Covestro, in partnership with Leister Technologies, recently developed a process and material solution for laser welding fluid-cooled battery modules used in electric vehicles, including buses, truck and other utility vehicles.
“This joining technique provides the accuracy needed for welding in tight locations and around other components in fluid-cooled systems,” said Fernando Santillana, a senior project manager for Leister.
EV batteries need active fluid cooling to function properly and retain life, requiring airtight seals that keep fluids contained. Laser welding is a popular choice among manufacturers because it allows for larger parts, doesn’t necessitate a pre-treatment and offers “high-precision, repeatability and control,” but it traditionally was used only with translucent or optically clear plastics, Covestro said.
Now, however, Covestro and Leister have extended the use of this joining technique to include Covestro’s opaque, flame-retardant Bayblend PC+ABS blend with the same level of weld strength. Flame-retardant plastics are preferred for battery enclosures because they help prevent or delay fires, the company said.
“Using Bayblend FR3010 PC+ABS blend, we developed effective and reliable laser welding solutions for production-ready battery modules that can withstand battery abuse testing, including UN38.3,” said Terry Davis, Covestro’s principal engineer.
“With this material, battery manufacturers can create reliable and leak-free battery enclosures.”
According to Covestro, naturally opaque Bayblend FR3010 PC+ABS blend features a variety of benefits, including high-impact strength, chemical and hydrolysis resistance, thermal stability, and a good balance of high-heat distortion and physical performance.