LG Chem Develops New Product To Prevent Thermal Runaway In EV Batteries, Production Slated For 2023
Studies have shown fires are less common in electric vehicles but when they burst into flames, they attract plenty of attention. That’s particularly true thanks to high profile recalls such as the one that brought the Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV to its knees.
However, help is on the way as LG Chem has developed a new “plastic product” that is designed to prevent thermal runaway in EV batteries.
The company didn’t go into many specifics, but said the “new advanced flame barrier product created by LG Chem is a highly functional engineering plastic product made from various composites including polyphenylene oxide (PPO) and polyamide (PA) resin.” They went onto say testing has shown the product is able to “prevent the spread of flames caused by thermal propagation for over ten minutes at 1,000° C (1,832° F), 10 times longer than general plastics.” LG Chem claims this is the “longest fire-resistance performance in the world” and noted the plastic product maintains its shape under changing temperature conditions.
This is important as the company noted thermal runaway is the leading cause of EV battery fires. As they explained “various stressors can cause heat to build up within a battery cell” and “when a battery cell exceeds its temperature threshold, fire can occur due to a short circuit triggered by factors such as overcharging and over-discharging.”
While the fire risk can never fully be eliminated, the plastic product will give drivers and passengers more time to evacuate in the event of a damaged and overheating battery.
Production is slated to begin next year and the company is already in the process of obtaining patents in Korea, the United States, and selected European countries.