LinkedIn Livestream - Designing Modern Battery Packs for Electric Vehicles

The ability to cost-efficiently build a battery is what will differentiate one auto manufacturer from another.

Autonomous driving and e-mobility are at the forefront of a revolution now underway in the automotive industry. This has created competition among the top automotive OEMs, with market leadership bestowed on those that are most innovative. 

Electrification provides several environmental, economic and sustainable advantages. The power train of an electric vehicle has three major components: the power storage “battery”, e-drive, and a power management system. An OEM’s ability to quickly customize these complex components will be critical for success in this growing market. 

Power management systems (inverters, converters, chargers, etc.) and e-drive are nothing new to this industry. However, battery design at this scale for a large volume commercial application is ocurring for the first time.  The ability to cost-efficiently build a battery is what will differentiate one auto manufacturer from another.

Battery costs are already dropping, from $1000/KWH in 2010 to $156/KWH today, largely as a result of one market-disruptive producer. By 2030, projected cost could drop to $73/KWH1. The most prominent remaining impediments concern safety and battery life. 

Thermal Interface Materials for Battery Cooling

While Li-ion chemistry is sensitive to charging, discharging and environmental conditions, it requires very sophisticated control systems and technologies to work seamlessly. Thermal runaway remains a concern. Li-Ion chemistry has a limited operating temperature range of 10oC to 55oC; when the temperature crosses the operating range the battery chemistry either stops working or catches fire. 

A typical 80KW battery pack consists of more than 4,000 cylindrical cells that must work cohesively. If just one cell catches fire, it starts a chain reaction and destroys the entire pack. Since global environmental conditions can vary from -40oC to 50oC depending on geography, the challenge is to regulate and maintain optimal operating temperature in these battery packs for safe and efficient performance.

The key is thermal management. Henkel produces a range of best in class thermal interface materials specifically to address thermal management issues in battery packs. In addition to thermal conductivity, these materials offer benefits such as flowing at high flow rates to support large volume production, lower assembly force, reliability, and rework ability. To learn more about our thermal interface materials, join our expert Holger Schuh on April 13th for this web series by following the Henkel Adhesives LinkedIn page and signing up to the event.

Adhesives for Battery Components Assembly

The electric vehicle market is expected to reach about one million sales this year. This large volume assembly process requires unique adhesives for quick high-automated assembly, with adaptable cure mechanism and work time. Henkel is a prominent and respected name in adhesives for a wide range of applications. 

To learn more about our bonding solutions, join Nicholas Bewick on April 27th on this web series by  following the Henkel Adhesives LinkedIn page and signing up to the event.

Sealants for Battery Gasketing 

Since the battery pack is the single most expensive component in an electric car, rework ability is a key requirement. Gasketing is used for sealing the battery pack tray to its cover, and to act as a moisture barrier for the modules and the battery management system inside. Typically, a form-in-place gasket (FIPG) would be recommended as it forms a permanent seal; however, once the battery pack is sealed, it is not serviceable. The Henkel portfolio of gasketing products includes a solution specifically designed for battery pack application, which allows for rework ability while providing sealing capabilities on par with FIPGs. 

To learn more about our gasketing, join Matt Boback on April 20th on this web series by following the Henkel Adhesives LinkedIn page and signing up to the event.

Surface Treatments for Corrosion Protection

There is also a mechanical design challenge in battery pack frames that are typically a stamped or extruded piece of aluminum, as this process introduces micropores into the structure. These pores can lead to mechanical fractures and ineffective moisture protection. One solution is to impregnate the frames. Henkel is also one of the market leaders in providing impregnation services globally. 

To learn more about our impregnation services, join Huimin Cao on May 4th on this web series by  following the Henkel Adhesives LinkedIn page and signing up to the event.

Coatings for Battery Cells & Pack

In this upcoming web series, we will cover all materials applied around the cells and module assemblies. Henkel also makes conductive coatings for cathodes. Our unique solutions allow for more charge/discharge cycles and higher charge retention capacity. 

To learn more about our conductive coatings, join John McGee on May 11th on this web series by  following the Henkel Adhesives LinkedIn page and signing up to the event.

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