The world has hit full-charge when it comes to the use of Li-ion batteries in everyday life; whether it’s to power mobile phones and electric cigarettes or something bigger, like an electric car. These packs of power are rapidly securing their place in society and soon we won’t be able to live without them.
The challenge manufacturers face is, if abused, the batteries can undergo ‘thermal runaway’; a fast, violent, and self-accelerating chemical reaction which results in a release of gas and heat, causing temperatures to soar up to 1300°C. This challenge plays to AIS’s strengths, offering an unmissable opportunity to capitalise on their passive fire protection and product development expertise and diversify into an emerging and constantly expanding market.
There is a huge gap in the market for a company with testing capability combined with passive fire protection knowledge and associated product development. Providing battery testing during the development of our products gives AIS opportunity to learn about our customer’s challenges and create products that resolve these issues. AIS Research and Development Manager, Simon Jones, says,
“The combination of materials development with testing has proven to be very powerful. It allows a rapid iteration of ideas and solutions, delivering progress that may previously have taken months in only a few weeks.”
Our hard work over the last year has resulted in funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) to support Jaguar Land Rover in the design of their next generation battery, on a project called ASTIR – ‘Advanced Technology into Reality’. This project, as part of a consortium of partners (including Siemens, AVL, and Warwick University), will provide matched funding for AIS to develop anti-propagation materials and products, and to grow our testing capability and facility. Over the coming months, we are installing a containerised test facility that will greatly increase our testing capacity and consequently, the support we are able to offer our customers.
This promises to be an exciting new endeavour for AIS, so watch this space.