Saint-Gobain's solution for EV battery casings
French auto component maker St Gobain's speciality polymers for EV battery casings present a safety solution for the growing business of electric vehicle battery packs.
Saint-Gobain, a French auto component manufacturer known for its expertise in glass components such as windshields and sunroofs for automotive applications in India, has made a strategic move into the burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) battery industry. The company's focus now also lies in developing performance plastics specifically tailored for EV battery casings.
Performance plastics play a critical role in ensuring the safety and reliability of EV battery packs. These advanced materials are designed to meet the demanding requirements of battery enclosures, providing effective protection against potential hazards, and offering exceptional resistance to impact, heat, and chemical exposure, safeguarding the delicate battery cells from external forces and environmental factors.
According to Ritesh Patterson, General Manager, Performance Plastics, Saint-Gobain India, as of now, there are no standardised EV battery pack designs in the country. The battery pack follows the landscape of the EV market and there is a shift which is happening around 3 basic configurations: cylindrical, prismatic and pouch battery configurations. The choice of configuration tends to vary based on geographical locations and OEMs and component manufacturers will have an experiential inclination towards using one.
In an interaction with Autocar Professional, Patterson, shed light on the business. He said, “When it comes to EV battery packs, we need to have an open-minded approach and the flexible capabilities in order to meet the customer requirements, whether it's 2Ws or 3Ws or 4Ws and that kind customisable service is what we are able to offer
Safety is of paramount importance when it comes to EV battery packs. A battery pack consists of multiple cells stacked in a certain way which provides power to the vehicle. These high-capacity energy storage systems play a vital role in powering EVs, but they also pose unique safety considerations. Battery packs must be meticulously designed and engineered to minimise the risk of thermal runaway, which can lead to fires or explosions. Robust safety features, such as advanced cooling systems, redundant protection mechanisms, and comprehensive monitoring systems, are crucial to ensure the integrity and stability of the battery pack.
Polymer plastics have emerged as a valuable solution for enhancing safety in EV battery packs. These lightweight and durable materials offer several advantages, such as excellent thermal and chemical resistance, electrical insulation properties, and ease of customisation. In EV battery packs, polymer plastics can be utilised as protective casings, separators, and insulators to safeguard the battery cells from external impacts and potential damage. Moreover, they can help mitigate the risk of short circuits and thermal runaway by providing effective insulation and containment.
“Cells which get into a battery pack will have a natural degradation over a period of time. Every material in the battery pack will have contraction or expansion, depending on the temperature it is getting exposed to. That is the first level of deformation that happens. Our product offerings come with properties of preventing thermal runaway and also the compression set that is required, which in turn optimises the life of the battery pack,” Patterson signed off.
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