Electronics represent an increasing share of the value of vehicles. As the industry shifts towards electrical powertrains and more automation, that number will continue to increase. This merging of the electronics and automotive industries presents new opportunities, yet also creates new challenges for the materials used.
One of these challenges is the creation of hot spots within electronics and electrical systems. These are caused by applications that use higher electrical power. There are also trends to integrate different functionality into one component and to strive for ever-smaller parts.
Thermal conductivity is key to reducing these hot spots, and is one of the main benefits of using metal parts. The high density of metals, however, results in heavy components, which will not be effective in electric vehicles, nor is it easy to create complex shapes that integrate multiple functionalities without requiring multiple costly production steps.