The funding comes from Innovate UK as part of UK Research and Innovation.
The two-year battery enclosure materials automation (BEMA) project is currently in a pre-industrial testing and evaluation stage, with mechanical impact, shielding, thermal and fire performance tests are underway. In the next project phase, prototypes will be produced to validate the new composite battery enclosure solutions in field trials and obtain proof of concept for industrialization, Solvay said. The project will also reportedly address rate capability, cost and sustainability challenges.
“There is a pressing need to meet net-zero emission regulations and targets with more energy efficient electric powertrain and propulsion solutions,” said Mark Wright, Solvay sales manager. “While already lending structural and weight saving advantages over metals in existing EVs and aircraft, fully composite battery designs for larger production volumes have yet to show their technical and manufacturing feasibility. BEMA seeks to deliver on these challenges by combining the benefits of Solvay’s advanced thermosetting material technology with Airborne’s expertise in flexible automated composite manufacturing systems to create lightweight next-generation battery packs.”