According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, the U.S. currently has more than 58,000 public alternative fueling stations, which is a shocking increase of over 2,000 from their data of just three months prior.
As the market for electric vehicles rapidly expands, so does the demand for innovation in EV batteries. At Strouse, we’ve constructed challenging connective parts for EV batteries, and we’re always looking to further our die cut capabilities.
Whether you’re an avid EV enthusiast or involved in making electric vehicles, these five applications will show you the different uses for die cut adhesives within EV batteries.
How Die Cut Parts are Being Used in EV Batteries
In the past, manufacturers commonly used die cut parts to attach the aesthetic elements of a vehicle’s interior. Now, die cut parts are an essential tool for building EV batteries.
EV batteries are cells bound together in modules that combine to form a battery pack. EV battery construction involves lots of surface area and connections between dissimilar materials.
Die cut parts can bind cells and modules together, reduce thermal runaway, insulate individual components, shield from EMI, and provide battery protection.
1. IMMEDIATE BONDING
Die cut tape can be a rapid assembly aid and immediate bonding solution for EV battery applications.
Liquid adhesives take longer to set than adhesive tape (which holds instantly on contact) and are difficult to apply precisely. Mechanical fastenings (like bolts, screws, or rivets) are heavy and at a higher risk of metallurgical contamination and rust.
Manufacturers can instantly bond tiny components or entire panels of material using die cut parts because die cut tape is lightweight, precise, and facilitates immediate bonding.
Surface connections between cells and modules are often between different materials, such as ceramic and mica, some of which are more infrequent for bonding. For instance, Strouse built a solution for Tesla Motors to attach multiple layers of mica during the EV battery assembly process.
Double-sided die cut tape also contains multiple substrates, allowing you to join dissimilar materials.
2. INDIVIDUAL CELL INSULATION
Electrical insulation involves wrapping conductive components within the EV battery to prevent arcing or shorting. The protective die cut parts form a barrier of material to separate the different layers and stop misconnections from harming the battery.
EV manufacturers can use single or double-sided tapes for cell insulation:
Single-sided tape can attach to dielectric strength parts or materials, which are often ridged and geometrically complex.
Double-sided tape combines compression pads and panels to maximize the insulating effect.
3. EMI SHIELDING
EMI shielding involves applying die cut layers to EV cells or modules to prevent electromagnetic interference from disturbing other vehicle apparatuses such as the main display, radio, or backup camera.
Electric vehicles host many onboard systems for safety, navigation, and fueling. Interference from the EV battery could cause these systems to malfunction.
Die cut EMI shielding parts are typically made from materials like copper and aluminum, and you can find them in the form of EMI gaskets, films, or foils. These pieces cover entire surfaces to avoid signal leakage, so their application method can be highly precise.
If you’re designing a custom, precise part for an EV battery, you might want to have your drawing evaluated for design manufacturability:
4. GASKETING AND BATTERY PROTECTION
Too much moisture can devastate an EV battery, so a tight seal is crucial for any assembly. Many manufacturers use die-cut gaskets to prevent moisture from reaching the electrical battery components.
Die cut gaskets inside batteries can be built in a custom shape or material to fill gaps and seal off the electrical parts. Converters often use flame-resistant material to build EV battery gaskets as protection in the case of thermal runaway.
5. REDUCING THERMAL RUNAWAY
EV batteries have the potential to overheat, which can cause catastrophic damage to the electric vehicle. If one individual cell is damaged and starts burning, the fire might spread to other cells and create thermal runaway.
Thermal runaway is the worst-case scenario for an EV manufacturer. Once the excess heat has escaped the cell, it can result in burning, melting, and explosions: Not ideal for any driver.
As a result, many batteries use die cut parts to protect the individual cells from thermal runaway by bonding cells to composites that reduce the risk of total failure.
Using materials like flame-resistant PETs or polyamides, flexible material converters can create die cut parts to help contain thermal runaway.
Can Die Cut Parts Elongate EV Battery Life?
Despite how big they can get, EV batteries have small components that require effective, lightweight connections to ensure healthy battery life.
Because die cut parts keep components bonded, insulate and pad against physical damage, shield from interference, trap out moisture, and reduce thermal runaway for battery protection, they can elongate EV battery life.
If you’re planning to design EV battery components, you’ll want to discuss your plans with a converter to prove out concept and find the right material and process.
Already have a design for EV battery parts, but haven’t gotten a chance to prove out concept? Get your drawing made into a sample today: