Chemical especially developed a light stabilizer for white PC/ABS materials — Eversorb® 761, which is capable of protecting the appearance and performance of white plastic parts more effectively than ordinary light stabilizers.


As shown in the figure below, after a QUV accelerated aging test, it can be clearly seen that the color difference of the sample with Eversorb® 761 added was greatly reduced, as it effectively prevents the problem of discoloration and fading caused by long-term exposure of white PC/ABS outdoors, and maintains brilliant white outer casing and charging connectors.

 Eversorb 761


Everlight Chemical has also brought out a variety of light stabilizer series products especially designed for different plastic material applications—such as automotive plastics, construction plastics, electronics plastics, household plastics, and so on. All of these are able to help ensure the performance of plastic products, improve their weatherability, and reduce yellowing and deterioration problems such as embrittlement, as well as effectively extend the service life and greatly increase the value of the product! If you are interested, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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