Integral Technologies Inc. claims it has developed a highly conductive polymer plate that can improve the performance of lead-acid batteries, the dominant electricity storage medium for vehicles and many other applications.
Integral Technologies subsidiary ElectriPlast Corp. has applied for a patent on its new bipolar plate which it says can cut battery weight and size in half. ElectrPlast says the plate makes a battery more efficient because it shortens the path between positive and negative terminals. The plate also resists rough handling and corrosion.
Lead-acid batteries continue to be the “tried-and-true” technology even though researchers are improving lithium-ion and other types of batteries, according to Integral President and Chief Executive Officer Doug Bathauer. The firm cites a study that estimates the global lead-acid battery market was worth about $44.7 billion in 2014.
Integral calls its conductive polymer compound ElectriPlast. The company recently moved production of the compound to Nova Polymers Inc.'s facility in Evansville, Ind.
“ElectriPlast's unique properties allow us to tailor the conductivity and resistance of the bipolar plate substrate and subsequent surface treatment processes to create a low-resistance bipolar plate as the contact to the active paste materials,” explains ElectriPlast Corp. vice president of engineering Slobodan Pavlovic in a May 19 news release.
“Our bipolar plate is created using a molding process enabling the creation of assembly interfaces that are suitable for multiple sealing solutions which vary from (sonic or vibration) welding to integrated seals compatible with battery environments. Mechanically robust, the polymer-based structure of the bipolar plate allows for ease of handling and assembly as well as resistance to stresses in the battery environment,” Pavlovic added.
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