Lightweight Innovative Battery Enclosures using Recycled Aluminium TEchnologies (LIBERATE)

Lead Participant: Constellium UK Limited

Abstract

Innovative and ground breaking high strength aluminium alloys and processing technologies have been developed for use in light weight crash resistant battery enclosures and for the integration of such structures into ultra-low emissions vehicles (ULEVs). The combination of extrusions, HFQ sheet and castings can form both the protective structures and can provide novel thermal management systems which can control battery operating temperatures to precise levels reducing the risk of thermal runaway and optimising battery pack operating temperatures during driving to reduce energy losses. This provides significant advantages in manufacturing and assembly costs/set up time whilst meeting current legislative requirements, providing the opportunity to define new standards of safety, crash management and energy efficiency. Both energy and power density of battery systems are increased by reducing battery enclosure weight by using an aluminium alloy intensive architecture, combining innovative design and advanced manufacturing processes. The project aims to take another major step with disruptive high strength aluminium alloys and their processing and joining technologies, enabling new enclosure design concepts for the manufacture of both vehicle integration structures and battery enclosures for a new generation of lightweight hybrid and electric vehicles for the UK market that will have a major impact on the UK government's carbon reduction targets for the UK vehicle fleet. The project will design, develop a recyclable aluminium intensive components for a test enclosure and for full scale demonstrators of battery enclosure for vehicles specified by the two major global OEM's that are project partners. The longer term intention is to establish a UK based manufacturing facility for world leading cost efficient aluminium battery enclosures based on the intensive use of fully recyclable aluminium alloys in order to provide an on-shore resource for ULEV component manufacture.

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