Multi-material battery casing for electromobility: AZL industry network conducts joint concept study and product development
In October 2020, AZL together with an international industrial consortium consisting of 46 companies (status of July 2021) launched a joint project to develop multiple concepts for a cost-competitive multi-material battery casing. The consortium includes automotive OEM Audi AG and suppliers along the value chain. The 8-month product development starts with an international market analysis as well as a concept study in which different multi-material component concepts including production scenarios will be developed and evaluated with regard to their costs. Finally, multiple multi-material battery casings are designed in detail, each to be evaluated on weight, cost, and production eco-impact. A demonstrator will be manufactured as a prototype in a follow-up project. The project is still open to join for companies interested.
The demand for electric vehicles is increasing and with it the need for lightweight and robust battery casings. A large number of different battery casings with very different component concepts already exist on the market. However, these battery casings, which are usually made of aluminum and steel, cannot offer the optimal solution for each of the numerous requirements. The project that emerged from the AZL Partnership instead pursues a multi-material approach that uses the right material at the right place for each specific requirement.
The majority of existing battery casings for electric vehicles are made of steel and aluminum.
The project consortium: 46 companies along the entire value chain
The entire value chain is already represented, including OEMs and many Automotive Tier 1s, manufacturers of fibres, resins, semi-finished products, sandwich technologies, manufactures and providers of production systems and automation. Just to name a few: Airex AG, AUDI AG, Asahi Kasei Europe GmbH, Covestro, EconCore, IPTE, Johns Manville, KAUTEX TEXTRON GmbH & Co. KG, KÖMMERLING Chemische Fabrik GmbH, Saudi Aramco Technologies Company, Schuler Pressen GmbH. The project is still open to join for companies interested.
Dr.-Ing. Florian Meyer, Audi AG
|“Battery casings are a key component in electric vehicles. The requirements are challenging and very individual for different vehicle classes,” says Dr.-Ing. Florian Meyer, project management mentor from the Technical Development department of Audi AG. “We are looking forward to the creative exchange with the cross-value chain and cross-material class consortium to find out how we can save weight and costs by using plastic-based multi-material solutions versus status quo solutions made of metals.”
The AZL will initially draw up a market overview with the industrial consortium that includes existing series components and concepts and identifies the relevant manufacturers, users, suppliers and supply chains on the market. Standards and requirements for battery casings will be derived from the existing components and the advantages of multi-material approaches will be evaluated. On the basis of a detailed data sheet, various product concepts will be worked out and associated production scenarios for multi-material battery casings will be established. The participants can select component concepts for which CAD models, FEM analyses and process chains are developed and finally evaluated with regard to their production costs. Various concepts for a multi-material battery casing will be worked out in detail and will be manufactured as a real battery casing prototype after this 8-month development project.
The project will provide an overview of existing solutions for battery casings, evaluate the advantages of multi-material approaches, derive component design and production concepts and evaluate them in terms of performance and cost. A component concept will be elaborated in detail. © AZL Aachen GmbH
The current status: Initial concept study still open to join (status: July 2021)
We had a valuable and highly informative exchange with more than 90 representatives of the initial 30 participating companies during the kick-off meeting with 20 pitch-presentations from the project partners on October 22nd, 2020.
- about 40 reference components and concepts have been analyzed,
- standards and requirements were analyzed, and
- about 15 different multi-material concept variants have been designed and CAE-optimized, with some additional to follow
- Thermoset, Thermoplastic
- Glass, Carbon
- LFT, SMC, Continuous fibre
- Hybrid metal/plastic
- Solid, Sandwich, etc.
Load cases amongst others:
- Pole intrusion
- Bollard intrusion
- EMI shielding
- Fire resistance
The current work in progress includes:
- Design and CAE analysis of some remaining variants
- Production design and cost/weight analysis
The final report meeting will take place in September 2021. Interested companies can still join the project.
2 follow-up projects defined
The initial project will be followed up in two more projects addressing:
- Foreign object penetration resistance of materials
- Application relevant fire test procedure
Find more details on these follow-up projects here.
The definition of another project leading to demonstrator(s) will take place after September 2021 with the forecast to start the demonstrator project in 2022.
Further background information on the development of the battery casing market and details of the project can be found under the following links:
Interested companies can contact Philipp Fröhlig:
Senior Project Manager | AZL Aachen GmbH
Phone: +49 241 475 735 14
Mobile: +49 176 80488799