With more than 150 different plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) on the roads today and a global movement to adopt sustainable manufacturing practices, Dr. Tamim Sidiki, DSM Engineering Materials Marketing Manager – Mobility, said he believes the shift towards fully-electric vehicles is on a non-stop course. Commitments from OEMs and governments to be zero net carbon neutral by around 2040 and the shifting perception that sustainability is not just something “nice to have” but a “must have” are incentivizing the electric vehicle (EV) movement.
“What is important for future technology is efficiency – specifically over a long time,” said Dr. Sidiki. “We have not only developed excellent materials, but we have also developed the required modeling tools and support. Together with our customers, we can build a proper business case and predict performance over the lifetime of applications. For the critical high voltage system in EVs, we have invested heavily in our labs. We can test and qualify materials up to 1500V for our customers’ applications.”
In his presentation, Dr. Sidiki talked about how consumers want vehicles that are safer, more lightweight, and sustainable.
Making Vehicles Safer
When it comes to EVs, one of the main concerns of consumers is the possibility of a fire – particularly when most people are charging their cars at home. One of the most important functions in an EV is the thermal management system. Dr. Sidiki said DSM Engineering Materials is addressing this issue with its Xytron™ materials solution. Mechanically, Xytron is a robust material, but it also has a very high dimensional stability, is hydrolysis resistant and one of the most chemical resistant materials of highest ionic purity.
Making Vehicles Lighter
Another benefit consumers are looking for is to extend EV range. This is where weight reduction becomes critical. By converting heavy, structural metal parts to highly durable, lightweight plastic components manufacturers can reduce the weight of EVs. DSM Engineering Materials is helping many OEMs make the transition from metal to plastic using materials such as Akulon® PA6 and PA66, ForTii® PPA, Arnite® PBT and Xytron ®PPS. Customers are seeing weight reductions of up to 50%.
Making EVs More Sustainable
By the year 2040, more than 25 countries plan to ban the sale of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. If the governmental regulations and policies on emission reductions are enacted, sustainability will become a mandatory requirement for many developed countries.
“By 2030, DSM Engineering Materials is committed to having our entire portfolio, every plastic that we bring to the market, available as either a bioplastic or a recycled plastic,” said Dr. Sidiki. “You can be assured that every action we take will be focused on delivering materials with a lower carbon footprint.”
The Tech Talk also included an in-depth discussion by DSM Engineering Materials Rob Janssen on the electrical properties of polymers. He talked about material concepts relevant for EV applications and the limits of ultimate dielectric properties of polyamides. The event concluded with a panel discussion and lab tours of the Troy, Michigan, facility.