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Family with an electric vehicle.

A Safer Way to Design Electric Vehicle Battery Packs

Posted 09/04/2019 by Elizabeth Knazs, Senior Application Specialist, Electric Vehicle/Battery

Automotive electrification has several key challenges, however, thermal management and the safety of the battery pack are two larger challenges that remain a continued focus. Battery cell makers and assemblers, system designers, tier suppliers, and OEMs need a complete battery solution that addresses key thermal management and safety elements.

Addressing fire prevention and safety for occupants and first responders in the event of an accident is critical when designing improved battery stability. H.B. Fuller is investing in innovative solutions for the design and assembly of electric vehicle (EV) applications and is dedicated to helping make electric vehicles a safe transportation option without sacrificing performance or raising costs.

Flame-retardant Thermal Insulation

Swift®bond 4006FR is flame-retardant, low-density polyurethane foam that provides thermal insulation to EV battery cells. Lithium-ion or Li-ion cells require constant temperature control from the beginning of life (BoL) to the end of life (EoL) to ensure peak performance as well as cycle and calendar life. The excellent insulating properties are a combined result of a fine, closed-cell foam structure and cell gases that resist heat transfer. The foam helps maintain a more uniform temperature gradient due to its insulating properties. This provides a more stable temperature in the battery pack.

If a cell shorts or multiple cells short, Swift®bond 4006FR helps absorb the energy from the initial explosion to prevent additional physical damage to the module and remaining cells. The strong charred layer creates a barrier when it comes in contact with heat or flames. This layer stops oxygen from getting to the fresh material to prevent continued burning. The thermal barrier also helps keep the heat away from adjacent cells to prevent or delay additional cells from igniting in a cascading effect commonly known as thermal propagation. 

Propagation for electric vehicle battery.

Thermal Management of EV Battery Packs

Continuous glowing combustion is a self-propagating combustion process without flaming that may occur inside certain porous materials. Swift®bond 4006FR does not initiate continuous glowing or propagate fire. Independent laboratory testing results have confirmed the impact Swift®bond 4006FR has on thermal management. It conforms to flammability requirements of UL94 Flammability of Plastic Materials of V0 and HBF. Swift®bond does not outgas flammable hydrogen during cure, meaning carbon dioxide is released, which is commonly used to extinguish electrical fires.

We continually look for opportunities to collaborate with our customers to improve the reliability and safety of battery packs and management systems. Stop by and visit with our experts in Booth 2833 at The Battery Show in Novi on September 10-12 to learn more about our adhesive technology for Electric Vehicles.

 

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