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Thermal runaway protection materials for power batteries

March 5, 2024

In recent years, against the backdrop of rapid development in the global new energy vehicle industry, the performance of power batteries as the core component of new energy vehicles has also been continuously improving, and the energy density of batteries has gradually become an overall trend
With the increase in battery energy density, the safety issue of fire and explosion caused by thermal runaway of batteries has become an important technical challenge that new energy vehicle manufacturers urgently need to solve.
At present, new energy vehicle manufacturers mainly use aerogel felt, flame retardant foam, mica material, ceramic silicone rubber, and other protective materials for thermal runaway power batteries.

Thermal insulation foam

Thermal insulation foam is a type of polymer elastomer with low hardness and high resilience, but it is not resistant to high temperatures.
It will soften or deform significantly at around 120 ℃, and some materials will release toxic gases when burned.
At present, foam is mainly used for sealing between modules and battery cells, as well as battery packs.

Mica

Mica products are mainly used as thermal runaway protection materials for power batteries in the new energy vehicle industry
Mica materials are generally processed into mica plates, which have excellent high-temperature insulation performance.
They can still maintain good insulation performance in environments ranging from 500 ℃ to 1200 ℃.
Mica board has good bending strength and hardness, acid and alkali resistance, and aging resistance, and can be processed into various shapes without producing toxic gases at high temperatures.
The application of mica materials in battery thermal runaway protection has a long history, and mature solutions have been used by many enterprises in the industry.
At present, mica materials are mainly used between modules and between modules and battery covers.
With the development of nonmodular trends, mica materials will be applied between battery cells and battery covers for thermal runaway protection.
Due to the consumer attributes of new energy vehicles, as well as the inherent thrust-to-weight ratio and vehicle type, thermal runaway protection materials need to comprehensively consider factors such as manufacturing cost, usage experience, material volume, and weight, in addition to flame retardant performance, electrical insulation performance, weather resistance, thermal conductivity performance, and mechanical strength, Mica materials are widely used in thermal runaway protection systems for new energy vehicles due to their highly compatible flame retardant insulation performance and excellent comprehensive performance.

Aerogel

Aerogel is a highly dispersed solid material formed by the coalescence of colloidal particles to form a nanoporous network structure and filled with a gaseous dispersion medium in the pores.
It has excellent thermal insulation performance and low density, but its thermal insulation performance will decline under high-temperature environment, and the long-term use temperature under an aerobic environment will not exceed 650 ℃;
At the same time, its strength is low, and it needs to be compounded with reinforcing materials to become an aerogel felt, which is mainly used between electric cores at present.
Some models represented by new energy buses are also equipped with fireproof blankets, which are also mainly made of aerogel felt composites.

Ceramic silicone rubber

Ceramic silicone rubber is a silicone rubber-based fire-resistant composite material made by vulcanizing silicone rubber as the matrix, adding inorganic fillers such as ceramic fillers, fluxes, and reinforcing agents.
It has good elasticity and heat resistance and can maintain structural integrity for a long time at high temperatures of 600 ℃ -1000 ℃.
Ceramic silicone rubber material is soft and needs to be combined with reinforcing materials before use. Ceramic silicone rubber composite material can be used for thermal runaway protection between modules and between modules and battery cover plates.

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