The batteries of an automobile, especially an electric vehicle, are the primary powerhouse of the car. The batteries store chemical energy, which is then transformed into electrical energy to power the automobile. Without the batteries, it is impossible to drive the car.
EV battery box designs are structures that enclose the battery. They protect the vehicle’s powerhouse from external interference, such as in a car crash. Some may act as insulators or contribute to the battery’s cooling system.
This article provides more information about these fascinating structures, including their manufacturing processes and benefits. Read ahead!
What is An EV Battery Box?
The electric vehicle battery box is a casing that encloses and protects the battery cell. In any automobile, the battery is essential to kickstart the vehicle, control the electrical parts and maintain optimum functions. Like other electric car parts, the battery enclosure box or battery case comes in different designs and sizes.
Customarily, the go-to material of choice for fabricating battery enclosures for EVs is aluminum, mainly because of its structural rigidity and lightweight. Other materials such as steel, composite plastics, etc., are also used in manufacturing battery boxes but are not mainstream.
The Goals of Designing EV Battery Box
Manufacturers and designers aim to obtain the best design when producing EV battery housing. A perfect car battery box design ideally protects the battery and the passengers, especially in the case of an accident. Below are the goals to look out for.
The weight of an electric vehicle affects its overall performance. In fact, EV manufacturers keep finding appropriate means to cut down weight without losing efficiency, and one such is to reduce the weight of the battery housing. In addition, weight reduction too may play a critical role in improving the acceptance of these automobiles by the general public.
Batteries are energy storage houses for automobiles. They store chemical energy which transforms into electrical energy to power the electric vehicle.
If not correctly installed and covering the battery is 100 percent, it may lead to leakage, which can cause accidents. Therefore, there is a need for a proper insulating system to secure the passengers in the vehicle. Another means is to design the battery box using insulating materials like plastics and composite materials.
The battery box design should contain individualized circuits and compartments that include the power electronics and the battery cooling system. The automotive battery box design should permit easy replacement of battery cells.
Besides serving as battery housing, the EV battery box should offer protection to drivers and passengers, especially in the case of a car crash. Though aluminum battery casings are lightweight, they have high tensile strength and rigidity to serve security purposes.
Optional Materials for EV Battery Box Design
Here, we will discuss suitable materials for fabricating EV battery housing.
Various alloys of aluminum and the metal itself are typical materials used in most industrial fabrications. Automobile industries often utilize aluminum for fabricating vehicle body parts and other essential components, including battery housing.
Aluminum is a lightweight material with other unique features such as its resistance to corrosion, high strength and rigidity, excellent machinability, and suitability for various manufacturing techniques, which makes it an ideal material for EV battery box design. For example, it’s lighter than steel yet offers comparable strength and performance.
Like Aluminum, stainless steel is another common material of choice in designing the battery box of EVs. They also have excellent machining properties, high strength, and rigidity, among other features, making them suitable for creating battery casings.
In addition, they are suitable for fabricating parts with complex geometries and possess other characteristics that benefit a typical electric car battery box design. For example, they have high heat resistance, so even in the case of an electric fire from a crash, the passengers of the vehicles are safe.
Fiber-reinforced composites seem to be the way forward in designing battery boxes for electric vehicles. They are lightweight, with high rigidity and strength. Also, they are highly durable and resistant to heat and fire.
Thermoplastics are another excellent material of choice for electric car battery case designs. Like fiber composites, they have similar advantages over metals and alloys in designing EV battery enclosures. They are lighter, have great strength and rigidity, and are more cost-effective.
As we have reiterated in this text, aluminum remains the mainstream – most electric vehicles have battery box designs made of aluminum or its alloys. These other materials are mainly a new trend, as OEMs and EV parts manufacturers are finding ways to reduce these automobiles’ weight further.
Different Processes for Manufacturing Battery Enclosure Box
We have briefly discussed the materials for fabricating EV battery box designs. Let’s discuss some of the manufacturing processes used in designing these battery housing.
1. CNC Machining
CNC machining is a common manufacturing technique in the automotive sector. It involves using a series of cutting tools, such as millers or drillers, to gradually remove pieces from a material until the desired shape is achieved. Machining operations are common in creating various parts of automobiles, motorcycles, and electric vehicles.
The high dimensional accuracy, precision, and compatibility with an extensive range of materials – both metals and non-metals make it an excellent technique for fabricating the battery enclosure box of an EV. In addition, machining allows manufacturers to achieve weight reduction goals and meet tight tolerance requirements, which are beneficial in the building parts of an electric vehicle.
2. Aluminum Extrusion
Aluminum extrusion is a typical technique used in fabricating different structures. The process forces liquefied (molten) aluminum through a die with a cross-sectional shape to reshape it. Since aluminum is one of the primary materials used in EV battery box design, aluminum extrusion is a valuable manufacturing process in producing EV battery box designs.
The process is used for creating battery enclosure box designs because it can manufacture products of complex geometries with high tensile strength and rigidity yet maintaining minimal weight.
3. Injection Molding
Injection molding is another common manufacturing technique used to produce an electric vehicle’s essential components. It involves melting plastics and other polymers before reshaping them in a mold cavity to the desired shape. Though it’s often limited to plastic designs, it is perfect for manufacturing parts with complex geometries and sophisticated designs.
The main advantage of this manufacturing technique over other processes is its ability to reproduce products in large volumes instantly. This benefit is particularly vital in fabricating components of electric vehicles in large volumes, including the battery box.
WayKen: Bring Your EV Battery Box Design into Production
Understanding the manufacturing process for your design is not enough; working with the right manufacturing partner is also vital. WayKen is ready to give life to your dream EV box design. We offer some of the best custom prototyping services and low-volume part production with top-notch post-processing operations.
In addition, WayKen offers an extensive range of machining operations, including CNC machining and rapid injection molding. Once you upload your CAD files, we provide an instant quotation and free design analysis for your fabrications. What’s more? Be rest assured that our quality services are at competitive prices.
As the topic suggests, this article provides you with a comprehensive overview of everything you need to know about EV battery casings. These structures are pretty essential components of an electric vehicle. They safeguard the batteries yet offer protection for the driver and passengers.
The article provides enough information on the benefits of these structures and the fabricating processes. So when looking to customize your EV battery enclosure, do not hesitate to contact Wayken Rapid Manufacturing.
What is an EV battery tray?
The EV battery tray is the structural element that holds the battery pack in place. The battery sits on the tray, which ensures it maintains its structural integrity and prevents fluid flow into the battery pack. The trays are usually made of plastics or metals.
What are EV battery cases made of?
Traditionally, battery cases are designed using aluminum and steel. However, in recent times, designers have been creating battery enclosures made of thermoplastics, carbon fiber-reinforced plastics, glass fibers, and other non-metals.
Provided the material possesses excellent mechanical properties and is comparable with an ideal fabrication process, it may be suitable for automotive battery box designs.
How long do EV batteries last?
Indeed, electric vehicles may require constant recharging to power the automobile. However, EV batteries have an extended life expectancy that may stretch to between 15 and 20 years.
In addition, it’s noteworthy that the technology of electric vehicles is relatively new, at least in comparison to internal combustible engines. Therefore, in the future, with continued technological advances, these batteries’ lifespan may further increase.