Mon, 22.10.2018

Fire test according to ECE R100 completed successfully

Proven safety of the Tmax-Battery Housing

Proven safety of the Tmax-Battery Housing: Fire test according to ECE R100 completed successfully

Proven safety of the Tmax-Battery Housing: Fire test according to ECE R100 completed successfully

On behalf of and in cooperation with a customer and a university in Switzerland, Thermamax tested the newly developed battery housing for lithium-ion systems for fire resistance according to the ECE R100 standard in June 2018. The results are extremely positive.

The ECE R100 is an international technical regulation for the approval of battery-powered vehicles and vehicle parts. It defines safety-related requirements, e.g. in terms of the minimum insulation resistance of the high-voltage components and cables. A test according to ECE R100 ensures that components satisfy a worldwide safety standard and it has been legally binding since 2016.

The test method according to ECE R100 is intended to depict an accidental fire scenario and proceeds in four phases. Gasoline is ignited in a bowl and, after a heating time of 60 seconds (phase A), it is positioned below the battery pack. The flames must be in contact with the test unit/battery for 70 seconds (phase B: direct flame treatment). Then an intermediate layer made of firebricks is inserted between the fire and the battery pack and left there for another 60 seconds (phase C: indirect flame treatment). In conclusion, the bowl with the fire is removed and the battery is observed for another three hours (phase D). Different sensors for the temperature measurement were positioned on the battery housing and on the battery.

Brandversuch nach ECE R100: direkte Beflammung (Phase B)Direct flame treatment (phase B)

Brandversuch nach ECE R100: indirekte Beflammung (Phase C)Indirect flame treatment (phase C)

The test was performed with different insulation systems. In all tests, the housing behaved as planned; the temperature increase stayed within the scope of the calculations.

The flame temperature of the gasoline fire is 600 °C to 650 °C.
When one looks at the temperatures on the exterior housing (see figure 1), it is evident that nearly the same maximum temperatures around 100°C are measured at the edge of the housing bottom and in the side walls. The sensors mounted further towards the center of the housing bottom show temperatures up to about 230°C. It can be assumed that the maximum temperature is reached in the center of the bottom plate.

Figure 1: temperatures on the exterior housingFigure 1

Figure 2 shows the temperature progressions on the battery: the upper three progressions come from the sensors on the side walls of the battery, the bottom ones from the bottom. None of the values even come close to reaching the critical range of over 80°C.

Figure 2: temperature progressions on the batteryFigure 2

The fire resistance of the Tmax-Battery Housing has been tested and confirmed according to ECE R100. The newly developed housing reliably protects the battery from extreme temperatures, offering the maximum security in case of vehicle fire.