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How Adhesives Enable Electric Vehicle Engineers to Push the Boundaries

Posted on 9/15/2021 12:13:38 PM By ASC
  

Adhesives, often used IN PLACE OF mechanical fasteners in the manufacture of EV vehicles, are increasingly playing larger roles in the design and advancement of electric vehicles by providing solutions which allow for weight reduction, better performance, increased safety and durability, and lowering assembly costs. These benefits help speed up mass production of EVs and shorten the time before the electric vehicles take to the roads in large numbers.

Adhesives are now being seen as solution providers in numerous parts of the EV design and assembly. These include protecting the batteries which drive the electric vehicles; improving acoustic and driving performance; increasing safety levels, and reducing vehicle weight, all vital to the .

With the size and nature of battery packs posing a fire and even electrocution risk to safety, ensuring that vehicles are properly secured and insulated is vital. Adhesives with their continuous bondlines have been shown to result in stronger, stiffer and more crash-durable vehicles, as well as controlling the temperature of charging and operating batteries.

Thermal Management

Specialty adhesives and TIM materials are now being used for thermal management to improve the durability, safety, cell life and weight of the batteries, as well as to extend the range between charges, factors which have provided some of the biggest challenges for hybrid plug-ins and EV design.

The threat of extreme temperatures  which can cause the batteries to deteriorate, shorten its operational life, and pose safety issues if  temperatures rise too high; and impact negatively on efficiency, performance and range, should temperatures fall below the optimal range, has led to extra focus being placed on TIM formulations and thermally conductive polyurethane structurals. These adhesives transfer heat back and forth between the batteries and the heat sink, so ensuring batteries are kept within the optimal range of 15 to 60°C during charging and operation.

Thermally conductive adhesives and their combination of higher modulus and enlongation are also able to help avoid hot spots in the battery pack which can result in thermal runaway, as well as ensuring both batteries and substrates that are bonded are more likely to last the entire 15 year projected life of an EV, and increase the chances of these batteries being ultimately repurposed in other vehicles.

Vehicle Assembly

When it comes to assembly, designers are including multi-material adhesives’ ability to bond dissimilar substrates in the new range of materials such as aluminum, magnesium, high-strength steel, glass, carbon fiber, plastics and composites which are replacing the traditional metal structural components of the internal combustion engine vehicle.

The use of thermally conductive and structural adhesives is producing both lighter and stronger vehicle structures which is extending the range between charges, and boosting the efficiency of battery pack assembly by requiring fewer components. They are also reducing road noise, vibrations, and squeaks, and lowering the battery pack’s centre of gravity so it can be the floor of the passenger section, as well as making driving more dynamic.

For more information visit the cars, trucks & buses page on adhesives.org