High-performance polymers maker Covestro LLC (Pittsburgh, PA) worked with Leister Technologies LLC (Itasca, IL; a subsidiary of the Leister Group) to develop process and material solutions for laser welding fluid-cooled battery modules used in electric vehicles such as new passenger vehicles, electric buses, trucks, and other utility vehicles.
"This joining technique provides the accuracy needed for welding in tight locations and around other components in fluid-cooled systems," says Fernando Santillana, senior project manager – Midwest, East Coast, Caribbean, and Latin America at Leister Technologies LLC.
Laser welding is traditionally only used with translucent or optically clear plastics. Now, the two companies have extended use of this joining technique to include opaque flame-retardant Bayblend PC+ABS blend from Covestro, while achieving the same level of weld strength. Flame-retardant plastics are preferred and often required for battery enclosures, as they can help prevent or delay the spread of fires.
Leister Technologies' laser welding process can be used to join and seal fluid-cooled battery enclosures made of Bayblend FR3010 PC+ABS blend.
Bayblend FR3010 PC+ABS blend features high-impact strength, chemical and hydrolysis resistance, thermal stability, and a balance of high-heat distortion and physical performance.
"Using Bayblend FR3010 PC+ABS blend, we developed effective and reliable laser welding solutions for production-ready battery modules that can withstand battery abuse testing, including UN38.3," says Terry Davis, principal engineer at Covestro LLC. "With this material, battery manufacturers can create reliable and leak-free battery enclosures."