Battery Steel: Weight and Cost Optimized Battery Housing

From Anna Wilhelm

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At Blechexpo, Thyssenkrupp presented a weight and cost-optimized battery housing for e-mobility applications.

At Blechexpo, visitors could to examine the newly developed protective battery housing for electric vehicles.
At Blechexpo, visitors could to examine the newly developed protective battery housing for electric vehicles.
(Source: Public Domain / Pixabay)

No e-mobility without steel. Steel will play a decisive role in making electromobility affordable, Thyssenkrupp claims. The company has developed a solution to protect the central element in an electric car, the battery. The engineers from the steel industry have designed a battery casing that weighs no more than a comparable version made of aluminium, but costs only half as much, the company announced in a statement.

The Battery: Central Element in an Electric Car

The battery is the decisive, most sensitive and at the same time most expensive component in an electric car. According to the industry, it accounts for 30 to 50 % of the costs of the vehicle. Vehicle manufacturers around the world are working to develop strategies, production capacities and supply infrastructures throughout the entire value chain. This makes it all the more important to develop protective solutions for the battery that do not drive up the costs of electric vehicles, as Thyssenkrupp reports.

According to the company, the engineers in the steel division have been intensively involved in protecting the central component in an electric vehicle. The requirements are complex: From crash protection and corrosion resistance to battery cooling, the team had to tackle various tasks. The experts have developed a virtual prototype that meets all the requirements for the best possible battery protection, the manufacturer states.

Especially Important: Best Possible Crash Protection

Crash protection of the sensitive battery is especially important: "In the event of a crash, above all, the deformation of the battery must be avoided," explains Daniel Nierhoff from the research department at Thyssenkrupp Steel. The housing must not be damaged in the event of a side impact, nor when the vehicle touches the ground, or a foreign object hits the battery housing from below. On the other hand, it should be as light and compact as possible in order to make the most efficient use of the available installation space and to create more space for larger batteries offering a higher vehicle range".

As Andreas Untiedt, customer project engineer at Thyssenkrupp Steel, reports, the prototype was constructed on a computer, calculated right down to the body-in-white planning stage and secured in many simulations and real-world tests. “For the best possible crash protection, it turned out that our new portfolio of ultra-high strength dual-phase and manganese-boron boron steels are the ideal materials for our subassemblies".

Corrosion Protection and Efficient Cooling

The battery housing must be extremely corrosion-resistant due to its exposed position on the vehicle floor. In this case, the newly developed component can also offer optimum protection through high-quality coatings, as the company states. For the thermal management of the battery, which is also important, liquid cooling can be integrated into the structure.

Compared to an aluminum battery housing, the 150-kg-prototype made of steel offers the same performance, but costs only half as much. “We are convinced of our development and see good opportunities for further advancing electromobility with it," André Matusczyk, CEO of the Automotive business unit at Thyssenkrupp Steel sums up. “We look forward to presenting the concept to our customers.”

This article was first published by blechnet.


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