RELIABLE – A WHOLE LIFE LONG

Mobility is going through a period of upheaval right now, with digitalization, electrification of the powertrain and autonomous driving the major factors. More and more electronic components are therefore needed, all of which have to be protected. Protection that can mean the difference between life and death. The key to their reliability is the correct application of the necessary sealants and adhesives, potting compounds and heat conducting pastes.

Assistance systems and sensors now play a central role in vehicle development. If a camera fails it may be too late to brake. If a sensor overheats the fire department may have to be called out to deal with an all-consuming blaze. Lives may be lost. It is therefore vitally important to protect these components and assemblies against environmental influences such as high temperatures, dirt, moisture and strong vibrations. The right dispensing and potting technologies not only prevent costly defects and failures but also may mean the difference between life and death.

| | e-mobility | EV electronics
Marc Heiter
eMobility Expert

With over 10 years of experience in eMobility, Marc Heiter is our expert for battery production and EV electronics. He harnesses the power of his network and his in-depth know-how on a wide range of technologies to drive innovation forward.

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SENSORS – EYES ON THE REAL WORLD FOR SAFETY AND COMFORT

Electric vehicles contain a huge number of sensors. Radar sensors, parking distance sensors, TMAP (Test Management Approach) sensors, ultrasonic sensors and image sensors are now standard equipment for the development of new vehicles. Protecting these electronic systems is a top priority to ensure that electric vehicles operate correctly and safely.

Sensors are therefore bonded, sealed or potted with media of different viscosities from low to high. The contacts on the housing are also shielded against harmful effects with appropriate bonding or potting materials. There is no one material that is suitable for all these applications as very different material properties may be needed depending on the sensor, its position, its geometry and its function.

THREE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR

Staying cool: To avoid defects and failures in electronic equipment the heat they generate must be reliably dissipated. Dispensing accuracy, speed of application and the wear and tear of the dispensing systems play a key role here. This applies in particular to dispensing for inductive charging stations, HV batteries, control units, on-board chargers and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). Thermal management is also essential for power electronics as these components generate heat that must be dissipated. Only then can they be relied upon to operate safely.

Staying hidden: Electronic components must be potted to ensure their long-term functionality and also to protect valuable know-how from prying eyes. The filling process varies depending on the geometry of the component and the properties of the potting material, and can be carried out under atmospheric pressure or in a vacuum.

Correct material preparation is crucial if high-quality, reproducible potting results are to be achieved. Systems with robust feed pumps and sophisticated process technology ensure the necessary reliability of the process. For potting applications in particular, it is important to have precise measurements for the amount of material and for each component to be potted. This applies, for example, to the production of components such as LED headlights, sensors and chargers. Filling is also a process in battery production – battery modules and battery storage units, for example, are potted with liquid media. This makes the housing stable and prevents or slows down chain reactions in a worst-case scenario.

Staying failure-free: Sensitive electronics are often exposed to environmental influences such as dust, moisture and corrosive media, so they need to be suitably protected. Highly viscous sealants, which are applied to a component such as a housing in the form of a bead, act as a barrier against such external influences. The sealants are usually applied automatically along a specific, predetermined contour.

It is particularly important that the sealant should be applied along the intended contour precisely, repeatably and continuously. Sensitive elements in particular, such as sensors, displays, inductive charging stations and power electronics, require special attention, especially as the seal often also has to fulfill an adhesive function.

NO ROOM FOR COMPROMISE

Housings for electronic components have to be airtight. Absolutely airtight This is the last and most important step before the electronics are installed in the vehicle, which is why vision systems are being used more and more for inspecting these critical sealing applications. They ensure that the quality of the sealing contour is exceptional, verifiable and traceable.

Enabling maximum electronics perfomance

SUSTAINABILITY NEEDS INNOVATION

One thing is certain, the number of electric vehicles will increase. There will be around 35.7 million vehicles produced worldwide in 2030. More vehicles that will need more sensors. It will no longer be simply a question of reducing production costs. It will be about innovation, reductions in weight, supply chains and the carbon footprint. Partners, suppliers and customers are demanding honest evidence about this footprint.

The more accurate the dispensing, the less material is needed. The more advanced the feed technology, the smaller the residue. The better the protection, the longer the life of the electronics – a plus point for sustainability, safety and reliability.

This is what we are working on at Scheugenpflug in conjunction with Atlas Copco. Let us share our know-how with you so you can set up your production processes for safe, reliable eMobility.

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12/2023
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Adhesive bonding – what does it take?

Bonding is rewriting the rules of joining two materials, and is opening up completely new possibilities. Especially when it comes to connecting both small and large components cost-effectively and without any mechanical impairment. But what exactly do we have to bear in mind if we want the bond to be permanent?

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