Electric vehicles depend on AC/DC power inverters to change the direct current (DC) electrical output from the vehicle’s battery into alternating current (AC) to power the engine and other components. These batteries supply 500 volts of power and a maximum current of 500 amps, so reliable inverter operation is key to protecting battery life and the vehicle’s motor.The challenge
Power cables with O-ring seals made from various rubbers – including EPDM or silicone rubber – are used to connect the inverter and battery. The O-rings are critical to helping prevent moisture from entering the inverter chamber. With working temperatures reaching up to 120°C, wide-temperature performance and proper rubber-compatible lubrication is required to protect the O-rings from damage.
A vehicle manufacturer in China approached the MOLYKOTE® team for a solution that would deliver needed O-ring protection and performance, along with dependable rubber compatibility.The solution
MOLYKOTE® HP-300 Grease can protect electrical connection O-rings in demanding environments, with minimal hardening or changes to mechanical properties. Delivering excellent rubber compatibility, performance and thermal stability, the grease is suitable for use with various rubbers, such as EPDM elastomers and silicone rubbers.
Using both EPDM elastomers and silicone rubbers, the MOLYKOTE® technical team subjected MOLYKOTE® HP-300 Grease to several tests to observe how the lubricant performed under pressure, successfully demonstrating the grease’s performance via lab comparisons with a traditional lubricant solution as a control. MOLYKOTE® HP-300 Grease did not negatively affect the mechanical properties of the rubber O-rings, and it showed excellent compatibility. The data convinced the automotive manufacturer that MOLYKOTE® HP-300 Grease was the right solution for its challenge.
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