Carbon SMC Battery Protection for e-Mobility Body-in-White (Car e-Bo)
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The drive towards electrification has brought a new series of challenges in the automotive world. The need of supporting and protecting the battery modules requires the fulfilment of contrasting objectives. Those are to provide sufficient robustness and stiffness at a low weight while at the same time keeping the costs low. A promising material class to satisfy these requirements can be found in carbon fibre sheet moulding compounds (C-SMC). Stiff, light and with the possibility to manufacture geometric complex parts in an one-shot compression moulding process, it can be a viable alternative to steel and aluminium solutions. With C-SMC the battery case could be designed to incorporate multiple functions such as the thermal management and crash protection with integration into the automotive structure. Advanced modelling methods and the simulation of the whole battery system enhanced the design process predicting the mechanical behaviour under normal operating conditions and in crash events. Material tests on the specimen and subcomponent level were performed to assess the fatigue and crashworthiness of the implemented material. Advanced non-linear material models and damage evolution methods were validated based on the experimental data. The positive outcome of the simulations exposed the full potential of adopting the C-SMC material as a choice for structural parts in electric vehicles, resulting in a lightweight although mechanically sound battery casing.