Improved Fluxless Aluminum Brazing Materials and Process Technology for Manufacturing of Advanced Battery Cooling Heat Exchangers

Project Lead:  René-Pierre Allard, NRCan - Ottawa
Lead Proponent:  Dana Canada Corporation
Location:  Oakville, ON
ecoEII Contribution:  $ 1,864,069
Project Total:  $ 2,662,955
Strategic Area:  Transportation

Background:

Improved thermal modulation of lithium-ion batteries is a critical need for battery life and operating reliability. The Proponent has an early market lead position in the supply of first generation battery cooling heat exchanger products for such battery systems. However, the Proponent’s early experience has revealed several critical manufacturing challenges that will need to be overcome including reducing cost, improving braze system performance on very thin gauge materials, and improving processing speeds.

Project Objectives:

The project aims to improve the constituent technologies of the Proponent’s fluxless aluminum brazing process, improve the braze efficacy in thin material systems, increase processing speeds, reduce cost, and reduce the environmental impact of the process. The project will yield more cost competitive processes in the form of new equipment designs, process chemistries and process methods; that can deliver improved reactive fluxless brazing with the necessary high levels of surface cleanliness required for battery cooling applications.

Benefits to Canada:

As the only heat exchanger manufacturer in Canada supplying to the global original equipment manufacturers (OEM) automotive industry and maintains an R&D center in Canada, funding for improvements in the Proponent’s core competency will enhance Canada’s role as a leader in clean technologies in the automotive sector, develop HQPs and create jobs within Canada, and directly contribute to Canada’s economic strength and competitiveness in the global market.

Project Status:

Advanced material characterization tools and methods were developed and implemented for the study of braze kinetics on different material systems.  This study is in progress.