SABIC Innovative Plastics Introduces New Portfolio of Materials Targeted at Hybrid and EV Battery Packs
SABIC Innovative Plastics used Chinaplas 2010 in Shanghai as the venue to introduce a new portfolio of advanced Noryl and Valox automotive resins targeted for use in battery packs for hybrid (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and battery electric vehicles (BEV). SABIC Innovative Plastics is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), one of the world’s top five petrochemicals manufacturers.
To reduce the additional weight burden of large battery packs—up to 300 kg (approx. 661 lbs.) on a mid-sized car—plastics can replace steel in different applications such as battery housings, an approach that is already being taken with some auto manufacturers.
Noryl polyphenylene oxide (PPO) and Valox polybutadiene terephthalate (PBT) resins from SABIC Innovative Plastics are choices for battery components, including frames and housings. These resins also offer significant weight reduction, chemical and temperature resistance, dimensional stability and flame retardance.
Unlike traditional automotive lead-acid batteries, new higher energy density battery packs are composed of many separate battery cells, and the structure around these cells and their electronic control systems must maintain stringent dimensional stability. With so many stacked components in limited spaces, even a little instability could potentially cause misfits, leakage or possible damage due to limited clearances.
SABIC Innovative Plastics’ Noryl and Noryl GTX resins offer lower initial mold shrink and warp; lower moisture uptake that minimizes dimensional and mechanical property changes; and a lower and more stable coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). These high-end properties help keep the performance of the battery pack system stable regardless of potential changes in environment such as temperature, humidity, and load.
Noryl resin is an amorphous polymer that can maintain its stiffness across a broad temperature range. This ensures better dimensional stability without the use of glass or other fillers that are needed in crystalline resins like polyamides, which may result in dimensional control issues of a part due to anisotropic shrink/growth. The cost-effective Noryl resin family can provide these benefits without compromising chemical resistance to common battery coolant fluids such as ethylene glycol.
Battery electric vehicles are also becoming more attractive with the advancement of new lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries that have higher power and energy density. In general, batteries operate best at controlled temperatures, requiring vital temperature management of the battery packs. To cool them, liquid cooling often replaces air-cooling for greater efficiency. As a result, these liquids require chemically resistant, high-performance engineering thermoplastic materials. Further, if power is withdrawn from a battery, it will heat up, thus requiring materials with appropriate heat resistance.
SABIC Innovative Plastics offers a number of materials with these properties, including Ultem polyetherimide (PEI) resin with high heat resistance and inherent flame retardance, and Valox PBT resin with high heat and chemical resistance.
In HEVs, the higher the voltage, the more important electromagnetic interference/radio frequency interference (EMI/RFI) shielding becomes to control the potential interference from the different electronic components such as inverters, electronic control units and battery management system. LNP Faradex compounds from SABIC Innovative Plastics provide exceptional EMI/RFI shielding properties without the heavy weight of metal layers or the environmental risks of metallization.