Plastics News - Show Daily - October 19, 2022 - 32

32 * Plastics News, October 19, 2022
SHOW DAILY
IKV, Kautex Textron cooperation on all-plastic battery housings
By David Vink
Plastics News Correspondent
Kautex Textron GmbH & Co.
KG and researchers from the
Aachen, Germany-based IKV Institute
for Plastics Processing
have developed a 1,600-by-1,300by-200-millimeter
" fi rst full-scale
thermoplastics battery housing
for electric vehicles. "
Kautex Textron showed the
fi nal prototype, called Pentatonic,
at
its September 2022
IKV International Colloquium
Plastics Technology booth. IKV
researcher Frederik Block described
development and testing
in Aachen during a presentation
on integration of endless fi ber
reinforcement into the long-fi ber
reinforced thermoplastic (LFT)
compression molding process.
Block; Roman Bouffi er, Kautex
Textron director of research; and
Nicolay Bergmann, senior development
engineer, said high-impact
strength is important to
withstand damage to battery
modules from front, rear, underbody
(bollard puncture) and vehicle
touchdown impact.
Block
described
component
level tests on glass-fi lled-nylon 6/
glass-fi ber long-fi ber thermoplastic
ribbed beams, reinforced by
organic sheet produced at Pfi nztal,
Germany-based
Fraunhofer
Institute
for Chemical Technology
(ICT) in a direct LFT process. As
all initially failed the 100 kN limit,
Block arranged several rib structures
next to each other for improved
load bearing distribution.
Bouffi er pointed to challenges
with current metal-design housings.
They use deep-drawn sheet
steel or aluminum housing structures
and interior diecast and
extruded and welded aluminum
profi le reinforcement, with holes
laboriously cut and milled in the
extruded profi les.
The Pentatonic housing
weighs 55 kilograms compared
with 61 kg and 89 kg for equivalent
housings in aluminum and
steel, respectively. It offers key
plastic design benefi ts of 15 percent
weight saving, 20 percent
cost saving and a 45 percent
lower CO2 footprint than metal
housings [93 kg less than aluminum,
556 kg less than steel, over
200,000 km], Bouffi er stated.
The housing has a high degree
of functional component integration
and is molded in a one-shot
process, with seamless fl anges,
vertical UD profi les instead of
metal profi les, screw thread integration
and " safe coolant routing, "
Bouffi er stressed.
Kautex
Textron
Engineering
Manager Havya Premkumar said
earlier in the year: " What is unique
about our Pentatonic battery system
is that it doesn't require any
metallic reinforcements. Unlike
infl exible steel and aluminum battery
housings, Pentatonic offers
a customizable, lightweight solution
benefi ting feature integration
and thermal management. "
Bouffi er referred to internal
and external fi re resistance. In
view of use of the B24CMH 2.0
grade of GF-nylon 6 and compression
molded Dynalite 102RGUD600
Tepex composite sheet
from Cologne, Germany-based
Lanxess Germany GmbH (Hall
6, Booth C76-C78), Bouffi er was
asked whether UL94 V-O fl ame
retardant material is needed. He
replied, " We don't necessarily
need V-0, but smart design with
just as much fl ame retardancy as
needed determines whether fi re
tests are passed. "
Kautex Textron's commitment
to thermoplastic battery housings
has been
confi rmed by
its August 2021
announcement
of production
expansion at
the Pinghu,
China, plant,
with installation
of a D-LFT
line based on
a 5,500-tonne
press, specifically
for Pentatonic
battery
housings and
aimed at serving
more than
fi ve local customers.
Bouffi
er adKautex
Textron's Pentatonic all-thermoplastic
battery housing. Kautex Textron GmbH & Co. KG photo
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mitted evaluation of polypropylene-based
material, but it was
rejected due to 10°C lower heat
resistance than nylon. Rudolf
Stauber of Stauber-Engineering,
an earlier BMW manager, said
vehicle transport by rail, road
or ships causes damage through
repetitive impact. So some cushioning
should be used. Another
former BMW manger, Hans
Schwager of Consulting4Carbon,
who previous led development of
the BMW i3 carbon-fi ber passenger
cell structure, asked about
temperature variations, whereupon
Bouffi er replied this hadn't
been tested.
Bouffi er suggested carmakers
can better speak to recycling but
suggested nylon in end-of-life battery
housings could, in theory,
be solution dissolved and residual
glass fi bers ground and used
for other purposes, due to fi ber
length shortening during grinding,
" if we ideally have a closed
loop. " Stauber was skeptical,
saying, " Many cars are owned by
private persons, whose vehicles
have various parts demounted,
while the rest goes into one of
66 shredders in Germany. They
won't come back to Kautex; this
industry is market driven and
regulated by politicians. "
Bouffi er explained that compression
molding was chosen as
a " versatile and mature manufacturing
process, excellent when
applied with long continuous
fi ber reinforcement, " equally for
D-LFT, GMT or fi ber-reinforced
sheet molding compound (SMC)
base on polyester or vinyl ester
resin. He admitted there is room
for improvement in fi ber orientation
simulation. And although
electromagnetic shielding hadn't
been " intrinsically solved, there
are solutions in place. "
IKV also investigates SMC batDuPont™,
the DuPont Oval Logo, and all trademarks and service marks denoted with ™, SM
by affiliates of DuPont de Nemours, Inc. unless otherwise noted. © 2022 DuPont.
or ® are owned
tery housings. This was clear from
a presentation by IKV researcher
Vera Austermann and parts displayed
in the IKV composites
laboratory in Aachen-Melaten.
Real
Recycling
Once is Never
Enough
With our innovative recycling and processing
technologies, even the most heavily contaminated
polymer waste can be recycled. But not simply
recycled: reprocessed to consistently high
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even after repeated processing cycles.
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Austermann described modeling
and validation of local continuous
external and/or internal local
carbon-fi ber resin impregnated
towpreg tape reinforcement of
SMC for battery housings. This
relates to enhancing mechanical
properties of " comparably lowcost
SMC material. "
This " hybridSMC " approach,
based on CF towpregs from
Wiesbaden, Germany-based
SGL Carbon SE and 40 percent
glass-fi ber-reinforced unsaturated
polyester SMC compound
from Scanzorosciate, Italy-based
Polynt SpA, could form the basis
for hybrid SMC battery housings
reinforced internally by a combination
of SMC sinusoidal ribs and
carbon-fi ber-reinforced pultruded
profi les, Austermann suggested.
Austermann said pre-cured
towpregs with " 45-gram CF "
accounts for 3 percent of part
weight, yet results in 20 percent
less z-axis deformation. A hybridSMC
demonstrator combining
local 4 percent CF content
towpreg reinforcement with an
internal sinusoidal rib crash
structure showed ductile instead
of brittle fracture behavior. It
withstood 57 percent higher
force and showed a 317 percent
increase in energy absorption.
Ongoing work at IKV includes
" in-depth evaluation of recycling
procedures, CO2 saving potential
and cycle time reduction, " Austermann
said. Interestingly, Kautex
Textron was a partner in the
hybridSMC project, which was
completed at the end of 2021.
IKV used equipment from
Lotte, Germany-based Frimo
Group GmbH (Hall 13, Booth
C60) installed in the IKV composites
laboratory and in the nearby
AZL Aachen GmbH lightweight
engineering solutions center
on the same RWTH university
campus as IKV. Simulation was
done with software from Aachenbased
SimpaTec Simulation &
Technology Consulting GmbH
(Hall 13, Booth A94).
OMNI Recycling Machines
at Hall 9, Booth A22
http://www.dupont.com/mobility/sustainability

Plastics News - Show Daily - October 19, 2022

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