SABIC’s NORYL resin for ultra-thin-wall insulation film in high-voltage EV batteries
SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, introduced NORYL NHP8000VT3 resin, a product suited for insulation film used in electric vehicle (EV) battery modules to help improve protection against short circuits and fire propagation. The high-performance, polyphenylene ether (PPO)-based resin is engineered with patented technologies to help meet the stringent demands of higher-voltage batteries (600-800 volts). It achieves the highest comparative tracking index performance level category (CTI PLC0), provides ultra-thin-wall extrusion and thermoforming capability, and meets the UL94 V0 standard at 0.25 mm with non-brominated, non-chlorinated flame retardance. NORYL NHP8000VT3 resin provides a novel solution to the drawbacks of incumbent insulation films made with polycarbonate (PC) and polypropylene (PP) by delivering stronger CTI performance and thinner-wall FR capability. This exceptional material can help advance EV battery technology by contributing to occupant safety, weight reduction and higher efficiency for extended range.
“Transitioning from standard, 400-volt EV batteries to higher voltages offers the potential to shorten charging times, extend range and improve energy management within the vehicle,” said Joshua Chiaw, director, Business Management, LNP & NORYL, Specialties, SABIC. “However, designing higher-voltage batteries requires the invention of breakthrough materials, such as our new NORYL resin for insulation films. This new solution is the industry’s first thermoformable material to achieve the highest CTI performance level as well as meeting stringent flame retardancy standards. SABIC continues to focus intensively on developing innovative material solutions that can propel e-mobility adoption by addressing safety, performance, and range anxiety challenges.”
Highest CTI performance level category for higher-voltage batteries
The CTI PLC, which indicates the maximum voltage a material can withstand without developing tracking, is used to evaluate electrical insulators under exposure to conditions of stress, humidity, and contamination. NORYL NHP8000VT3 resin achieved the highest CTI performance level category of 0 in testing by an independent laboratory, indicating it can withstand 600 volts and greater. While some PP grades can also achieve CTI PLC0, these materials are more difficult to thermoform, often requiring the application of secondary processes to achieve complex shapes. Furthermore, NORYL NHP8000VT3 resin delivers better mechanical strength than PP at 0.25mm thickness. Polycarbonate, the other incumbent battery insulation material, typically cannot achieve CTI PLC0.
Ultra-thin-wall flame retardance for space savings
NORYL NHP8000VT3 resin’s ability to meet the UL94 V0 standard at 0.25 mm means it can provide a high level of flame retardance at a thinner film gauge than PC or PP, potentially freeing up valuable space in the battery pack. Compared to PC, NORYL NHP8000VT3 resin features up to 40 percent weight reduction due to its lower specific gravity and thinner-wall FR capability. This capability can also potentially benefit other EV applications. For example, the new NORYL resin may be a candidate for the insulation of metal EV busbars, using overmolding or insert molding processes.
“The NORYL NHP family is our next-generation PPO portfolio with enhanced FR performance,” said Jenny Wang, director, Formulation and Application, APAC, Specialties, SABIC. “It includes NORYL NHP6011 and NHP6012 resins for battery modules and housings. Our new NORYL NHP8000VT3 resin further diversifies the series with more-robust CTI performance. To help support the acceleration of future electric vehicle battery designs, we have raised the bar in CTI PLC values and thin-wall flame retardant performance suitable for insulation materials. This achievement attests to our broad and deep technical knowledge and resources, and strong commitment to continuous innovation.”