Unifrax, a global manufacturer of high-performance specialty materials, plans to build its first large-scale SiFAB (silicon fiber anode material) manufacturing line at its north central Indiana facility.
SiFAB is a proprietary silicon anode battery technology developed by Unifrax which enables significantly greater energy density in lithium-ion battery systems than prevailing technologies. The proprietary nanoporous fiber structure has optimal shape and porosity to accommodate the swelling of silicon, allowing for long cycle life.
The micron range fiber material drops in existing processes, while the built-in nanoporous structure accommodates swelling. Source: Unifrax
SiFAB can be mixed into anode slurry with existing battery manufacturing processes. The proven industrial-scale processes eliminate supply chain concerns over mass adoption.
SiFAB is currently in advanced testing and has shown promising performance in multiple battery systems. The anode technology has successfully been tested with incremental Si loadings of greater than 40%.
Along with greater energy density, SiFAB is expected to provide faster charges and longer battery life for applications including electric vehicles, portable electronics, power tools, energy grid storage and aerospace.
The Indiana plant will be the first to begin building SiFAB long-term manufacturing capacity. The new line is slated to create up to 20 new jobs by the end 2022, with additional growth anticipated by the end of 2023.
SiFAB is the latest development using fiber-based technology to create step change value for customers. This transformational material represents another addition to our robust electric vehicle and battery solutions portfolio.
Unifrax is a large, global manufacturing company introducing game changing advanced silicon anode materials that can be used in existing manufacturing processes. Our track record and proven ability to develop new and unique technologies will help transform the battery industry with SiFAB. The ability to leverage our existing facility and add new infrastructure to support SiFAB manufacturing in New Carlisle will significantly accelerate the timeline for supplying this critical material to our partners.—John Dandolph, president and CEO, Unifrax
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Unifrax up to $1.1 million in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Indiana residents are hired. St. Joseph County has also confirmed $775K in county tax incentives.
After more than 75 years of experience in fiber-based technology and manufacturing, Unifrax is taking its first step into developing silicon fiber for the lithium-ion battery manufacturing market. With a decades-long track record of developing and supplying engineered inorganic materials at a large scale to advanced industries worldwide including electric vehicles, aerospace and chemical processing, Unifrax recently debuted two new fiber-based catalysis offerings for the automotive and industrial markets: Eco-lytic and FlexCat.