Covestro: Polycarbonate material for highly integrated EV charging wallbox concept

Latest: Covestro, LEOHARD KURZ and Sumitomo Demag will hold K
A new concept for an electric vehicle charging wallbox is on display at the 2022 plastics trade show. This smart prototype combines great design freedom with high functionality in terms of materials and processes with more sustainable manufacturing. It visualizes the sustainable charging of green electricity, and its design incorporates the concept of “vehicle-to-grid”, which uses the vehicle’s battery as a buffer storage, releasing electricity to the public grid to compensate for power fluctuations. Niklas, Head of Global Electric Vehicle Charging Station Program at Covestro and Head of Electrical Engineering and Electronics Marketing, EMEA
“With this concept, we want to show that we can already contribute to sustainability, CO2 reduction and green transport during the production phase of such charging stations,” explains Dr. Meine.

Lower carbon footprint, flame retardant, recyclable

The EV charging wall box uses polycarbonate (PC) compounds from the Makrolon® RE product range and polycarbonate films from the Makrolon® range. Makrolon®
RE and Makrofol® DE
MB is a polycarbonate compound and a polycarbonate film, respectively, with a very low carbon footprint. A certain percentage of the product’s raw material consists of raw materials from biological waste and residues, partly produced using renewable electricity. Sustainable sourcing of raw materials has been approved by ISCC
Plus (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) and Mass Balance Certification.

Niklas Meine: “The charging station uses Makrolon® RE polycarbonate compound and Makrofol® DE
MB polycarbonate film, so the carbon footprint is very low. At the same time, they are suitable for backlighting as well as various design techniques, which meet the strict technical requirements of charging stations. For example, Makrolon®
RE is particularly flame retardant, tested in the US by the company Underwriters Laboratories
Good 5VA rating (yellow card) in UL94 fire test by Inc. (UL). It is also UL f1 certified so it can be used outdoors underwater and under UV light. ”

Energy efficient manufacturing

Electric vehicle charging wall box with combined film insert injection molding (FIM) and in-film decoration (IMD)
Process manufacturing, for which Sumitomo Demag has developed a custom factory technology. Injection molding and back molding of decorative foils can be combined in one process step.
As a result, production can not only take place with short and economical cycle times, but above all in an energy-efficient manner.

Custom Design

In a combined process, Makrolon®
RE and Makrofol® offer great freedom in the design of the wallbox, in addition to which the wallbox is equipped with an integrated display with touch functionality. For example, seamless, large-area, glass-like surfaces in a variety of colors can be obtained with just one tool. Capacitive backlit touch sensors from KURZ subsidiary PolyIC can be easily integrated behind the surface of a wall box made of polycarbonate.
After using them, for example, the charging of the battery can be infinitely controlled by touching the control panel with your finger. In addition, the polycarbonate material is very suitable for PMD (Printed Mold Design) technology, KURZ subsidiary Burg
Design is optimized for logo application.

Martin Head of Applications, Technology and Innovation at KURZ Plastics Decoration
Hahn concludes: “Overall, the numerous design options allow for a bespoke design of the charging station where economic conditions permit. The emphasis is on the very wide use of different decorating methods and their combinations, for example hot stamping can also be used The technology achieves partial metallization on the design ring. With the wall box showcasing samples, we present customer-specific solutions in the overall context of design, materials and process technology.”