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02-11-2018 | Battery | News | Article

Polycarbonate Protects the Heart of Electric Mobility

Author:
Dr. Hubert Pelc

Polycarbonate plastics are dimensionally stable as well as impact and temperature resistant. In electric vehicles, they ensure optimal protection of the lithium-ion battery as a cell holder or housing component.​​​​​​​

Covestro is currently focusing on the use of polycarbonate (PC) plastics in electric vehicles. The heart of electric cars and hybrid vehicles is a lithium-ion battery. In order to position a large number of battery cells precisely and in a small space, cell holders and frames as well as housing components must be highly dimensionally stable and mechanically robust. Depending on the design principle of the battery pack, the material must also be flame retardant and meet category V-0 of Underwriters Laboratories' UL94 flammability classification even at low wall thicknesses down to 0.75 millimetres. 

Tailor-made materials

A flame-retardant polycarbonate ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) blend of the Bayblend FR type is ideal for cell holders and battery modules. It is temperature resistant and dimensionally stable, and the parts can be produced efficiently with injection moulding. The plastic is also used in mobile GreenPack rechargeable batteries from the Berlin-based manufacturer of the same name. Covestro utilises the PC-PBT Makroblend KU-2 7912/4 (PBT = polybutylene terephthalate) in a crash absorber. The material has very high impact strength and particularly high ductility at low temperatures. The honeycomb structure contributes to the extreme impact resistance of the crash absorber. 

Battery pack for tough conditions

Even with off-road motorcycles, which have to meet the toughest mechanical requirements, the trend is towards electric drive. Californian electric bike specialist Alta Motors is also using the Alta Pack battery for these machines. The battery is equipped with a jacket made of the extremely impact-resistant PC-PBT Makroblend.

Related topics

Background information for this content

2018 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

Polymeric Materials

Source:
Materials Chemistry

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