EVs are next big opportunity for fireproofing materials, says IDTechEx – Yahoo Finance | CarTailz

BOSTON, November 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The occurrence of fires in electric vehicles (EVs) is less frequent than in their internal combustion engine counterparts, both in total number and in rate per kilometer driven. Although rare, it is extremely important to protect vehicle occupants and to increase the time it takes for a fire to leave the battery pack as long as possible. The key method to achieve this is the proper selection and use of fire protection materials throughout the battery pack. The rapidly expanding EV market across segments beyond cars such as buses, trucks, vans, scooters and motorcycles offers material suppliers great and diverse opportunities to enable safer battery packs.

Many materials are suitable for fire protection in EV batteries.  Source: IDTechEx - “Fire protective materials for electric vehicle batteries 2023-2033”

Many materials are suitable for fire protection in EV batteries. Source: IDTechEx – “Fire protective materials for electric vehicle batteries 2023-2033”

IDTechEx’s new report, Fire Protection Materials for Electric Vehicle Batteries 2023-2033, analyzes battery design trends, safety regulations and how they will impact fire protection materials. The report evaluates materials directly and in use in electric vehicle battery packs. Materials covered include ceramic blankets/foils (and other nonwovens), micas, aerogels, coatings (intumescent and others), encapsulants, encapsulating foams, compression pads, phase change materials, and several other materials. 10-year market forecasts are included by material and vehicle category.

Diversity in battery design and development

The EV market has yet to converge on a single battery design at some level, just consider the cell format where prismatic took around 55% of the car market in 2021, with the rest being fairly evenly split between cylindrical and pouch. Thermal management strategy also varies between manufacturers, with cold plates being the most popular option among cells, but sidewall-cooled and air-cooled batteries are also seeing strong adoption. Many manufacturers are also moving toward a cell-to-pack design that removes module housings (and a variety of other materials), resulting in improved energy density but potentially more difficult prevention of thermal runaway propagation. These design decisions strongly affect the selection and use of fire protection materials and are addressed in the IDTechEx report to help determine material needs.

Ceramic blankets are a common choice to provide protection over the cells and under the lid and to retard the spread of fire outside the pack. In recent years we have seen many use thick mica sheets to provide fire protection and excellent electrical insulation. Aerogels are not a new material, but their application in EV batteries has been largely volume-constrained and limited China. However, key player Aspen Aerogels has struck a supply deal with GM for its Ultium battery pack and moved the technology to the US. The use of encapsulation foams has also found significant acceptance in cylindrical cell battery packs, such as Tesla, to provide lightweight thermal insulation and structure. Compression pads are common in pouch cells to accommodate cell swelling and many now combine this functionality with fire protection to provide a multifunctional solution. In addition to the above, there are a variety of materials that can help keep battery packs safe by preventing the spread of thermal runaway and/or containing fire events. The diversity of battery design philosophies offers opportunities for many fire protection materials and their suppliers. In fact, IDTechEx predicts a 13-fold increase in annual demand for fire protection materials in EV batteries by 2033 compared to 2022.

Developments in safety regulations

This will be known to many China was an early adopter of specific thermal runaway regulations, with the need, among other things, to prevent fire or smoke from exiting the battery pack for 5 minutes after the event occurred. This standard became mandatory from early 2021, and while other regions have yet to apply a formal rule similar to this, OEMs have begun to target these or more stringent requirements in their designs to anticipate future regulations and improve overall safety.

The EV market in India has shown a major transition in security. In 2022, several electric scooter fires were issued and many recalls issued. The governing bodies have now made adjustments (takes place from October 2022) to the current standards to put a stronger focus on the battery safety of electric vehicles in micro-mobility segments. In addition to using only approved cells, battery design features such as the spacing between cells are also specified. Increasingly safety-oriented regulations in several global regions mean that the focus on safety and materials that support this goal is becoming increasingly important in all vehicle segments. However, the selection and application of these materials varies by vehicle category and battery design. While non-auto vehicle segments are important, IDTechEx research shows that the combination of relatively large batteries and huge volumes means that electric cars will account for over 90% of the EV fire protection material market by the end of the decade.

To learn more about the brand new IDTechEx report, Fire Protection Materials for Electric Vehicle Batteries 2023-2033, including downloadable sample pages, please visit www.IDTechEx.com/FPM.

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About IDTechEx

IDTechEx guides your strategic business decisions through its research, subscription and consulting products and helps you capitalize on emerging technologies. For more information, contact research@IDTechEx.com or visit www.IDTechEx.com.

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