Highlighting new functions for superior 3D printing supplies, CRP Expertise has shared a case examine displaying how Windform FR2 was utilized by Energica Motor Firm, an Italian producer of electrical bikes, to fabricate cell pouch frames for its battery pack prototypes.
Earlier this 12 months 3D printing supplies producer and additive manufacturing service provider CRP Expertise launched its Windform FR2 materials. The brand new materials joins the corporate’s Windform FR1 product in its TOP-LINE household of composite supplies for additive manufacturing, designed particularly for SLS additive manufacturing.
Each supplies are flame retardant and strengthened. Whereas flame retardant supplies usually are not new to the 3D printing market, there’s a lack of strengthened flame retardant supplies. To handle this hole out there, and supply an answer to end-users, Windform FR1 is strengthened with carbon fiber, whereas the FR2 is as a substitute stuffed with glass fiber, making it insulator. The fabric properties prolong functions for the Windform FR2 in comparison with its predecessor – for instance within the high-performance world of motorcycle racing.
Cell pouch frames manufactured by CRP Expertise by skilled 3D printing utilizing Windform® FR2 flame retardant + glass fiber strengthened composite materials for battery pack prototype. Person/shopper: Energica Motor Firm. Picture through CRP.
Excessive-performance sustainable bikes
The Energica venture was launched by CRP in 2010 with the goal of making high-performance sustainable bikes. The enterprises have a longstanding partnership, with Energica having used CRP’s supplies within the improvement of its electrical autos for the previous few years.
The corporate 3D printed elements of its street-legal electrical bike, the Energica Ego, utilizing CRP supplies, in addition to different fashions together with its Bolid-E bike developed with Samsung Electronics. CRP additionally acted as Energica’s technological accomplice for the 2019 FIM Enel MotoE World Cup (and nonetheless is), the place every of the competing groups used the Energica Ego Corsa. CRP’s Windform composite 3D printer supplies have been used closely within the automobile’s improvement levels, and likewise characteristic in end-use parts as effectively.
With Energica being the only producer for the MotoE, the agency has entry to an unique testing floor for making an attempt out new technological options, utilizing skilled racing drivers. Such assist has proved extremely useful for the corporate’s R&D, each for the racing and manufacturing sides.
3D printing for high-energy cells
Energica’s bikes use a high-energy lithium polymer (Li-NMC) battery, which is contained in a sealed housing. This consists of battery cells, the Battery Administration System (BMS) and all the required techniques to make sure the security of the automobile. The corporate has designed and adopted a patented cooling system for the battery pack that makes use of particular air flow paths that restrict the stress on the batteries. The cooling system offers advantages to the efficiency of the automobile, in addition to the lifetime of the battery.
The Energica Ego battery pack able to be mounted. Picture through CRP.
Energica’s R&D division is consistently researching new cells which might be positioned available on the market with the intention to decide their suitability for industrial manufacturing. In doing so, the corporate intends to make sure that it’s utilizing the newest and most superior know-how. The analysis course of begins off with validation and preliminary screening of the only cell. After, Energica then performs testing on battery pack prototypes on the street.
To hold out assessments on some pouch cells, a group of engineers at Energica determined to offer every pouch cell with a surrounding case, with the intention to present assist and reinforcement. The casings needed to be produced with a high-performance materials with wonderful mechanical properties, with the intention to face up to the testing course of whereas assembly Energica’s efficiency calls for. Having beforehand relied on CRP’s options for demanding functions, Energica opted to make use of SLS know-how with Windform FR2, based mostly upon the corporate’s wants for the chosen materials, and evaluation of the 3D information of the applying.
“Having constructed purposeful prototypes of pouch cell casings for numerous assessments, together with street assessments,” explains Engineer Franco Cevolini, CTO and VP at CRP Expertise, “it was clear we must always use a cloth with particular traits, specifically: polyamide-based materials, electrically insulated, stiff, proof against temperature and flame retardant.”
The mounted battery pack. Picture through CRP.
Windform FR2 was chosen because it meets the demanding necessities. It’s a stiff, flame-retardant polyamide-based glass fiber strengthened materials with electrical insulation. This mixture of traits makes it an excellent resolution for manufacturing elements like casings and digital parts within the automotive trade, or lighting and home equipment for shopper items.
Cevolini explains that “flame retardant traits are essential as a result of it ensures self-extinguishing in case of working anomalies, that are a results of a brief voltage peak, with consequent localized melting, adopted by combustion initiation. [Additionally] the fabric chosen for the pouch casing needed to have a excessive mechanical efficiency with the intention to assure an total stiffness to the battery pack prototype, with the intention to face up to the volumetric growth that cells bear in the course of the cost and discharge cycles.”
As soon as CRP obtained approval from Energica, the corporate 3D printed and delivered the pouch casings utilizing SLS 3D printing and the Windform FR2 materials. Energica was in a position to perform all its essential assessments on the battery pack prototype in line with its protocols. Energica had recognized potential points associated to the pouch cell, particularly concerning swelling and warmth rejection. In each situations, the Windform FR2 and laser sintering know-how have been in a position to overcome areas of concern.
Pouch cell battery pack prototype. Picture through CRP.
3D Printing supplies for demanding functions
In the course of the cost and discharge cycle of a pouch cell battery pack, fuel technology might end in swelling. Giampiero Testoni, CTO at Energica Motor Firm explains, “In a test-ready battery pack prototype (seen under), every cell have to be in place and never transfer. Stability have to be assured by the cell casing.” The cell casings have a vital perform and should be capable to accommodate any swelling with out failure.
Energica was guided by CRP to make sure the required excessive stage of precision was attainable with SLS and Windform FR2. Testoni notes that the 3D printed cell casings, “enable a sure diploma of freedom of motion to swell and contract with out deforming, with out going out of place, with out interfering with each other.”
Take a look at-ready pouch cell battery pack prototype. Picture through CRP.
One other situation for consideration is that of warmth rejection. The swelling of a pouch generates warmth, and this warmth must be dissipated. To boost this course of the pouch cell and holder have been connected to a steel plate with twin lateral buildings. The plate serves to chill as warmth is drawn away by the steel after which dissipated by the lateral buildings, working in unity with the patented Energica cooling system.
The figures under present how the method operates and the place the warmth deformation might happen. You will need to have a correct warmth administration system in place, as is deformation happens then the screws might generate sparks – resulting in a hearth.
Exploded view of pouch casing with pouch cell and cooling system. The warmth is transferred to the plate and delivered to the exterior sides (pink arrows) for dissipation (blue arrows). Picture through CRP.
Exploded view of pouch casing with pouch cell and cooling system. Circled in pink, the realm most affected by warmth improve. The realm should keep stiff. Picture through CRP.
The assessments carried out on the pouch cell casing in Windform FR2 glass-fiber strengthened and flame-retardant composite materials confirmed upkeep of the required stiffness, and no deformation with the rise in warmth.
“When a polymer begins to warmth up, it loses its mechanical traits and undergoes deformation,” provides Engineer Franco Cevolini. “It doesn’t occur with Windform FR2 as a result of it’s a composite materials and it preserves its stiffness. Windform FR2 deflection temperature beneath load is increased than another non-composite supplies with the identical flame-retardant traits”.
The demanding necessities of motorsport are a helpful proving floor to check CRP’s high-performance supplies. Click on the hyperlinks to be taught extra about Windform supplies and CRP Expertise.
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Featured picture reveals 3D printed pouch cell casings manufactured by CRP Expertise utilizing selective laser sintering know-how and Windform® FR2 for testing. Picture through CRP.
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