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Rheinmetall setting up JV with PolyCharge for DC-link capacitors; taking 13% stake

As part of its electrification strategy, Rheinmetall is setting up a joint venture with the US start-up PolyCharge America, Inc. to produce, develop and market DC-link capacitors. Underlying this move is Rheinmetall’s goal of gaining a stronger foothold in the rapidly growing markets for electromobility and industrial applications as well as accessing subsystems and components necessary for making innovative products in future.

Known as Rheinmetall PolyCharge GmbH, the new joint venture company is majority-owned by Rheinmetall (75%). The remaining 25% stake is held by PolyCharge. Rheinmetall is responding to growing demand for e-mobility and green energy components, especially in the automotive parts sector but also from its military customers.

In the Rheinmetall PowerPack system for electrically powered vehicles, now in development, advanced DC-link capacitors from PolyCharge play an important role. Owing to its improved efficiency and range, Rheinmetall sees strong market potential and scope for growth for the new power pack solution.

In this close operational partnership with PolyCharge, the joint venture will have exclusive rights to produce and market PolyCharge NanoLam capacitors in Europe.

To underpin its close cooperation with PolyCharge, Rheinmetall has simultaneously taken up an approximately 13% share in the Tucson, Arizona-based company. Both parties have agreed not to disclose the financial dimensions of the transaction.

The founding of this joint venture marks another important step in our transformation strategy, enabling us to offer our customers in the automotive and industrial sector top electrification technology as we move forward. Advanced NanoLam technology lets us offer a product that’s substantially smaller and lighter than the conventional solutions, and which can operate at higher temperatures. This is a clear technological advantage, assuring that Rheinmetall PolyCharge is well positioned to meet the growing demand for these technologies.

—Rene Gansauge, chief executive of Rheinmetall’s Sensors and Actuators division

PolyCharge NanoLam technology is a proprietary process for producing high energy density capacitors with high temperature handling capabilities. NanoLam capacitors utilize super-thin polymer dielectric layers that are formed inline with the metal electrode deposition process. The result is a self-supported, large area, capacitor composite that is segmented into individual self-healing capacitors. All of this happens in one machine —eliminating the need for extruded films, film metallization, and capacitor winding.

The new PolyCharge capacitors with nanolaminate technology feature sub-micrometre-thin, dielectric polymer coatings that enable optimum cooling and improved performance; chief advantages are thermal stability, longevity and high output density.

In the future, the activities of the majority joint venture will be domiciled in Rheinmetall’s Sensor and Actuators division, which is spearheading the company’s electrification strategy and now implementing advanced developments in the “Beyond Automotive” and industrial domain.

PolyCharge was founded by Sigma Technologies to market the NanoLam technology.


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