Innovative silicone technology is the solution to the rising complexity of electric vehicle batteries.
In this article we explore the essential silicone toolkit that you can use to optimise efficiency and maximise performance in applications regarding electric vehicle battery pack assembly.
The Race for Battery Power
The Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts over 50% of all passenger vehicles sold will be fully electric by 2040. Electric vehicle (EV) sales are projected to increase from 1.1 million units in 2017, to 11 million units in 2025, and to an immense 30 million units in 2030. With the market for EVs growing exponentially, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for EVs are now in a race to provide an improved battery performance and efficiency to their sector.
Main Challenges of Battery Pack Production
Manufacturers of Lithium-ion electric batteries must conquer two main challenges in order to win this race.
- Batteries must comply with high-volume, cost-effective production processes.
- Battery cells must be maintained at their optimum temperatures, in spite of the intense heat generated from the battery packs.
Silicone provides solutions to both of these challenges; enabling manufacturers to accelerate and simplify their operations.
Challenge #1 is dealt with through the following ways:
- Silicones provide a range of handling and dispensing options; enabling adaptable flow, wetting and adhesive properties.
- Silicones are famous for their simplicity of use and ease of application during processing.
- Fast curing times, without the use of heat, are available through the use of silicones.
Challenge #2 is dealt with through the following ways:
- By being low viscosity, silicones offer superior flow which fully wet surfaces. This leads to minimised gaps and maximised thermal contacts, resulting in more efficient heat dissipation.
- Silicone adhesives and sealants can be formulated to not slump when applied on vertical surfaces, remaining in place after their initial dispensing. This, once again, leads to a maximised thermal contact between interfaces, leading to higher efficiency thermal management.
Advantages of Silicone for Electric Vehicle Applications
Silicones are perfect materials for EV battery applications due to their diverse properties, ranging from:
- Thermal stability: silicones maintain their chemical and mechanical properties across the range of -40°C to 200°C.
- Excellent flexibility over a wide temperature – providing high movement capability.
- Gap fillers for use in battery thermal management – providing low thermal resistivity.
- Encapsulants for fire protection – slowing the spread of thermal events in Lithium-ion batteries.
- Dielectric properties – can be formulated for both electrical insulation or conduction.
- Exert minimal stress on electrical components.
- Lightweight – meeting UL requirements with low weight.
Silicone Solutions for Battery Pack Assembly
DOWSIL silicones, available as gap fillers, foams, encapsulants and gels, can be used in battery production in many ways. Here we explore the relevant products for different stages of battery pack assembly.
Thermally Conductive Gap Fillers:
- DOWSIL™ TC-4515 Gap Filler
- DOWSIL™ TC-4525 Gap Filler
- DOWSIL™ TC-4525 GB Gap Filler
- DOWSIL™ TC-4525 CV Gap Filler
- DOWSIL™ TC-4529 Gap Filler
Thermally Conductive Adhesives:
- DOWSIL™ TC-2030 Adhesive
- DOWSIL™ TC-2035 Adhesive
- DOWSIL™ SE 4485 Thermally Conductive Adhesive
- DOWSIL™ SE 4485 L Adhesive
- DOWSIL™ SE 4486 Adhesive
Thermally Conductive Encapsulants:
- DOWSIL™ TC-4605 Encapsulant
- DOWSIL™ TC-4605 HLV Encapsulant
- DOWSIL™ EA-5151 Assembly Adhesive
- DOWSIL™ 7091 Adhesive Sealant
- DOWSIL™ SE 9168 RTV Adhesive
- DOWSIL™ SE 9185 Clear or White Adhesive
- DOWSIL™ EA-1236 Base and Catalyst Special Adhesive
- DOWSIL™ 3-8209 Silicone Foam
- SYLGARD™ 170 Silicone Elastomer
- SYLGARD™ 170 Fast Cure Silicone Elastomer
- SYLGARD™ 567 Primerless Silicone Encapsulant
- DOWSIL™ SE 9186 Clear or White Sealant
- DOWSIL™ 3-1953 Conformal Coating
- DOWSIL™ 3-1965 Conformal Coating
- DOWSIL™ 1-2577 Low VOC Conformal Coating
As well as uses within the vehicles themselves, silicones also play an essential role in the production of charging stations. Take a look at our article focusing on charging stations here: “Silicone Solutions for EV Charging Stations“.