A large fire at the Stuttgart bus depot in September 2021 destroyed 25 buses and much of the buildings they were parked in. The likely cause was an electric bus charging advanced solid-state batteries. News stories like this are a nightmare scenario for anyone in the electric vehicle (EV) industry.
Thermal management is a top concern in EV design, from the batteries, motor, and power electronics to the EV charging infrastructure. OEMs and their suppliers have taken evolving approaches to prevent thermal runaway while pushing energy density and material use, weight, and cost reduction to the limit.
Major recent drivers in EV thermal management have been the move to cell-to-pack and cell-to-body designs and the growing adoption of silicon carbide (SiC) and other compound semiconductors in power electronics, impacting the choices and requirements of other materials used.
In cell-to-pack designs, there has been a move from gap-filling thermal interface materials (TIM) to thermally conductive adhesives that can provide structural bonding. Various solutions have been implemented to help insulate cells and prevent or delay thermal runaway, including aerogels, polyurethane or silicone foams, mica, ceramic blankets, and a host of other materials.
This session will explore the current state of the art and where the opportunities are for foam and adhesive materials companies, component suppliers, vehicle designers, and other players in the rapidly growing EV industry.