Thermal gels help keeping HEV/BEV batteries cool

October 05, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Parker Chomerics expands its product range for the automotive sector with thermal management solutions for batteries in electric and hybrid electric vehicles (BEV/PHEV). The new THERM-A-GAP gels improve battery performance, durability, safety and reliability.

Electric vehicles have significantly larger batteries than conventional vehicles. These batteries generate a considerable amount of heat that needs to be dissipated. If left untreated, excessive heat can lead to faster battery degradation, reduce battery performance due to uneven temperature distribution and hamper charging efficiency. There are also safety risks, and thermal runaway of the battery pack must be prevented. Effective heat management is therefore crucial to maximize battery performance and longevity, as well as increasing safety and reliability, so that vehicles can travel longer distances and increase battery life with a single charge.

Thermal management often uses liquid cooling, whereby cooling loops/coils are applied to several different assemblies of the battery. A thermal interface gel is placed between the coils and the battery's aluminum housing to increase safety. This ensures long-term thermal stability and performance and also prevents electrical short circuits.

Parker Chomerics' THERM-A-GAP gels are ideal for this purpose. These highly adaptable, pre-cured or locally hardening one-component compounds have a cross-linked structure. Both silicone and silicone-free gels are available, depending on the thermal conductivity requirements. The gels are particularly suitable for series production in the automotive market, as they can be dispensed by robots or automatically, which significantly reduces cycle times and costs.

The THERM-A-GAP filler pads are suitable for assemblies requiring additional hold and higher electrical insulation. Thermal interface materials such as gels and pads also help the battery to reach its optimum temperature and performance faster to improve the driving experience in winter months.

Parker Chomerics' product range for the automotive sector also includes EMI shielding and earthing, optical displays, electrically conductive plastics and metal-based assemblies. These are designed to operate electronic systems reliably in the harsh vehicle environment while being easy and cost-effective to install.

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