BY ALT Technologies | 15th July 2020
Converting experience plays a crucial role in developing EV battery management systems.
Electric vehicle production is now in full swing. There might have been previous concerns about more considerable electric vehicle growth, but they have now been banished as battery production becomes cheaper and more accessible. There are even new developments around “digital passports” for EV batteries to track the battery’s lifecycle, from mining through to car sales, so you can rest assured that EV battery manufacturing is rising.
Does the question now move to how we can ensure electric vehicle battery longevity? There is so much to battery composition and the encompassing parts to protect the battery that it can take time to grasp. In this guide, we break down the various parts of the battery and how foams, tapes and foils can efficiently handle common failures and outages.
Creating a logical battery management system benefits from working with knowledgeable converters in the automotive industry. The experience with OEM requirements and understanding of a wide range of adhesives, foams and tapes enables the following benefits:
● Reduce flammability: This is possibly the most essential topic in automotive development. It’s especially important in EV battery manufacturing. Inherent knowledge of flammability requirements in the automotive industry is necessary when selecting functional materials and the right supplemental adhesives.
● Increase dielectric strength: Selecting suitable materials between the cells is crucial. Specific foam tapes can provide multiple advantages, as they can increase dielectric strength while also providing thermal protection.
● Protecting battery pack materials: The right foam will provide dimensional stability and material encapsulation, reducing vibrations within the battery pack caused by external movement. Features like sandwich constructions (foams with adhesive on both sides) and a temporary release liner offer the possibility to simplify the battery pack assembly process: one side of the foam can adhere to the battery cell while on the other side, the release liner stays, only to be removed when various battery cells are connected. In addition to this, we also offer permanent stay-on foils, protection layers and barriers.
OEMs and the automotive industry have set strict requirements around the materials used with the battery. With these in mind, we need to be aware of converted products’ safety, durability, cost, production efficiency, and functionality to consistently deliver a high-quality product.
Foams make for great lightweight material because they tick all the spec boxes, including meeting severe temperature ranges. EV and regular gas vehicle batteries don’t fare well at extreme temperatures, but foams fortunately do.
Foams don’t just absorb the heat but can extract it to the heat sink rather than dispense it to the other cells. These foam insulators also provide adequate insulation so that batteries can quickly warm up in cooler climates. It is a delicate balance between keeping the battery warm enough but not so hot that it causes a fire. These foams are built with fire-resistant materials, ensuring if something such as thermal runaway occurs in the battery, the foam will be an essential factor in reducing the chances of spreading.
Dielectric foams and insulation are critical components to protecting the battery cells as they expand and contract while in use. These foams prevent delamination and deformation and can maintain pressure on the cell structure in the battery while also allowing the cells to move and “breathe.” These compression pads allow for swelling forces, mechanical shock, friction and road vibrations. Foams also act as thermal and electrical conductors, depending on their material and the compression amount within the battery.
An extra layer can be added to the foam to make it more suitable for EMI shielding. Battery components need protection from electromagnetic waves due to their high frequencies and small size. Silicone thermal pads are built to last and can withstand challenging environments while providing suitable protection.
Gaskets prevent dust and seal the battery case. In some instances, heat-activated acrylic foam tapes maintain a watertight seal, protecting against water, dust and air. These seals are similar to the foam materials used between battery cells.
Foams are designed to be highly durable for demanding environmental resistance. The constant shocks and vibrations throughout the vehicles’ lifetimes mean foams must withstand this constant movement and absorb the shock from battery activity.
Even though every OEM is increasingly focused on EV development, it is still a relatively new field, as there aren’t a lot of long-term studies. It is, therefore, vital to partner with a converter who has been in the automotive industry for the long haul.
ALT offers a wide range of materials to shield the EV battery:
• High voltage insulation
• Compressor pads
• Thermal runaway protection pads
• Pack seals
• Thermal interface materials
• Fire-blocking polyurethane foam
• Easy-release liners for clean application
• Single- and double-coated adhesive constructions with non-conductive films
• Flame-retardant adhesives for dual dielectric and flame protection
• Flexibility to conform to irregular contours.
ALT has the converting expertise to add a wide range of adhesives to the aforementioned foams and pads; one-side or double-side adhesives, a different adhesive on each side of the material or different liners and functions on the adhesive. Our adhesives fulfil high temperatures and moisture requirements.
Our capabilities with die-cutting enable our team to specially customise your foams, from clever release liners to holes and shapes in the material. Additionally, we offer printing techniques for various applications, ranging from adding text to partial adhesives-free zones
We have an extensive database of products and solutions, indirectly supplying every OEM in the automotive industry. Finding a converter that can take these materials and add value will significantly enhance your production processes.
The vast range of film and adhesive options ensures you get the perfectly customised product, with the option to extend your own capabilities as the automotive industry continues to advance.
Our in-house subject matter experts are always on hand to discuss your engineering business developments. Don’t hesitate to contact us today if you want to get in touch with us about how we can combine our converting experience with your EV battery management solutions.