Jul 18, 2023

Freudenberg Sealing 3D

WEINHEIM, Germany—Freudenberg Sealing Technologies is 3D-printing safety components for EV batteries.

The customized parts specifically reduce the risk of thermal runaway, a very real safety hazard in electric vehicles caused by overcharging or damage, by increasing resistance to propagation.

The new 3D thermal barriers, released Aug. 22, can be used at different spots within the battery compartment and have proven reliable in initial series productions.

"What is completely new is that the thermal barriers are now available in customized, flexible 3D geometries, which makes it possible to use them in various positions within the battery and allows for integration of additional components," said Andrew Espinoza, global vice president of technology for the oil seals powertrain and driveline division at Freudenberg Sealing.

With more than 100 million EVs expected to be on the roads globally by 2030, high-performing batteries are a priority for OEMs.

Freudenberg will look to assist specifically with lithium-ion batteries, where higher energy density increases the risk of thermal runaway—the ignition or explosion of a battery cell caused by a self-reinforcing heating process.

Freudenberg said the 3D variant for thermal barriers "opens entirely new possibilities."

Customer-specific, three-dimensional geometries can be produced in a range of manufacturing processes, both high and low volume, such as injection molding and continuous extrusion, Freudenberg said.

"The three-dimensional thermal barriers and the utilized materials have gone through extensive testing that exceeds the required standards," Espinoza said. "They have proven their outstanding performance and reliability on bench tests as well as battery system testing. The products meet the highest quality standards, are certified pursuant to UL 94 V-0 and are already being used successfully in initial series production for the automotive industry."

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