Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has been named a 2022 Automotive News PACE award finalist for its DIAvent Highflow pressure equalization element. Recognized at a black-tie gala on September 19 at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center in Detroit, the honor validates two years of dedicated company research and development to successfully address customers’ needs for a safe, cost-effective solution for thermal runaway in battery-electric vehicles. The Automotive News PACE Awards competition highlights superior innovation, technological advancement, and business performance among automotive suppliers. Judged by an independent panel of technologists, the competition is recognized around the world as the industry benchmark for innovation.
Freudenberg Sealing Technologies’ DIAvent Highflow was one of 31 project finalists named in this year’s highly competitive PACE competition. Advances in electric vehicles, electric vehicle batteries and recharging, and automated driving technologies were heavily represented among the projects submitted. A judging panel interviewed each project team via a virtual plant visit that, in the case of the DIAvent Highflow pressure compensation element, provided judges with technical, manufacturing and business data as well as direct access to key Freudenberg customers who are already using the technology.
“We are honored by this PACE recognition,” said Claus Moehlenkamp, CEO of Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. “This honor belongs to all the Freudenberg employees who have worked tirelessly to transform our company from a supplier of internal combustion engine seals into a successful technology and component supplier for e-mobility and other alternate powertrain applications. This has been a well-planned transition, and this recognition is the result of our employees’ success.”
Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has developed an entire DIAvent family of smart pressure equalization elements which combines pressure equalization and emergency degassing into a single component, making batteries for electric vehicles more reliable. The product solutions range from combined bi-directional pressure equalization and emergency degassing during a worst-case scenario – the thermal runaway of a cell – to the two-way ventilation of oily environments using a DIAvent compensation element uniquely developed for such wet applications.
Developed by Freudenberg engineers to manage the air pressure changes and emergency degassing within the battery housing of a BEV during operation, DIAvent Highflow has no industry equal. It requires 50 to 70 percent less space than competitive pressure regulation and degassing solutions for the same airflow. DIAvent Highflow also offers customers weight saving through its innovative use of a UL94-V0-compliant plastic housing. It is less costly than two separate components, requires less installation effort, addresses supply chain complexity, and supports the industry’s use of higher density batteries to address range, power, and safety requirements in BEVs. DIAvent Highflow will begin serial production by the end of the year with several major automotive manufacturers already committed to its purchase and use.
“Our customers asked us for a solution to enhance the safety of BEVs in the event of a battery fire,” said Matthew Chapman, president, automotive sales, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. ”DIAvent Highflow provides them with a unique industry solution. Our customers have been impressed by this game-changing technology, and we anticipate interest will continue to grow because of our PACE finalist honors.”
The PACE Awards, now in their 28th year, are given to suppliers in recognition of a technological innovation in product or process that has reached the commercial market. 2022 proved a highly competitive year for the award competition, with a record number of high-caliber technology projects under consideration.