LG Chem, in collaboration with LX Hausys, has unveiled a revolutionary material designed to delay battery thermal runaway, a critical advancement in battery safety. This innovation can withstand exposure to flames at temperatures of 1,500 °C for over 20 minutes, marking a significant milestone in the development of safer battery technologies.
Under the partnership, the duo firms jointly developed a Special Flame Retardant Continuous Fiber Thermoplastic (Special Flame Retardant CFT) characterized by its capacity to withstand strong flames and high pressure for more than 14 times longer than existing thermoplastics.
Speaking about the partnership, the largest Korean chemical company said: “As a result of LG Chem’s internal test (torch test) subjecting the 1.6 mm thin Special Flame-Retardant CFT to temperatures exceeding 1,500°C and pressure, it did not melt, run-down, or develop any holes even after 20 minutes. This is the industry’s highest level of flame-blocking performance.”
Advancing Battery Safety with Special Flame-Retardant CFT
The Special Flame-Retardant CFT incorporates LG Chem’s super flame barrier material technology and LX Hausys’ Continuous Fiber Thermoplastics (CFT) manufacturing technology. By creating a method for adding thermoplastic layers in the shape of tape to the material, LX Hausys enhanced the functionality of LG Chem’s substance.
Additionally, the world record-breaking super flame barrier material created by LG Chem last year was able to withstand flames for more than ten minutes at temperatures above 1,000°C.
The top and bottom covers of big battery packs for electric vehicles can be made of the Special Flame-Retardant CFT since it is stiff and has little deformation under strain. In the case of an electric car fire, it is anticipated that it will successfully stall the spread of flames, assisting in securing the time needed for driver escape and fire suppression.
Preventing Thermal Runaway in Electric Vehicles
The primary cause of battery fires in electric vehicles is thermal runaway, which occurs when a battery cell is under stress from a variety of sources and generates heat. One of the things delaying the widespread adoption of electric vehicles is the thermal runaway phenomenon, which has been a source of frustration for owners of electric vehicles and batteries.
Through the invention of the Special Flame-Retardant CFT, LG Chem and LX Hausys were able to overcome the heat and pressure associated with thermal runaway, which was challenging to sustain with existing plastics.