New brand-independent battery housing reduces weight and costs

A consortium consisting of Lorenz Kunststofftechnik, Forward Engineering, Evonik, LION Smart, Vestaro and Minth has developed a solution to help improve EV efficiency through lightweight battery construction. In late 2019, work started on a brand-independent, low-cost housing. The resulting battery pack is expected to weigh about 10 percent less than a pack made with commonly used materials. The consortium says the concept has been tested and shown to be suitable for series production, and is safe even under extreme conditions.

“Under the leadership of Vestaro, in 2019 we joined a cooperation with Forward Engineering, Evonik and LION Smart, with the goal of developing a series-suitable battery concept for EVs,” said Lorenz Kunststofftechnik COO Peter Ooms. “Our main focus was the formulation of a glass fiber-reinforced epoxy SMC that meets all requirements for safety and workability and can also be returned to the material cycle.” 

“For the battery housing, we used Evonik’s VESTALITE S epoxy hardener to develop a new SMC with a density between 1.5 and 1.7 g/cm³,” explained Ooms. “It has outstanding properties, like a bending strength of > 350 MPa, a flexural modulus of elasticity of > 18,500 MPa, and an impact resistance of > 150 kJ/m2.” By using an epoxy resin instead of the usual polyester resin, it was possible to eliminate other problems that normally arise in working with glass fiber-reinforced SMC materials. 

The partners chose aluminum for the battery housing support structure. Two aluminum deformation elements provide the necessary side impact protection through absorption. The module alignment of the battery cells enables separation of the electric poles, which provides safety in the event of a crash and enables cooling.

LION Smart’s supercell concept was used for the batteries.

Source: Vestaro