New design allows smaller, lighter traction motors: Page 2 of 2

February 04, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Plastic cooling case for lightweight motor
If electric cars are to be lighter, the motor must also be reduced in weight. For example, by manufacturing it from fiber-reinforced plastics. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT have developed a new cooling concept that enables the use of plastics as housing material. This also allows power density efficiency of the drive to be significantly increased.
complex geometries are possible without rework.

The project partners rely on fiber-reinforced, duromer plastics that are characterized by high temperature resistance and high resistance to aggressive coolants. Unlike thermoplastics, they do not swell when they come into contact with chemicals.

The plastic housing is manufactured using an automated injection moulding process. The prototypes are manufactured in a cycle time of four minutes. The stators themselves are encapsulated in a transfer molding process with a thermally conductive epoxy resin molding compound. The research team has designed the design and manufacturing processes of the electric motor so that it can be mass-produced.

The stator design has been completed and the cooling concept has been validated experimentally. The researchers have already been able to cool out more than 80 percent of the expected power loss. There are also approaches for the remaining almost 20 percent, for example by optimizing the cooling water flow. The rotors are currently being installed so that the engine can soon be tested on the test bench and validated in real operation.

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