The electronic vehicle market is on the rise. The battery pack is the most crucial part of EVs, and its cost and performance will determine the user’s experience. Battery cells and their chemistry is the most discussed and attention-grabbing aspect, and everything else in the battery might get overlooked sometimes.
A big part of resources is put into thermal management of EV batteries—this help maintains the temperature, which is essential. Thermal management is a significant part of the performance and charging of the battery.
Why Do EV Batteries Need Thermal Management?
Electric vehicles are considered the future of modern transportation and mobility. As a result, the Ev market is set to grow rapidly in the coming decade. However, extraordinary growth is experienced in the higher energy density, faster charging, longer lifetimes, and fire safety.
All of the said features require effective thermal management and materials to enable this. The battery design in every EV has a variety of cell formats. Different types of cell formats require different thermal strategies. Therefore, the pack designs play a major role in the use of thermal interface materials for EV battery and their utilization.
3M delivers a wide range of thermal interface materials after thorough research in the design with a comprehensive and elaborated database of TIMs. Electric vehicle batteries do need protection solutions. TIMs will address the harsh conditions of EV batteries.
The battery pack works under extreme conditions such as temperature, smoke, fire, air, and moisture which damages the battery in the long run. As a result, you can increase the safety and performance of EVs.
Thermal interface materials for EV batteries put safety and performance on top. It also provides:
- Thermal runaway protection
- Pack sealing/gasketing/cushioning
- Electrical insulation
What Are Thermal Interface Materials?
Thermal interface material for EV batteries reduces heat generation and transfer of generated heat. It is used with a heat sink to transfer heat from one area to another. The form and composition of TIMs depend on the applications and areas of use.
There are numerous industries apart from EVs that are actively focusing on thermal management solutions. TIMs are made of different materials and come in several shapes and sizes.
A certain type of thermal interface material also depends on the application. For example, you can find TIMs in silicone acrylic and other materials.
How Thermal Interface Materials are Used in Battery Modules?
Thermal interface materials are used in battery modules in different ways. TIMs are placed over the bottom plates of battery cells. These are also applied as heat spreaders among the array of cells. The cell array and the cooling plates use heat conduction and provide a thermal path for the heat to flow from one spot to another.
The functionality of TIMs is laden in a dispersed manner or into a solid matrix. These materials are used in close contact with the heat-generating electrical components of the device, such as batteries. These materials have high-dielectric strength.
Thermal interface materials for EV batteries can also be used as gap fillers. These are also known as thermal pads, which are best used for conforming to rough and uneven surfaces. Thermal pads are best used on curved or dynamic spots as they can easily take shape without tearing.
3M Thermal gap fillers or 3M thermally conductive gap pads provide a thermally conductive pathway. The pathway is used as an exhaust system for the heat and keeps the components under a regulated temperature.
Thermal pads stabilize the surface temperature between the battery and the heat sink. It will reduce the thermal impedance and provide the shortest heat pathway for quick heat dispersal.
Thermal Interface Material Characteristics That Impact Performance
The right Thermal interface materials for EV batteries will depend on their characteristics, such as their thermal conductivity, impedance, and resistance. Therefore, the experts consider these specifications before suggesting any TIMs for trial.
The features of TIMs will decide the application and assembling process. The final factor is the conformability of TIMs, such as gap pads, tack intensity, and their ability to be reused. 3M thermally conductive gap pads are best in this category.
The 3M thermal management materials are tailor-made to be compatible with the surface areas and aspects. It also doesn’t compromise the qualities of the product.
What Are The 3 Primary Attributes Of The TIM?
Hardness–It shows its ability to conform without exerting excessive pressure on cells.
Surface Tack – this defines the level of tack that will keep the cells or modules in position.
Liner Options – It makes the assembling easier and automates the placement of pads
3M Thermally Conductive Silicone Interface Pad 5590H is one such TIM with high thermal conductivity. It is highly conformable with good softness even to non-flat surfaces.
This material is very effective for conformability. It s maintains contact between the EV battery and the heat sink. It has highly stable compression resistance, and it can adapt to the changes in the EV battery.
The gap pads also work as a good shock absorber. The batteries go through high vibration. The vibration damages the internal components. The noise and constant rattle are quite common in vehicles. The sturdiness can be combined with thermal conductivity to ensure longer battery life. You can find a variety of adhesives or TIMs in varying substrates, dimensions, and shapes.
Thermal interface materials for EV batteries are used because the EVs generate a very high amount of heat. It creates heat when burning the stored power and during charging.
Effective heat dissipation will allow your EV battery to long last with high performance and safety. Thermal management is a complete and vast application in EVs, and it tackles some of the biggest concerns of EV industries.
Maintaining the temperature of the battery pack is essential not only because of safety but also for its performance and driveability.