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Henkel Adhesive Technologies

Henkel Adhesive Technologies

Improve EV supply chain sustainability with help from advanced materials.

3 min.
Electric car powertrain and connections.

The move toward the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is driven largely by a global quest to achieve net-zero emissions and reduce the carbon footprint.

Although electric vehicles have no tailpipe emissions, efficiencies throughout the entire EV value chain help to move the needle of sustainability. Advanced materials can help increase efficiency and optimize the entire vehicle lifecycle from raw materials to manufacturing to battery recycling through an EV’s end-of-life.

Reduce pollutants while improving safety

EVs create only about a quarter of the emissions of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and can reduce overall lowered levels of greenhouse gases. But there is still room for improvement to drive real impact across the manufacturing value chain. Improved batteries and lighter-weight components made possible by advanced materials help make EVs more attractive to new consumers. And when more EVs are on the road, the immediate benefit of less carbon and greenhouse gases can help to reduce overall emissions and further drive global sustainability initiatives.

Reducing industrial waste with recycling

Automotive manufacturing is heavy industry, so by definition it involves complex production processes that create a pollutant stream. Because manufacturing processes are so different between ICE cars and EVs, there is a steep learning curve for carmakers as they learn how to pivot from one process to the other in finding new and sustainable solutions to unique manufacturing problems.

Advanced materials can help solve for less-obvious battery problems. EV batteries need to be sealed into place, but there is an eventual need for repair or replacement. Thermal gap fillers with a low pull-off force can help with an easier, nondestructive removal method of battery modules for repair, repurposing, and recycling.

Although the primary function of thermal gap fillers is to dissipate the heat from the heat source of a battery cell to the cooling plate, they can also improve the structural integrity of a battery. Thermal gap fillers allow flexible access to installed batteries so they can be repaired in place.

Rather than scrapping viable batteries, thermal gap fillers can help extend lifespan and keep batteries out of the industrial waste or recycling stream. Materials that extend battery life - either by controlling heat or enabling new battery designs - can help reduce environmental impact over the entire vehicle lifecycle.

Debondable adhesives are also an area of research that we predict are the future of battery recycling. If manufacturers can develop reliable adhesives that are debondable and repairable on demand, this effort can become a game changer for the industry.

If EV batteries can be repaired versus replaced, there can be a high economic benefit to consumers to offset the high cost of replacing a battery altogether. Creating an alternative to repairing a battery versus replacing one will be crucial to consumer adoption.

The core of the EV revolution

Sustainability lies at the heart of the EV revolution through the entire EV value chain. Advanced materials play an important role in furthering the drive to net-zero emissions - not just from the tailpipe and downstream power generation, but in the repair shop and scrapyard too.

Find out how Henkel advanced material solutions can become a part of your sustainability story here.Our in-house expertise is always evolving and growing. Recently, we augmented our teams with industry experts from battery manufacturers and the recycling industry. We use simulation know-how to accelerate progress and work on solutions needed today and those for tomorrow to get ahead of the curve. We have designed a dedicated battery lab enabling the testing of materials on real batteries up to full battery packs and adopted cutting-edge analysis tools and simulations. Our goal is to proactively bring value and novel solutions to our customers that help them succeed.


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