In a cooperative effort, Lanxess and Kautex Textron have been researching the development of a high-voltage battery housing made of engineering thermoplastics. A near-series technology demonstrator has now been presented.
Specialty chemicals group Lanxess and Kautex Textron have collaborated for several years to research whether high-voltage battery housings for electric vehicles can be designed and manufactured using engineering thermoplastics. Compared to housings made of metals, this type of construction is expected to reduce weight and costs and offer advantages through functional integration and in electrical insulation behavior. In a feasibility study, the partners have developed a near-production technology demonstrator made of solid plastic. The housing for a mid-range BEV is about 1400 mm long and wide and weighs around 50 kg.
It consists of a housing tray with crash structure, a housing cover and an underride guard. Accordingly, the housing components can be manufactured in a single-stage D-LFT compression molding process (Direct Long Fiber Thermoplastic) without reworking. Lanxess has optimized Durethan B24CMH2.0 as the material for the D-LFT molding compound, while Kautex Textron compounds the polyamide 6 for the process with glass fiber rovings. Local reinforcement of the housing structure is provided by continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites of Lanxess’ Tepex dynalite brand. “In the next step, both partners want to use the results of the collaboration to enter into development projects with automotive manufacturers for series production,” says Dr. Christopher Höfs, e-Powertrain project manager at Lanxess.