2024
Electric Vehicles

How can a thermal interface material both improve EV battery performance and save several kilos in weight? 

Together with leading global battery manufacturers and materials experts, Sika is pioneering a new generation of thermal management solutions that are moving safe and sustainable battery pack design forward.

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Improving Performance, Saving Weight

Thermal management is critical to battery pack performance. Yet, all too often, additional gap fillers and thermal conductive adhesives come at the cost of increased weight and design limitations. SikaForce® TC and SikaBiresin® TC and Sikaflex® TC put an end to these trade-offs. Versatile, reliable and with one-third lower density than comparable thermal interface materials, they enable weight savings of up to one kilogram per litre. By combining the highest thermal conductivity with the lowest possible density, they provide the optimal balance of thermal performance and CO2 reductions.

 

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Enhanced Heat Transfer and Battery Lifespan

As production of electric vehicles (EV) continues to ramp up, ensuring efficient heat dissipation and thermal management within their battery packs is crucial for optimal performance and extended lifespan. Thermal interface materials (TIMs) play a vital role in maintaining the temperature of battery cells, resulting in more efficient batteries, longer battery life, and higher energy input and output. Low-density thermal interface materials, such as the SikaBiresin® TC series, excel in improving heat transfer between battery cells and cooling plates. By effectively conducting heat away from the battery, they help maintain a narrow temperature range within the battery pack, promoting efficient battery operation and extending the lifespan of battery cells.

Improved Mechanical Properties and Lightweight Design

In addition to their thermal conductivity benefits, low-density TIMs offer enhanced mechanical properties. Our broad range of TC Adhesives, not only improve thermal conductivity but also enhance stiffness, enabling stronger, lighter construction of array modules within the battery pack. This advantage is especially significant as manufacturers transition to Cell-to-Pack designs, seeking to improve the stiffness and torsional characteristics of the vehicle’s body structure. The use of thermal conductive adhesives, further enhances the stiffness of array modules, resulting in lightweight, high-performance battery assemblies.

Flexible Application and Easy Disassembly

Sika’s low-density thermal interface materials provide flexible application options to accommodate different battery designs and assembly processes. SikaBiresin® TC gap fillers, for instance, offer injectability, allowing for easy assembly and ensuring proper filling of gaps between battery components. In addition, their moderate adhesion strength allows for disassembly and serviceability, enabling cost-efficient maintenance and second life to battery cell units.

Custom Solutions and Process Improvements

 

Whatever the manufacturer’s specific requirements and assembly processes may be, Sika’s thermal interface solutions can be customized to meet these unique needs, resulting in significant process improvements. By considering factors like conformability, surface characteristics, and re-workability, these materials can be tailored to specific assembly/disassembly processes without compromising their thermal impedance and electrical isolation properties. 

Development Partnership and Support

Thanks to Sika’s extensive experience developing customized TIM solutions for leading battery pack producers in Asia, the US and Europe, manufacturers can benefit from a wide range of application engineering support services. Whether it’s selecting the right TIMs and adhesives for specific requirements or testing and engineering simulations, Sika experts work closely with every partner to ensure optimal adhesion, storage, and compatibility with substrates, thereby simplifying the customers’ approval processes. And when it comes to streamlining implementation, Sika offers comprehensive system engineering expertise as well as close collaborations with testing institutes and application and pumping technology suppliers.

Moving Battery Manufacturing Forward

Whatever your manufacturing demands may be, Sika’s low-density thermal interface materials offer numerous advantages for manufacturing better-performing, lightweight EV battery assemblies. Their ability to enhance heat transfer, improve mechanical properties, and provide flexible application options make them invaluable in the design and construction of EV battery packs. As battery pack design continues to evolve from box-build cell packs to impact-resistant arrays and structurally integrated systems, Sika experts are there to provide all the application engineering, design simulations and thermal conductivity testing needed to evolve with your fast-changing design requirements.

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Sika TIM partner services include:

  • Consulting: Product selection support and advice during development
  • Testing: Testing of adhesion, storage and substrate compatibility. Thermal conductivity and fire rating
  • Reporting and approvals: Test reporting for simplified end customer approvals
  • Networks: Collaboration & connections with testing institutes and pre-treatment/adhesive application partner
  • System engineering: Design, implementation and system commissioning support

 

Advantages of SikaBiresin® TC gap fillers

  • High heat transfer and structural strength
  • Up to 3.0 W/m.K
  • Injectable
  • Easy disassembly and serviceability

 

Advantages of SikaForce® Thermal Conductive Adhesive (TCA) solutions

  • Structural cell fixation
  • Thermal conductivity up to 2.5 W/m.K
  • Enhanced stiffness and torsional characteristics

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