The Rise of Glass Reinforced Composites in Electric Vehicle Batteries
Lightweight, high strength, and corrosion resistant materials are essential for safe and efficient battery operation in electric vehicles. As battery capacity is one of the most expensive components of an electric vehicle, reducing weight while maintaining strength and resistance to corrosion is essential for cost-effective creation of these vehicles. Reducing the weight of EV batteries can have a significant impact on their final price tag. Glass reinforced composites (GRCs) are the strongest and most economical structural materials available that also meet the stringent demands on weight, strength and corrosion resistance in continuous humidifying operating environment found in electric vehicle batteries. Read on to learn more…
What is Glass Reinforced Plastic?
First, let’s explore what exactly a glass reinforced plastic is. A glass reinforced plastic (GRC) is a thermoset polymer composite material that is reinforced with glass fibers. The most common usage of GRC is in structural components such as wind turbine blades, aircraft fuselages, and automotive chassis and suspensions. GRCs have been used for structural applications for nearly 70 years because of the beneficial properties of their constituent materials: high strength and modulus, high resistance to corrosion, and good fatigue properties. The most common GRCs are created by mixing together an epoxy resin with woven glass fibers and then pressing them into a finished sheet. The woven fiberglass improves the mechanical properties of the thermosetting epoxy
G10 FR4 and Electric Vehicle Batteries
The G10 FR4 (as shown above) is a high strength, glass-reinforced thermoset composite material made primarily of epoxy and woven fiberglass. G10 FR4 is a woven fabric made of epoxy and woven fiberglass with a specific gravity of 1.78 (vs. 1.00 for glass). The G10 FR4 is a very common material in electric vehicles, aerospace, and wind energy. G10 FR4 is a non-hygroscopic material, which means that it does not absorb water. G10 FR4 is extremely inert and chemical resistance. Therefore, even when in contact with various environmental chemicals or solvents, G10 FR4 does not corrode or change its mechanical properties. This makes it an excellent material for use in batteries.
Benefits of Glass Reinforced Composites in EV Batteries
When compared to conventional materials like aluminium and steel, GRCs have a number of significant advantages: – Lightweight – GRCs have a specific gravity of 1.78 (vs. specific gravity of 2.17 for aluminium) and a much lower density, making them much lighter than other structural materials. – High Strength – GRCs are highly impact resistant and have a large yield strength and tensile strength, which means they can withstand impact and resist deformation under heavy loads. – Corrosion Resistance – GRCs are non-hygroscopic and resist corrosion caused by exposure to high humidity and electrolyte solutions like those found in batteries. – Excellent Electrical and Thermal Properties – GRCs have a low dielectric constant, low thermal resistance, and high electrical conductivity, which makes them ideal for electrical components and battery transfer circuits. – Lower Cost – GRCs are cheaper compared to other high-performance materials like aluminium and titanium.
Limitations of Glass Reinforced Composites in EV Batteries
While GRCs have many advantages over other materials, they are not without their drawbacks. These include: – High Production Cost – GRCs are more expensive to produce compared to conventional materials like aluminium and steel due to their high rate of wastage in production and the need to use high-temperature curing procedures. Creative design and an expert manufacturer can significantly reduce this cost difference and working with a direct manufacturer of material, such as Atlas Fibre, you can minimize cost while maximizing product effectiveness.
Final Words: Is glass reinforced thermoset composites the future of electric vehicles?
Glass-reinforced thermoset composites, like the G10 FR4 material, have been used for decades in the aerospace and wind energy industries. In the last 10 years, they have become more common in the manufacturing of electric vehicle batteries. Almost all major electric vehicle battery manufacturers now use GRCs in their battery packs. Due to their excellent corrosion resistance, high strength, and low cost, they are a great choice for battery housings, end-caps, and cell spacers. They are a great fit for electric vehicles and their designers have the potential to be the future of EV batteries.