In May, during the Battery Show Europe 2023 in Stuttgart, Germany, Europe’s biggest trade show for cutting-edge technologies and production processes for batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles, Envalior—formerly DSM Engineering Materials and Lanxess HPM—was in full force showcasing new composite material that passes thermal runaway tests, studies on large battery housings that can be injection-molded, and comprehensive material tests for battery thermal management.
Below are four key takeaways of material opportunities for batteries in the automotive sector.
Safety and thermal management: Battery safety is of utmost importance in EV applications. Materials that enhance the thermal stability of batteries, prevent thermal runaway, and mitigate the risk of fire or explosion are actively researched. Additionally, developing efficient thermal management systems to regulate the operating temperature of batteries is crucial to maintaining their performance and safety.
Envalior highlighted thermal management in batteries for fast battery charging and vehicle performance when presenting results of long-term stability testing on selected thermoplastics for battery components in dielectric immersion cooling fluids. Immersion cooling is when battery enclosures are filled up with dielectric fluids and everything inside the enclosures, such as bus bars and battery cells, are submerged in the fluids as a means of direct cooling.
Water–glycol mixtures are also used in EV cooling circuits. Instead of polyamide 66, the associated cooling components can be made from polyamide 6 compounds. Although they are not hydrolytically stabilized, they usually offer adequate durability because the water–glycol mixtures do not reach temperatures as high as in ICE engines. Currently Envalior is performing tests at 80°C and 100°C in which the storage time has been extended from 1,000 and 1,500 hours to 10,000 hours to cover the longer service time of EVs.
Injection molding: Envalior presented a study showing that large battery housings can be injection-molded in a cost-effective way with the aid of large blanks made from Tepex® composites. If the bottom area of a battery enclosure with the dimensions of 2.200 mm x 1.600 mm is injection molded, high clamping forces and thus large machines are needed. When using a Tepex insert, the projected area where the pressure is active can be reduced significantly, and therefore smaller machines can be used.
Battery life and durability: Automotive batteries must have long lifespans to ensure the economic viability of EVs. Over time, battery capacity tends to degrade, reducing the driving range. Researchers are working on developing materials that can enhance battery durability, minimize capacity fade, and improve cycle life. Scientists are focused on reducing the reliance on costly materials and developing alternative materials or improving their availability and recyclability.
Sustainability and environmental impact: The sustainability and environmental impact of battery materials are important considerations. For example, the extraction and processing of certain materials like cobalt can have adverse environmental and social consequences. Developing sustainable alternatives, recycling technologies, and reducing reliance on rare or environmentally sensitive materials are important challenges for battery manufacturers and automotive OEMs.
Envalior is here to help you address these material challenges, and to help you contribute to the development of more efficient, cost-effective, and safer applications for the electrified powertrain and batteries, making EVs a viable and sustainable transportation option.
Envalior, formerly DSM Engineering Materials and Lanxess HPM, is a global leader in material solutions, developed to meet a wide variety of technical challenges in mobility, making electric vehicles safer, lighter and more sustainable. Envalior offers a robust portfolio of materials built to support next-generation technologies across a broad range of global industries, including automotive and electronics. Our solutions are backed by extensive research, testing and collaboration with OEMs and tier suppliers, to deliver on all your safety, reliability and design flexibility needs.
Global Manager of Messaging and Content Development
Candace Roulo is Global Manager of Messaging and Content Development for Envalior. Based in Troy, Michigan, she specializes in writing blogs and articles about advanced materials solutions. Prior to joining Envalior, Candace served in editorial roles at SME and Penton Media. Candace earned her bachelor’s degree in communication, specializing in public relations, at Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences.
26 June 2023
Helping you make a safer, lighter and more sustainable electric vehicle