Global specialty chemicals and performance materials company Cabot Corporation has launched its new ENTERA aerogel particles portfolio. ENTERA aerogel particles are a thermal insulation additive designed to enable the development of ultra-thin thermal barriers for electric vehicle (EV) lithium-ion batteries. In this portfolio, Cabot has launched three ENTERA aerogel products that formulators can incorporate into a range of thermal barrier forms including blankets, pads, sheets, films, foams and coatings.
To meet increased EV demand, battery manufacturers are developing higher performing lithium-ion battery packs with increased range. These higher energy batteries require more advanced thermal management solutions, including thermal barriers to mitigate thermal runaway, a rare event in which a battery cell overheats to dangerous levels and the heat propagates to neighboring cells within the module or battery pack due to malfunction or damage.
As a result of the potential severe risks from an EV battery fire, additional regulations, such as the United Nations’ Global Technical Regulation 20 on Electric Vehicle Safety (UN GTR Nº 20) and China’s GB 38031-2020, have been implemented to maximize occupant safety. Aerogel has emerged as aperformance-enabling thermal barrier material that is enabling EV manufacturers to meet critical industry safety standards.
Cabot’s ENTERA aerogel products not only help battery and EV manufacturers comply with these new regulations, but they also provide a lightweight thermal barrier solution that offers low thermal conductivity combined with thermal stability. The Cabot ENTERA aerogel particles portfolio ranges in size from microns to millimeters and includes ENTERA EV5200 aerogel, ENTERA EV5400 aerogel and ENTERA EV5800 aerogel.
With greater than 90% air volume, Cabot’s ENTERA aerogel is up to 20 times lighter than traditional insulation additives used in thermal barriers. Using lightweight materials in EVs is important to offset the weight of EV batteries as well as to improve efficiency, extend driving range and increase the lifespan of the battery.
“We have been producing aerogel for 20 years and the expansion of our aerogel capabilities for use in thermal barriers for batteries is a natural progression in our commitment to support the tremendous growth of the battery market”, states Jeff Zhu, executive vice president and president, Performance Chemicals segment and Asia Pacific region
Cabot has a full range of products that serves the EV battery market. The company says it is the only global manufacturer with a complete conductive additives product portfolio for battery applications, including conductive carbons, carbon nanotubes, and carbon nanostructures, as well as blends and dispersions of these additives to deliver optimal performance. Conductive additives play a critical role in lithium-ion battery chemistry and provide a pathway for electrons to move within the anode and the cathode which enables charging and discharging. Additionally, Cabot offers fumed alumina for separator and cathode active material coatings.