Electric Vehicles: Polymers for Performance, Reliability, & Protection

Posted by Dan Griffin on Jul 30, 2020 1:00:00 PM
Dan Griffin
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Modern electric car chassis x-ray vehicle battery in studio environment line art 3d render stock photoAdoption of plug in -electric vehicles (EVs) has been slower than many expected, but there is little question the next few years will see adoption accelerate. Your hypersensitive dog will have to find new visitors to harass when your delivery drivers arrive without notice, driving to your door silently in all-electric commercial vans. Many of your favorite suppliers and stores have already ordered these vehicles. Game-changing battery and charging developments are eliminating range anxiety, and autonomous driving controls and safety innovations are in the final stages of building our trust.

A linchpin in the acceptance of EVs and autonomous driving will unquestionably be public trust in their safety, reliability, and longevity. These vehicles are in some ways simpler in basic design as they eliminate the need for many complex systems required of internal combustion vehicles, systems such as pollution controls and nearly everything under the hood. EVs are, however, orders of magnitude more complex in terms of their electronics and control systems. Chase Corporation, through our HumiSeal® and Resin Designs divisions, have spent the past decade preparing protection and reliability solutions for these complex electronics. The following represent some key areas and products that may be of interest.

  • Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Protection/Conformal Coatings

Spray Conformal Coating on a PCBRegarding all-electric vehicles, PCBs can be found throughout the entire vehicle, powering and controlling all critical systems. Two decades ago there may have been two or three PCBs in a vehicle, controlling fuel systems and possibly braking. EVs and autonomous vehicles require rugged and reliable electronic control of all systems, and PCBs in these vehicles number in the tens and more. HumiSeal® conformal coatings remain the industry standard in protecting these PCBs from damage and failure due to solids and debris, liquid and chemical attack, and humidity and gaseous damages.

  • Electronics Vibration Resistance

Staking capacitors with UV20 GelAll-electric vehicles’ electronics, as noted above, must be protected from typical contaminants such as debris, liquids, and gases. Another threat within the automotive industry is vibration or mechanical shock. EV circuit boards commonly are populated with large, high-energy components including capacitors. These components are especially susceptible to damage to fragile solder connections due to vibration inherent in driving conditions. HumiSeal has developed a number of products, including UV20 Gel, designed to prevent damages due to vibration and mechanical shock conditions. These materials are soft but rugged polymers that can be applied on high-volume automated equipment typically found in automotive PCB manufacturing.

  • Thermal Management

Thermal Pads on PCB close upAn invisible enemy to EV charging and design has been thermal management. In layman’s terms, thermal management means these high-powered batteries, chargers, and controls generate concentrated heat that can damage sensitive devices and must be mitigated. Resin Designs manufactures a range of thermal management products to help in this regard. Thermosink 35-3 is a highly thermally conductive liquid encapsulant used to remove heat from PCBs and battery arrays. Resin Designs also customizes die-cut films and pads applied to critical PCB components to help funnel heat and keep devices within appropriate operating temperatures.    

  • Electronic Motor Assembly Adhesives and Sealant

electric vehicle engine

Within the electric motors themselves, there are a number of applications for high-performance adhesives and coatings. One example is the need for adhesives and bonding materials capable of withstanding high temperatures and chemical exposure to oils and fluids expected within these motors. Bonding of casings and assemblies, as well as seating and bonding of magnets, are potential needs in this area.

  • EMI/RFI Shielding Sheets, Preforms, and Rope Gaskets

EMI/RFI Shielding Sheets, preforms and rope gaskets.pngThe advent of more sophisticated autonomous driving capabilities requires the use of complex forms of visual and radiation-based sensors. One example of this type is mmWave technology. The safety and reliability of these sensors and control systems will be essential to the development of consumer acceptance and trust in this technology.

Chase and Resin Designs have developed a full range of high-performance conductive shielding products available in “rope” forms to be used in gasketing of EMI/RFI enclosures. These products are also available in both sheet form and custom laser cut shapes to completely protect EMI/RFI sensitive components from interference and failures. 

As we have discussed, acceptance of electric vehicles and autonomous driving technology can only occur when the public is assured of their absolute safety. As a result, OEM and tier one engineers must incorporate increasingly sophisticated hardware and control systems within their designs. Chase Corporation and Resin Designs have extensive experience in collaboration with engineers and designers in both the manufacture of E-vehicle components and the protection of critical E-vehicle control systems.   

As a supplier of electronics protection polymers and coatings, Chase Corporation and its employees can help you with an unbiased approach to evaluating your application and process. We will be able to demonstrate areas to maximize efficiency, minimize cost, and improve product reliability. Our outstanding manufacturing and technical support groups can provide your organization with reliable global supply, unmatched quality, and superior technical support.

Please contact us today to discuss your application.

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Topics: Thermal Interface Materials, Vibration Suppression, Thermosink, Conformal coating benefits, EMI conductive gaskets, EV, Electric Vehicle

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