Conquering Key Challenges: 8 Essential Solutions for Maximizing EV Performance

An electric vehicle’s success depends on the products and solutions it uses, which must have proven function and performance when facing crucial challenges. This article examines these challenges and how Saint Gobain’s foam and tape solutions help address them.

Conquering Key Challenges: 8 Essential Solutions for Maximizing EV Performance

Image Credit: Saint-Gobain

Challenge #1: Improve and Manage Structure

Solution 1: Assembly and Attachment Tapes

Lighter electric vehicles use less energy and cost less, have improved driving range, maximize battery power and energy density, have smaller battery packs, and perform better in performance handling.

Attachment and assembly tapes are lightweight and can aid EV design with their ability to bond most types of materials. They can be customized to meet the needs of a specific assembly type or speed.

Featuring high-energy absorption capacity, tailored adhesion, and tack, Saint Gobain’s varied portfolio of acrylic and polyurethane tapes enhances the structural integrity of the battery pack. They allow flexible automotive bonding and provide the strong holding power that EV applications need. In addition, they provide an array of options for attaching cells and the casing.

Solution 2: Cushioning Pads/Dampening Foams

The battery pack relies on protection from vibration, shock, and mechanical influences. Materials with a low compression set, exceptional rebound properties, and high resilience, like Saint Gobain’s polyurethane cushioning foams, improve durability, maximize battery life, and guarantee functional dampening and NVH protection during the EV’s lifespan.

Cushioning pads and dampening foams link the battery case and the cooling plate, ensuring uninterrupted contact between the heat source and heat sink to appropriately remove excess heat.

This type of low-density material has inherent tack, the capability of dampening mechanical vibrations, and the ability to retain flexibility, form, and function over the life of the battery pack. They are cost-effective and have excellent flame performance to improve passenger safety.

Challenge #2: Improve Thermal Management

Solution 3: Thermal Interface Materials (TIM)

Thermally conductive gap fillers offer a thermal route for heat to move away from the battery, optimizing the cell’s thermal operation and prolonging battery life. Characteristics like good dielectric strength, exceptional electrical insulation, and UL94 V-0-rated flame-retardant performance ensure that these products can remove unwanted heat and support an ideal temperature range.

TIM can guarantee electrical isolation between cells and cooling plates with tailored thermal properties. They are also easy to customize in terms of hardness, liner, or surface tack, making assembly, rework, and the creation of the ideal TIM simple. The Saint Gobain thermal interface materials come with thermal conductivity and compression force deflection to assist with thermal management challenges.

Challenge #3: Mitigate Fire Risks and Propagation

Solution 4: Venting and Thermal Protection

Thermal protection pads that feature tunable mechanical cushioning, high-temperature resistance, and high dielectric strength are part of passenger and vehicle safety, where fires result from thermal runaway.

Busbar protection materials ensure that busbars and other pack circuitry materials remain in operation throughout safety events by creating a shield from gases and particles ejected by cells moving into thermal runaway mode. They also provide the cushioning needed for regular battery operation.

Surface protection materials, like venting covers, help manage and control vented gases that result from thermal runaway. They also assist with channeling the vented gases away to protect nearby cells and circuitry.

Fire retardant foams offer sealing between compartments in larger battery packs. In both standard and safety modes, these compartments require sealing from each other for improved control and to seal gaps throughout thermal runaway conditions.

Challenge #4: Manage Cell Swelling and Reinforce Safety

Solution 5: Compression Pads

Compression pads, also known as tolerance pads, maximize performance and battery life, which ensures safe battery operation and electrical isolation between cells. With silicone and micro-cellular PUR materials options, they offer optimal cushioning support for the dimensional alteration of the cell throughout the breathing process and gradual swelling that happens over the battery's life span.

Featuring customized thickness and CFD combination, compression pads can adapt to various battery types (prismatic vs. pouch) and materials (cathode, anode, or electrolyte). Tunable compression curves, the additional advantage of fire resistance, and robust simulation abilities result in compression pads that can support many diverse battery configurations and be easily integrated into assembly lines.

Solution 6: Thermal Runaway Protection (TRP) Pads

TRP materials have exceptional compression resistance, electrical insulation between cells, and thermal insulation with fire-blocking properties.

TRP is the supreme product for offering thermal and mechanical cushioning during thermal runaway. These materials isolate hot cells through thermal insulation and interrupt thermal propagation to nearby cells. These dielectric foams are designed with a reliable compression force deflection (CFD) that enables delivery of consistent return force over a large variety of compression and temperatures over the life of the battery pack. When low compression is set, these materials are engineered for optimal battery performance and durability while supporting safe operation of the vehicle and safety of its passengers.

Challenge #5: Protect from Environment and Electrical Insulation

Solution 7: Electrical Insulation

With increases in wiring density and components in EV charging stations, appropriate bundling and insulation are required. Communication modules must be shielded from outside environmental factors for charging stations to function properly.

Insulated, thermally conductive, intumescent materials, silicone, and micro-cellular polyurethane foams can offer the high dielectric strength, temperature, mechanical, and chemical resistance required to support safely operating the BEV high-voltage drive train. These high-end electrical insulation and thermal management materials can protect charging station enclosures, remove heat, and insulate components.

Solution 8: Pack Gasketing

Materials like foam-in-place gasketing, butyl-coated PVC, silicone foam rubbers, or micro-cellular PUR foams have low compression set and fire-blocking properties that help protect the battery pack from outside elements like air and water. This guarantees the EV's longevity, performance, and safety.

Explore EV Solutions with Saint Gobain’s Tape Solutions Team

Whatever the industry challenge—for example, thermal management, lightweighting, safety, material durability, support of an ever-growing charging infrastructure, or enhanced EV battery protection—Saint Gobain has the knowledge and solutions for the most challenging needs. Its team is prepared and excited to support building EVs that perform under pressure, are safe, and will withstand the roughest conditions.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Saint-Gobain Tape Solutions.

For more information on this source, please visit Saint-Gobain Tape Solutions.

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