High-voltage EV Battery Pack Solutions Driving Innovation in E-Mobility

Ritesh Patterson, General Manager, Performance Plastics

The increase in the abundance of electric vehicles or other devices that depend directly on batteries makes manufacturers research how much new technologies can increase battery performance. Since the mid-20th century, researchers have come a long way to develop stable, affordable, and long-lasting batteries. The research of these power suppliers goes through the development of new materials and composites. There is a lot of focus on battery chemistry and anticipated improvements, which is understandable given that even little changes in the chemistry might result in longer runtimes or greater vehicle ranges, better performance at higher temperatures, and several other advantages. 

Advocating the use of electric vehicles (EVs) as a practical means of achieving carbon neutrality and thereby addressing the climate crisis is crucial. The best way to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles is to outline their key characteristics, advantages and disadvantages, new technological developments, potential barriers to overcome, and potential opportunities and as the auto industry embraces electric vehicles, the demand for EV battery packs is surging.

Current Scenario of the EV battery market in India 

This critical evaluation looks ahead to the future of battery chemistry innovations, battery-related technologies, and battery replacement technologies. In which the next several decades will see vigorous research on lithium-ion batteries, lithium-metal batteries (such as solid-state batteries), and technologies beyond lithium (so-called “post-lithium”). 

Although traditional fuels still power the vast majority of vehicles on the road today, electric vehicles (EVs) are rapidly gaining ground. In 2022, the electric vehicle (EV) market in India reached the million-unit sales mark, where 1,003,000 EVs have been registered with regional transport offices as of December 31, according to information on the government’s Vahan website. Personal transportation is steadily relying more and more on electricity, additionally, the variety and expansion of navigation and infotainment devices available in contemporary vehicles mean that these vehicles have extraordinary electrical requirements. 

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For EVs to ever completely take off, EV batteries must offer more power, more cycles, and a longer lifetime. Because of their outstanding power density and charging effectiveness, lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery packs continue to be the preferred power source for the EV sector. However, due to the demanding automotive settings, these batteries have relatively short operational lives and degrade swiftly with age and EV battery research indicates, a small amount of pressure is needed to ensure electrical and thermal connections while the battery “breathes” during its discharge and recharge cycles. This results in the longest possible battery lifespan. This breathing can be rather noticeable in big battery packs with several cells. However, some unexpected material solutions assist keep more EVs and hybrids on the road every day by preventing delamination and deformation in pouch-type, actively cooled, Li-ion battery packs.

Innovative Materials available in the market that Drive the Change from Tape Solutions 

  • Compression/cushioning Pads to address cell expansion (pouch and prismatic design):

Compression pads for EV battery packs are required to provide predictable and consistent pressure on the cell (pouch or prismatic) surface as they go through charge/discharge cycles. With silicone and micro-cellular PUR material options these compression pads have been designed specifically to balance this pressure need with optimal thickness, cost positioning the added benefit of flame resistance.  

  • Thermal Runaway Protection:

Thermal runaway protection materials feature thermal insulation with fire-blocking characteristics and excellent compression set resistance, giving them the ability to serve a dual purpose in fire mitigation as a compression pad in lithium-ion batteries

  • UL94 V-0 tested IP67 Pack Sealing:

Keeping the battery pack sealed from outside elements is key to the performance and longevity of an electric vehicle. Offering a full line of battery pack housing options, our products range in material from foam-in-place gasketing and silicone foam rubbers to butyl-coated PVC and micro-cellular PUR foams. Seal batteries from the external environment with a low compression set and fire-blocking solutions that ensure the protection of the battery pack.

  • Thermal Interface Materials (TIM) for efficient thermal management:

To improve battery performance and extend battery life, thermal interface materials assist by removing extra heat from battery pack cells. These solutions are tailored to satisfy specific design requirements.

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A look inside the materials used for EV Battery Pack Protection

Each manufacturer has a unique method for assembling an electric vehicle (EV) battery pack, and it is vital to account for the safety of its batteries. The material used in cylindrical battery packs, which make up a substantial portion of the market for electric cars, is very different from that of the pouch and prismatic packs. The fire protection material has to take on a slightly different function because the cells cannot be stacked together so easily and do not need to take expansion/contraction into account to the same extent. Solutions from thermally conductive, insulated, and intumescent materials to silicone and microcellular polyurethane foams, are the solutions that will drive the future of battery-operated vehicles.

The Rising future of high-performance EV Batteries in India 

One of the huge trends we’re now observing is a shift in the mobility industry towards more environmentally friendly solutions. Electric vehicles (EVs) need battery pack protection systems that can withstand the extremes of temperature, smoke, fire, air, and water. Compression/tolerance pads, thermal runaway protection, pack sealing/gasketing/cushioning, electrical insulation, and thermal interface material applications are crucial because safety and performance are the top goals for EV battery packs. Separate from chemistry, placing system improvements is essential for better battery performance, especially when using big packs like those in electric vehicles.

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By Ritesh Patterson, General Manager, Performance Plastics

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