PLYMOTH, Mich.—Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies has tapped its aerospace materials knowledge to develop a new silicone-based material that meets the flammability standard for electric vehicles in China.
The material, the company said, has been custom made for an unnamed OEM for vehicles to be used in China.
The Chinese standard for EVs requires materials to immediately self-extinguish after being exposed to a flame. The stringent flammability standard, which will be enforced by 2020, also requires EV battery packs to withstand and contain a flame without spreading to the rest of the vehicle for five minutes.
The project involved collaboration between the company's sealing scientists in Michigan and engineers for aerospace materials in Canada.
"We were able to significantly shorten the product development cycle for our customer by leveraging our aerospace portfolio and expertise," said Todd Blair, Freudenberg-NOK business development manager in Tillsonburg.
"As e-mobility vehicle producers introduce more powerful, quick-charging and longer-life batteries, heat and temperature are going to become bigger issues," he said. "The aerospace industry has a head start in dealing with these kinds of challenges, and we have more material expertise than most in developing solutions that address them."
According to Blair, with the introduction of new e-mobility safety regulations, demand will increase for materials that address flammability, thermal protection and fireproof requirements in EV components. That is why Freudenger-NOK is continuing its development of materials that contain fires when exposed to flame and can protect the battery pack and its components when temperatures exceed 2000° F.
"China is ahead of other regions on these regulations since there is a larger electric vehicle market there," Blair said. "But soon these standards will start becoming more global, and we are ready to help vehicle manufacturers address them."