Earth-friendly lifestyle choices coupled with a desire to save fuel costs are driving demand for electric vehicles (EVs) dramatically. Added to the larger ongoing mobility electrification trends, this is creating a critical need for expanded infrastructure – especially for charging stations and related equipment required to support the mass adoption of EV technology. Electric vehicle charging needs to become more convenient, more efficient and more sustainable.
In addition to meeting the demand for many more residential and commercial charging stations, manufacturers must address a number of challenges, including charging speed, safety, compatibility, dependability and efficiency – as well as preparing for emerging trends toward integration with smart grid technology and wireless charging.
Dow engineers innovative silicone materials which are playing a crucial role in enabling opportunities in charging infrastructure to help address these needs.Why silicone technology from Dow?
In this period of rapid development of EV charging infrastructure, Dow is focusing on exploring the potential of the industry, relying on trusted application experience and critical insights in materials science to create a series of innovative and high-performance silicone options
for battery packs, charging stations, charging guns, energy storage systems and other applications.
The inherent versatility of silicone chemistry can help expand design freedom, increase processing options, and enhance performance and reliability. Dow offers a wide range of product options to address specific challenges in EV infrastructure, including:
- Thermal management materials, including gap fillers, adhesives, noncuring compounds, gels and encapsulants
- Protection and assembly materials, including adhesives, sealants and conformal coatings
- Elastomers, high-consistency silicone rubbers (HCR) and liquid silicone rubbers (LSR)
EV charging systems essentially can be classified into three categories:
- Level I: AC, slow charging (120 VAC) – typically used in home chargers; 6- to 12-hour charge cycle.
- Level II: AC, slow charging (208-400 VAC) – typically used in home and commercial charging stations; 4- to 10-hour charge cycle.
- Level III: DC, fast charging (400-1,000 VDC) – used in commercial stations; 5- to 30-minute charge cycle. These systems commonly are referred to as X-DC or rapid charging.
Dow offers a range of material options specially tailored to the more demanding needs of the high-power fast-charging Level III DC infrastructure, including technologies for charging stations, charging guns (connectors), cables and housings.
Comprehensive use of thermally conductive engineering materials, silicone elastomers, coolants and other silicone technologies can significantly enhance the functionality, safety and sustainability of EV charging infrastructures and bring an efficient, reliable driving experience to consumers.Silicone thermal management materials
Heat generation is inherent in the charging process, resulting in thermal management challenges for charging housings, charging guns, and wires and cables. With the evolution of heat-dissipation technology in charging modules, heat can be transferred via high-conductivity materials to the external environment. Alternatively, more complex liquid-cooling technology can resolve the problem of heat dissipation within the charging housing itself. Either method requires appropriate thermal conductivity and thermal management materials.
Silicone protection and assembly materials
Interiors of printed circuit board (PCB) modules, charging gun connectors and charging housing cabinets contain components such as capacitors, semiconductors and magnetic devices, which all are sensitive to environmental contamination (e.g., ingress of dust, water, salt spray, etc.). These interiors also contain power devices with high heat output. Silicone materials can help maintain these structures so components can be protected from the environment.Materials for EV charging infrastructure
- Gels, encapsulants and pottants
- Thermal management
- Conformal coatings
Charging cables and busbars:
Charging station housings:
- Foam gaskets
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- Ceramifying HCR
- Conformal coating
- Electrically conductive materials (EMI shielding)
- Thermal management materials
- Gels, encapsulants and pottants
If you need technical support or want to find out more about the possibilities for your application, please contact us
and one of our experts will come back to you.