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Distinguished Global Partnership Aims to Extinguish Lithium-Ion Battery Fires

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, more than 4,000 electric cars catch fire each year caused by thermal runaway (TR), a phenomenon in which lithium-ion battery cells that charge the vehicles enter an uncontrollable, self-heating state during transport, often leading to deadly explosions. Now, two companies on different continents that produce TR solutions are joining forces to reduce that total. 

Specifically, Packaging And Crating Technologies (PACT®), a CT-based manufacturer of a proprietary, fire-suppressant paper wrap and BS Technics, a thermal interface material company in Korea, today announced an exclusive partnership that allows the expansion of PACT® Thermo ShieldTM and TR SleeveTM into the Asian country for such multi-national companies as Samsung, Hyundai, and LG Electronics, among other popular brands.

“Although electric vehicle technology dates back to the 1800’s, the first drivable EV only hit the market in 1997,” said Rodger Mort, chief operating officer at PACT. These days, there are hundreds of battery-operated cars available for consumers.”

Mort notes that thermal runway is becoming a household word due to the vast amount of lithium-ion battery fires, which have caused 611 injuries and 115 fatalities across the US last year alone. TR can result in the ejection of lethal gases, shrapnel and/or particulates, extremely high temperatures, smoke and fire.

That’s why in 2019, Mort conceived a sustainable solution and led his company to invent PACT Thermo ShieldTM, a lightweight, pleated, paper with a non-toxic moisture vapor application that prevents TR by immediately cooling the internal environment of the package, while limiting oxygen around the payload. If a fire does start, PACT Thermo Shield TM contains temperatures upwards of 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit, while restricting the temperature outside of the wrap to 140 degrees thus, shielding the surrounding environment from major damage.

Quickly thereafter, PACT® developed a special product for EV batteries, the TR SleeveTM, in which the material is wrapped around each battery cell to mitigate TR propagation between the individual units, thus serving as a heat and flame barrier.

“We prevent the ‘domino effect’ that happens when an individual lithium-ion battery cell becomes unstable and ignites by shutting it down immediately and preventing a larger catastrophe,” adds Mort. 

Mort further notes that both products have undergone rigorous tests at an internationally recognized facility run by Transport Canada. It is the only product to pass the proposed testing standards of the G-27 SAE International for safety in shipping lithium-ion batteries via land, sea and air.   

This is what caught the eye of Koren-based BS Technics, which works with OEM, ODM and contract manufacturing companies around the world, providing an array of customized products and materials for the EV battery industry. Some of its innovations include molded interconnect devices, mold direct mounting, chemical tempered glass, touch screen modules, PU foam and optical film.

“In the dynamic field of electromobility and battery manufacturing, rapid evolution is the norm,” said Jennifer Kim, director of sales and marketing at BS Technics. “Our sophisticated solutions, combined with PACT’s practical and affordable paper-based applications, are a perfect complement to each other in reconciling highly diverse EV battery manufacturing processes and creating consistency in safety standards on a global scale.”

Kim also notes that the adoption of PACT’s eco-friendly and recyclable products supports BS Technics’ corporate focus on sustainability, a key pillar alongside its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) framework for the years ahead.

“We’re excited to introduce, recommend and sell the PACT Thermo Shield TM product line to our current clients and prospective customers as a unified effort to eliminate EV battery fires.”

For more information, visit https://www.pactthermoshield.com/ or http://bespokeplanet.kr/.

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