Designed to reduce operating temperatures, improve performance and optimise environmental sealing performance, silicone is used in a variety of components for electric vehicles (EVs), including battery safety.
And, as the popularity of electric vehicles continues to increase due to their many environmental benefits, there is an increased demand for silicone solutions that have the capability to improve both the performance and safety of EV systems.
Providing long-lasting environmental sealing and resistance to battery failure, silicone offers excellent sealing performance, especially when it comes to ensuring dust and moisture do not interfere with battery systems.
But how does silicone improve electric vehicle safety? Here’s everything that you need to know.
EV safety benefits from silicone
Using silicone to optimise electric vehicles safety offers a number of benefits, including the following:
Minimises thermal runaway
- Excellent thermal stability up to 230°C (450°F)
- Enhances fire safety
- Reliable performance
- Continues to perform under harsh conditions
- Resistant to thermal shock, oxidation, moisture and chemicals
- Excellent electrical insulation
All of the benefits above are integral to EV safety and performance.
Electric car battery safety
EV/HEV manufacturers take safety incredibly seriously and work in line with stringent design regulations, which have been put in place to ensure that electric vehicles are safe to drive and charge.
Over the years, the power source of an electric vehicle (lithium-ion batteries) has posed some safety risks as the batteries can experience thermal runaway where the lithium ion pouches are subject to rapid increases in heat which can potentially present a fire risk.
This has resulted in many EV manufacturers looking for new ways to minimise risks and hazards by using materials such as silicone to improve car battery safety. Silicone can be used to seal the battery from environmental factors such as water, dust and moisture while helping to prevent electrical failure.
Preventing shock and vibration in electric vehicles is also a major safety challenge for many EV manufacturers.
Resolving issues with noise, shock and vibration not only paves the way for a smoother and more quieter drive but also makes driving safer for both drivers and passengers alike. Addressing these issues can also help to optimise the longevity of the electric vehicle and its components car.
Silicone is a great vibration damping material that is ideal for helping to optimise both noise and vibration control in EVs – enhancing safety and performance.
Thermal management in electric vehicles
Thermal management in EVs is extremely important, ensuring thermal runaway does not occur inside the pouch cells. By removing any heat generated by the vehicles core components reduces the risk of overheating.
To ensure that the components do not overheat and jeopardise safety, the thermal energy generated in the electric vehicle must be quickly and effectively dissipated away from the core components.
Due to its heat resistant qualities, wide operating temperature range, and ability to provide thermal stability, silicone sponge can be used to support thermal management in electric vehicles.
Silicone can withstand extreme temperatures, both high and low, with little change to physical properties when exposed to extreme temperatures.
EV charging safety
Silicone can help ensure the safety of EV chargers, protecting charge points from water, dust and moisture ingress and also ensuring the internal elements such as PCBs deliver reliable performance while minimising risks such as overheating and fire.
Not only this but, because silicone offers impressive resistance to the weather and other environmental factors, electric vehicle charging points can be located anywhere.
Silicone is also widely used to insulate EV battery cables, thanks to its insulation and fire-retardant properties. Because silicone can withstand significant temperature variations, the cables can withstand the heat generated by the charger’s high voltage output.
How we can help
Silicone Engineering is a leading provider of high-performing silicone rubber solutions fit for use across a wide range of automotive applications. To find out more about the products we offer please visit the automotive page or please get in touch.