Scientists at Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies’ corporate laboratories in Plymouth, Mich. worked with engineers at the company’s aerospace material and component manufacturing facility in Tillsonburg, Ontario to formulate a new silicone-based material that designed to comply with an international flammability standard adopted for the electric vehicle market in China. The standard requires materials to immediately self-extinguish after being exposed to a flame.

“We were able to significantly shorten the product development cycle for our customer by leveraging our aerospace portfolio and expertise,” said Todd Blair, Freudenberg-NOK Business Development Manager in Tillsonburg. “As E-Mobility vehicle producers introduce more powerful, quick-charging, and longer-life batteries, heat and temperature are going to become bigger issues. The aerospace industry has a head start in dealing with these kinds of challenges, and we have more material expertise than most in developing solutions that address them.”

Freudenberg NOK says that the introduction of lithium-ion batteries and other E-Mobility powertrain technologies has increased the need for automotive materials that meet more robust thermal management standards. In developing the new silicone-based material for its OEM customer, Freudenberg-NOK researchers tested materials by applying the same types of flammability standards used in aircraft production.

“As new E-Mobility safety regulations emerge, the trend toward materials that address flammability, thermal protection, and fireproof requirements for components located throughout an electric vehicle beyond the battery will become a priority,” Blair said. “We want to provide a variety of solutions to customers to help them meet standards now and in the future for both performance and safety.”

To that end, Freudenberg says it has begun formulating advanced fireproof materials that go above and beyond current customer requests. The company says that these materials, now in advanced field testing, not only contain a fire when exposed to a flame but can also protect the battery and nearby components to temperatures more than 2000° F.