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PPE Resins Provide Flame Retardancy, Impact Resistance for EV Batteries

Image: Sabic EV battery module
New grades also deliver dimensional stability and flow properties for module miniaturization.

Sabic is launching two new grades of Noryl polyphenylene ether copolymer resin that support demand for lighter, thinner, and more crash-resistant electric vehicle (EV) battery modules and housings. Grades Noryl NHP6011 and NHP6012 resins address key consumer requirements for EVs — improved safety, range, and power. They deliver enhanced flame retardancy and impact strength to meet industry safety standards, as well as thin-wall molding capability to reduce weight and accommodate more cells, helping to extend vehicle range and boost performance. The glass fiber–reinforced Noryl resins feature proprietary polyphenylene ether (PPE) copolymer technology and are the latest additions to Sabic’s growing NHP family of materials for mobility applications.

“Optimization of batteries is crucial to expanding adoption of electric vehicles and realizing the full sustainability benefits of e-mobility,” said Darpan Parikh, Global Product Management Leader, Resins & Compounds, Sabic’s Specialties Business. “By helping to enhance EV batteries through better safety, higher energy density, and lower weight, our new Noryl resins can also help manufacturers increase the consumer appeal of their vehicles.”

Several trends are shaping the future of EV batteries. For example, stricter flame retardance requirements are now in force, driven primarily by concern about the safety of lithium-ion batteries. In Europe and Asia, battery module materials must meet the UL 94 V-0 standard. Noryl NHP6011 and NHP6012 resins provide best-in-class, non-chlorinated/non-brominated flame retardancy that meets UL 94 V-0 requirements at 1.5 mm. In addition, they supply stiffness and impact strength for crash protection. The two products differ in their glass-fiber loadings to accommodate specific customer requirements for stiffness.

Another key trend in EV batteries is miniaturization. Battery manufacturers are striving to fit more cells in existing or smaller spaces to increase vehicle power and range. The dimensional stability and flow properties of the Noryl grades enable thin-wall designs for cell frames, retainers, and battery pack top covers. These properties help increase energy density while minimizing weight and space. Furthermore, these materials provide excellent dielectric performance with a comparative tracking index (CTI) of 2 to help avoid electrical shorts among tightly packed cells.

In addition to these mechanical properties, the new Noryl NHP6011 and NHP6012 resins provide resistance to acid vs. polycarbonate, better resistance to moisture compared with polyamide, and a low specific gravity.

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