New tube from NORMA Group ensures more efficient thermal management in electric cars
NORMA Group, a global market leader in engineered joining technology, has developed a new smooth tube made of thermoplastic elastomer. The TP Flex is light, flexible and significantly reduces the pressure drop of the fluid that flows through it. The tube is therefore particularly well suited for use in the cooling systems of all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.
“In the field of electromobility, we are productively combining our many years of experience in joining technology for the automotive industry with our innovation and development expertise,” said Dr. Michael Schneider, CEO. “With the TP Flex, we now offer a new efficient solution for temperature regulation systems of batteries in electric vehicles. In this way, we contribute to maintaining the capacity of the battery and influencing its service life in the best possible way.”
Long and complex line systems are used for thermal management in electric vehicles. It is a particular challenge to keep the pressure in the cooling circuit evenly high due to the many turns in narrow spaces. Traditionally, a loss in pressure would be compensated for by using larger pumps or by increasing the tube diameter, with both options increasing the weight and the cost of the thermal management system. Instead, the TP Flex can significantly minimize the pressure loss solely by its design and material characteristics. Compared to corrugated plastic pipes, TP Flex reduces pressure loss in tube bends by up to half. This is particularly relevant for cooling systems in electric vehicles because optimal temperature control has a considerable influence on the range of a battery.
The TP Flex saves around 75 percent weight compared to rubber hoses. This equates to weight savings of up to five kilograms per vehicle. The total weight of a vehicle influences the amount of energy needed to move it. A lighter electric vehicle requires a less powerful drive or offers a higher range with the same drive. The thermoplastic elastomer also allows for a more compact design with a smaller outer diameter than rubber hoses. This is advantageous for the limited installation space in battery-powered vehicles and vehicles with two drives.
NORMA Group manufactures the TP Flex at sites in Europe, Asia and North America. The tube can be equipped with standard quick connectors as well as with the eM Compact which was specially developed for use in emobility applications.