Global chemical company LG chem announced the development of a new plastic product for battery application that is capable of preventing the spread of flame in batteries, delivering the most prolonged fire-resistance performance in the world.
LG Chem’s flame-retardant engineering plastic product enables the prevention of the spread of flames. The new advanced flame barrier product created by the company is a highly functional engineering plastic product made from various composites including polyphenylene oxide (PPO) and polyamide (PA) resin.
According to the company, the commercial production of the new product is set to begin in 2023 aligned with customers’ demands and schedules. It is currently obtaining patents in Korea, the United States, and selected European markets.
“We are proud to present this new product, a significant milestone for us after more than 10 years of dedicated research to deliver innovation for our customers,” said Steven Kim, Senior Vice President, Engineering Materials Division, LG Chem. “LG Chem continues to lead the rapidly evolving e-Mobility market, and we will continue to lead innovations through consistent R&D and investments in manufacturing based on our world-class chemical compounding technology.”
When used in battery components, the new product is resistant to flames for a longer period of time due to its superior properties. It also features excellent dimensional stability and maintains its shape under changing temperature conditions, a company release said. During LG Chem’s testing, the product was able to prevent the spread of flames caused by thermal propagation for over ten minutes at 1,000°C, 10 times longer than available plastics, it added.
Thermal runaway is the leading cause of EV battery fires, where various stressors can cause heat to build up within a battery cell. When a battery cell exceeds its temperature threshold, fire can occur due to a short circuit triggered by factors such as overcharging and over-discharging. The resulting fire is difficult to extinguish as lithium reacts violently with water. Application of LG Chem’s new engineering plastic product to battery components would benefit drivers and passengers, giving them more time to evacuate a vehicle in case of a damaged and overheating battery.