Making Electric Vehicles Go Further With New Materials

It’s no cloak-and-dagger that vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are aggressively pursuing electric vehicle (EV) development. Among the headwinds they face in selling their technology to consumers are price and vehicle range. Non surprisingly, at that place is a direct correlation between the two — in 2021, for whatsoever EV under $40,000, the average vehicle range was 187 miles, while the lowest vehicle range for whatsoever internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle was 240 miles.1

Bailiwick to ideal charging and discharging, EV batteries also dethrone two to three percent per year, impacting range further over the life of the vehicle.1To overcome these obstacles, manufacturers are looking to integrate new materials into their designs to help EVs get further. Kuraray, a global leader in specialty chemicals and functional materials, is partnering with Ansys to support these objectives.

A cardinal focus area is lightweighting — making a vehicle lighter through material and design choices. EV batteries and their associated systems are heavy, so manufacturers are trying to reduce the weight of vehicles in any way they can. Vehicles with ICEs are heavy too, but unlike EVs, the range of an Ice-powered vehicle is less sensitive to a reduction in its mass.

“What sells vehicles at the moment is range,” says Andrew Miller, director of R&D at Ansys. “If you can get l miles or more range out of your EV than your competitors then yous’ve got a winner. Of course, you could brand the battery better, or the motor more efficient. But the easiest way to increase range is to just brand the whole vehicle lighter.”

Kuraray’southward products in automotive.

Bringing automotive polymer properties into design

GENESTAR is a brand name of heat resistant polyamides developed past Kuraray. These PA9T series materials are well-balanced long-chain polyphthalamides (PPAs) that combine low water assimilation and loftier mechanical backdrop over a broad temperature range, resulting in dimensional stability and blister resistance during surface mounting processes. The materials enable lightweight designs and parts miniaturization for EV batteries for ameliorate efficiency while ensuring safety in high-voltage applications. Their depression-permeation properties significantly extend the life and durability of EV battery coolant tubes and bombardment parts field of study to a broad range of temperature and humidity changes.

GENESTAR PA9T in automotive.

These all audio like appealing properties for an engineer to exist because in their next simulation of a vehicle component they may exist developing, but with thousands of polymers out in that location, how do you lot notice the information y’all need?

Kuraray and Ansys teamed upwards to provide detailed materials data on GENESTAR PA9T series materials to use directly in Ansys solvers. The data includes non-linear mechanical properties such as stress-strain and creep curves, along with thermal and electrical properties at a range of temperatures. Ansys practical its expertise of material models to ensure all data is “simulation ready” and available in its Global Polymers materials library for Ansys Granta MI and Ansys Granta Selector users. From at that place, it can be exported into a wide range of Ansys simulation tools, including Ansys Mechanical and Ansys Workbench.

In this way, Ansys is building partnerships with companies similar Kuraray, where Ansys acquires information on their fabric products and publishes information technology in the Ansys ecosystem. The thought is to add value to that data past preparing it for simulation, hence the term “simulation set.” Basically, Ansys gives customers information on materials that they tin can directly utilise in their simulations via Ansys tools, such as Mechanical and Ansys Discovery. What Kuraray and other textile producers gain is added exposure in the marketplace, as a relationship with Ansys helps their materials gain access to some of the top engineering companies while reinforcing high product quality.

Choosing the correct automotive materials for the job

To customers interested in a specific material, Ansys materials databases provide all the data they demand. But information technology’s still upward to each client to decide whether they have constitute the right fabric choice for their EV application. Ansys offers a database of different polymers from numerous companies; however, within Granta MI, searching simulation-ready materials cuts the list down to 2000 polymers based on significant properties. It’s an exclusive subset of materials information available to Ansys simulation users, including OEMs looking for materials solutions to their lightweighting challenges.

Temperature-dependent data is one important element of this subset directly related to EV design. Often, OEMs apply very loftier-performance polymers to address elevated temperatures near the battery pack and HV wiring, or on the vehicle interior or exterior where exposure to direct sunlight can hands drive temperatures upwards of 50-degrees Celsius (120-degrees Fahrenheit). Having data with the correct thermal properties enables accurate simulation of a range of temperatures that leads to amend thermal management.

Polymers showroom highly nonlinear behavior and to accurately simulate that behavior you demand to use nonlinear material models. These nonlinear models mostly require stress-strain data, so if you don’t take that data you cannot employ these models, and the accurateness of your simulation will endure. Borer into temperature-dependent and nonlinear materials data, OEMs can run multiple simulations using the full extent of Ansys applied science and expect skillful results.

“Without tools like Granta MI, a lot of time is wasted searching for data needed for simulation,” says Miller. “Customers will Google information technology, they will go through old papers to find it or recreate information technology to back up their simulations, ultimately leaving them open to errors. We’re giving that data to them, ready to import directly into their simulations, validated by Ansys, which amounts to a huge time savings. And because nosotros’re giving them temperature-dependent, nonlinear data, users can await accurate simulation results.”

Interested in learning more nigh the materials that are needed for the electrification of the powertrain — and how yous tin can search, compare, analyze, and manage them? Cheque out our white paper, Materials for the Electrification of the Powertrain.


  1. Internal Combustion Engines vs. Electric Vehicles (EV), Engine Architect Magazine, October 14, 2021.


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