Development: materials designed to boost battery performance and protection
Huntsman is announcing the development of innovative polyurethane, carbon nanotube, and epoxy materials at The Battery Show this week, which are all designed to help improve the integration of batteries into electric vehicles and enhance their protection and performance.
In a move that helps to deliver high-performance composite battery structures, alongside design and production flexibility, Huntsman has assembled a portfolio of customisable, quick-cure, high-strength polyurethane, and epoxy resins that can be used to create underbody and top cover battery protection components up to 30% quicker than some existing technologies. Crucially, the products can also lower overall part weight and increase strength and structural performance. A range of products is currently available covering various battery performance and protection needs:
- Targeting underbody battery protection, Huntsman offers RIMLINE WCM system – a low viscosity liquid resin that enables the moulding of high fibre volume fraction composites under low pressure. Balancing a long working life and short cure time with easy mould release, this system can help reduce overall cycle times and is formulated for use on high pressure-mix machines.
- For battery enclosures, ARALDITE FST resins allow the design of flame-retardant composite parts. These OEM-qualified systems have proven performance and reliability, meeting battery safety requirements
- Targeting battery underfloor protection, Huntsman has developed three products:
- RIMLINE FC (foam core) system can offer a cost-effective solution for manufacturing sandwich composites. This lightweight system has great flow properties, which can help with the creation of complex 3D shapes. This system can typically also adhere well to different overmoulding materials and cure quickly for fast cycle times.
- RIMLINE LFI (long fibre injection) resin system can be moulded into strong stiff parts with a density of – for example – 1100kg/m3 including 30% glass fibre reinforcement. The resulting parts can help to provide lower total sandwich thickness and improved damage tolerance.
- ARALDITE 3031 / 3032 WCM system has proven in operation to combine fastest processing cure time and outstanding mechanical properties and stiffness.
- Targeting top cover applications, VITROX WCM system enables the development of composite lid structures that can help achieve thermal resistance while reducing weight compared to metallic cover alternatives; and ARALDITE SMC solutions enable part design freedom for semi-structural applications and requirements.
- In the electric vehicle battery cell, Huntsman has also developed a range of materials that help with lightweighting and improved conductivity, as well as thermal, vibration, and structural protection.
- SHOKLESS encapsulation foam and elastomer systems help to create potting foams and encapsulants that are mechanically strong and have the thermal insulation and vibration dampening properties needed to protect batteries at a cell, module, and pack level.
- ARATHANE thermally conductive adhesives and encapsulants provide excellent mechanical fixation and thermal connection, enabling effective heat management from the cells and enabling new battery pack designs and higher performance batteries.
- For battery cell producers looking to increase the capacity of their cells or interested in reduction of the weight of their cells, Huntsman has introduced MIRALON NMP Dispersions and MIRALON Current Collectors. The MIRALON NMP Dispersions for LFP and high-nickel cathodes offer high conductivity with much lower concentration than carbon black and are rate performance-compatible with fast charging protocols. MIRALON Current Collectors for ultra-lightweight applications can replace heavier metallic current collectors.
Irina Bolshakova, Global Strategic Marketing Lead for Automotive Polyurethanes at Huntsman, said: “As demand for electric vehicles grows, we’re continually innovating, making it easier than ever for battery manufacturers, automotive OEMs, and their suppliers to make new gains in powertrain performance. We’re excited to share details of our new systems at The Battery Show and discuss the latest challenges with customers face-to-face.”
Huntsman serves customers along the automotive value chain, delivering innovative, value-added solutions to the world’s best-known car brands to support their comfort and sustainability ambitions. Huntsman’s portfolio of battery materials includes ULTRAPURE carbonates, high-purity solvents for electrolytes that are critical to the reliable operation of lithium-ion batteries and long working life for electric vehicles. Additional key areas of expertise include lightweighting, encapsulation, and insulation of electric and electronic parts, high-performance polyurethane systems for seating, interior trim, acoustic insulation, and composite panel applications.