|The STOBA material protects against thermal runaway in Li-ion batteries. Click to enlarge.|
Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has established the High Safety Lithium Battery STOBA Consortium and also unveiled a STOBA logo.
STOBA (Self-Terminated Oligomers with hyper-branched Architecture) is a nano-grade high-molecular material additive used in conjunction with a separator in a lithium-ion battery to provide a second level of protection against thermal runaway. At temperatures above 130 °C, STOBA instantly produces a sealing effect which prevents overheating by eliminating internal short circuiting and chemical reaction.
Batteries with STOBA inside can pass 100% for the 20mm/s OD 2.5mm nail safety test, while current commercial products from Japan and Taiwan only pass 50% and 60%, ITRI says.
The Consortium was founded with the objective of driving the forward deployment of Taiwan’s battery industry in the emerging electric vehicle market in the hope that Taiwan will become one of the top three lithium battery producers in the world. ITRI initiated the establishment of the STOBA Consortium, and nearly 20 companies have joined.
Chairman Chen-yuan Gu of Molicel, Taiwan’s battery industry leader, said that the long term cooperation between Molicel and ITRI has led to the technology transfer of STOBA. Mass production of high safety lithium STOBA vehicle batteries is slated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Alex Peng, MCL deputy general director and leader of the STOBA Consortium, said the main work of the Consortium will be assisting Taiwan’s battery industry development. The R&D team will continue to develop even safer lithium battery technology, assist companies to establish STOBA material and lithium battery manufacturing capabilities, gradually set up safety standard operating procedures and testing technology, and unify electric vehicle product safety procedures, enhancing Taiwan's international competitiveness.
The Consortium will help upstream, midstream and downstream cooperation in the domestic battery industry and drive its horizontal integration. It also aims to allow the smooth entry of Taiwan companies into the supply side of global system manufacturers.The STOBA technology received a 2009 R&D 100 Award, and ITRI has subsequently fielded inquiries about possible cooperation from A123Systems, Panasonic and other leading battery manufacturers, it said.
The new STOBA trademark emphasizes safety and reliability as well as strength and durability, ITRI said. Certification will be granted once companies pass the testing standard.