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Freudenberg Sealing Technologies (FST) Automotive, a market leader in the auto industry’s technology, quality and service segments, offers a diverse portfolio of products to all the major automobile and commercial vehicle manufacturers worldwide. The portfolio includes a large assortment of seals ranging from our near frictionless dynamic seal, Levitex, to static sealing solutions suited for even the harshest conditions.
As battery, fuel cell, charging and hybrid technology emerge, so does the growth in our product offerings. To meet the demands of these new systems, FST is now prepared and ready ready to support solutions that extend outward from sealing. The electrification of the vehicle creates potential needs for electromagnetic interference shielding and pressure management. For this, we now offer a wide array of EMI shielding plastics and DIAvent, respectively. The list of our innovations is constantly growing in the fields of battery, fuel cell, e-powertrain, power electronics, engines, transmissions, suspensions, steering systems, drivetrains, climate control, & conventional fuel systems.
All of this is made possible by our cutting-edge research, absolute perfection in manufacturing and outstanding customer service. We look forward to what we can create together!
Advanced lithium batteries are used for EVs, P-HEVs, but also for 48 V mild hybrid vehicles. Besides this, they are also required for future fuel cell vehicles. Battery technology for mobility is changing rapidly. FST is in turn fine-tuning its portfolio to offer its customers top of the line solutions in gasket sealing, cell fixation, thermally conductive gap fillers and materials, pressure regulating elements, connectors, cooling tubes, and full integration of sensors into connectors. In addition, we are also working on lithium cell components such as our in-cell gap fillers.
Our solutions help to realize a battery electric world in that we are improving safety & reliability via thermal management and tolerance compensation elements.
Applications in Which We Make Parts
Plug & Seal
Keeping moisture and debris out of the battery housing is of the utmost importance. Our plug seals help prevent thermal propagation due to the sealing of external media while simultaneously reducing assembly efforts.
Allow flexible and sealed feedthroughs of cables and fluid lines.
Future EU, and potentially even global, regulations, will place strong emphasis on battery safety. Our heat shields thermally isolate neighboring cells to prevent or slow thermal propagation in case of a cell thermal runaway.
Our patented pressure management solution DIAvent enables extremely high gas permeation during normal operation. In the event of a cell thermal runaway, the reversible degassing function is activated to remove the vented gas from the system. The reversible character of the valve contributes to system safety. After having released the gases, the closed valve prevents oxygen from entering from the outside.
Our well-established plugs and seals are the perfect interconnection in cooling systems. Compared to competitive solutions, they are extremely resistant to vibration and offer excellent tolerance compensation.
Cooling Cycle Tubes
Our cooling cycle tubes offer freedom of design via ”customized“ tubes for complex geometries. Flow resistance is greatly reduced due to the smooth inner surface of the tubes. Soft connectors can be integrated to improve NVH behavior. Further integration of additional functions is possible. Lastly, our parts are not susceptible to corrosion and have increased tolerance due to the flexible nature of the product.
Advanced Connectors With Integrated Functionality
These seals easily connect various arbitrary tube lengths and shapes. Design complications relating to tube connections are easily solved by using this solution. Further additional features such as sensors, valves and flow control mechanisms can be added to meet the user’s needs. And, of course, sealing the fluid/gas and keeping moisture and debris out is our expertise. In addition to these benefits, this solution reduces installation effort.
Our material expertise extends into plastics. Nothing is more evident of this than our development of thermally conductive thermoplastics. The benefit is that we are able to incorporate integrated clips/fasteners, sealing features (via our 2K technology). They can then be fitted for automated final assembly, provide excellent tolerance compensation, and are, of course, mechanically robust.
Thermally Conductive Elastomer Materials
The embedding and protection of heat sources is our goal here. Our materials are thermally conductive, but even more than that, we are capable of producing 3D topographic structures to address the complex thermomechanical interactions in such applications.
Developments like our flexible coolers show FST’s approach to improving systems by taking lateral thinking approaches. In this particular case, we analyzed the main technical conflict of existing lithium cell coolers and “re-thought” the cooler itself. The main feature is a thermally conductive, flexible cooler surface, which “nestles” to the cells and thus compensates for tolerances.
Battery Cooling Ports
The connection of the battery to the external thermal management system poses a major challenge. At this position, extremely high vibrations and tolerances must be accounted for. We offer customer-specific 2k solutions for these connector ports.
EMI Shielding Materials
FST’s approach is to provide customers with plastic-based products in the form of both the plastic itself and by applying an EMI shielding coating. These are ideal for small housings or maintenance flaps, respectively. Compared to metals, such products offer a significant weight reduction. Cost reduction can be achieved when taking into account the endurance of tools required for die-cast metal parts. Much like our thermoplastic materials, our EMI shielding products are mechanically robust. Clips and sealing functionality (thanks to our 2K technology), can be fitted for automated final assembly, provide excellent tolerance compensation, and are all possible features to add to our EMI shielding materials.
Leakage Absorber Mats
A product that reliably absorbs condensate and leakages formed inside the battery housing for the life of the product.
Pouch Cell Frames
Cell frames ensure a reliable embedding of the cell inside the battery system in an assembly-efficient manner. This "snap and fit" method also doubles as a protection element for the cells, even if pressure rises. In addition, cooling channels can be incorporated to add functionality. Also, designed gas removal channels can be included to safely dissipate gas emissions in the event of cell venting. This results in additional functionality, improving the safety of the system.
Tolerance compensation and low and high frequency vibrations over the lifetime of the battery are the main challenges to sealing the housing of battery systems. Furthermore, EMI shielding and flame retardancy issues must be kept under control. The gasket has to support maintenance. For instance, it needs to support a re-opening of the battery system. FST offers a variety of gasket solutions for battery housings. Among them are reliable solutions for small volumes like profile-to-gasket and various solutions for large serial volumes. Our patented ”defoldable” large format gaskets gives way to a scalable gasket sealing solution for large battery vehicle applications. Our ability to mold a gasket in a smaller place results in savings in terms of both tool and press costs. None of this comes at the expense of gasket performance either.
Our patented pressure management solution DIAvent provides extremely high gas permeation during normal operation. In the event of a cell thermal runaway, the reversible degassing function is activated to remove the vented gas from the system. The reversible character of the valve also contributes to system safety. After having released the gases, the closed valve prevents oxygen from entering from the outside.
Similar to our DIAvent, DIAvent Light also provides pressure regulation during normal operation with extremely high gas permeation.
Battery Cell Seals
Battery cell chemistries wreak havoc on seals. Seals have to be electrolyte-resistant and efficiently block media permeation. Furthermore, the materials need to be ultra-pure to ensure that no contamination of the battery chemistry can occur. Our industry leading expertise has helped us to develop seals for use in these applications.
In Cell Gap Fillers
Designed to improve the thermal management within the cell by thermally connecting the jelly roll with the cell housing.