DETROIT, Aug. 24, 2021 / PRNewswire / – The growing importance of battery and fuel cell powered vehicles has also increased the need for leak testing on automotive production lines to ensure the quality of these reciprocating drive systems.
Batteries in electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, for example, must be waterproof and protected from moisture and water for 10 years or more. Fuel cell vehicle components also have unique leak detection requirements.
A new INFICON eBook, “E-Mobility: Leak Testing for Electric and Fuel Cell Vehicles”, describes the available leak detection technologies and explains how manufacturers can use them through different phases of development and production.
The comprehensive 53-page eBook highlights that modern methods of tracer gas testing are best suited for most testing tasks for reciprocating drive components. In fact, tracer gas tests can detect leaks 1,000 times smaller than air tests currently in use.
“Leak testing has long been one of the most critical quality checks performed by automotive manufacturers and their suppliers,” said Thomas Parker, INFICON’s North American Automotive Sales Director. “Electric, hybrid electric and fuel cell systems require even more precise testing. “
Parker notes that tracer gases provide the sensitivity and reliability necessary to meet today’s demanding safety requirements and consumer expectations.
Reliable leak testing of battery cells is essential because the highly flammable electrolytes they contain can start fires. Even small amounts of moisture in a battery module can cause the system to short out, shorten life, and degrade performance, including range, of a vehicle.
“Preventing electrolytes from leaking from the battery cell or coming into contact with water under any circumstances is essential throughout the production process and the life of any electric or hybrid vehicle- electric, ”Parker said.
There are also special leak test considerations for an EV’s high voltage electrical / electronic components (motors, controllers, sensors) and the cooling system.
Fuel cell vehicles have their own requirements. In addition to their battery and electrical systems, these vehicles must also be equipped with sealed fuel cells, bipolar plates and hydrogen tanks.
“Our new eBook explains which vehicle components should be tested, which test methods should be used, and the leak rates that guide each method,” Parker explains. “Appropriate quality control leak testing for fuel cell and electric vehicle components is increasingly important to automakers and their suppliers as these vehicles gain market share. “
The INFICON eBook is designed for manufacturing engineers and quality control managers, as well as engineering students. It is free to download from https://bit.ly/3sdRKxq.
Leak detection training is also available through the INFICON webinar program, which offers free, interactive instruction on basic leak detection methods and provides information on a wide variety of industrial applications.
INFICON is one of the world’s leading developers, producers and suppliers of leak detection instruments and devices in air conditioning, refrigeration and automotive manufacturing. The company has manufacturing plants in Europe, China, and the United States, as well as sales and service offices around the world. More information on INFICON automotive technology is available online at www.inficonautomotive.com.
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