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SGL Carbon receives BMW battery enclosure contract

By Simon Warburton | 27 April 2020

SGL Carbon has been nominated by BMW to produce a cover component for battery enclosures in series.

The multi-year order will include the production of a glass fibre-based cover plate for the battery housing for usage in a future plug-in hybrid model of BMW Group.

Materials made of composites are suited for battery enclosures for different reasons. In addition to their light weight, which enhances the electric vehicle's range, fibre-reinforced plastics offer high stiffness. In addition, they meet high requirements for water and gas tightness and feature fire protection properties.

Composite materials can also help to achieve improved structural stiffness of the underbody, for example, to protect against penetration, as well as an optimised thermal management.

Carbon fibres are good for especially stressed structures or load-bearing elements, such as underbody panels and side frames. For components subjected to less stress, such as battery box covers, glass fibres or a fiber mix may suffice.

"Driven by advancing developments in electromobility worldwide, our solutions for battery enclosures made of fibre-reinforced plastic are becoming more and more of a growth driver for SGL Carbon," said SGL Carbon head of Automotive Segment in the Composites – Fibers & Materials business unit, Sebastian Grasser.

In addition to the new application for the hybrid model battery enclosure, SGL Carbon will continue producing the usual components made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic for the BMW i3 and delivering materials for the Carbon Core body of the BMW 7 series It has also been nominated as the supplier for all carbon materials - fibres, textiles, stacks - for the BMW iNext, to be launched in 2021.

SGL Carbon has supplied several automotive manufacturers with carbon materials and composite components, from sports car parts to large-scale deliveries of leaf springs and structural components.