South Korea’s PI Advanced Materials Co. has become the industry’s first to apply commercial-ready polyimide (PI) varnish to traction motor cables of an all-electric vehicle, the company said on Thursday.
PI varnish is a chemical compound used as thermal control coatings of electric cables, and PI Advanced Materials is the biggest player in the world PI film market with a market share of over 30 percent.
The company’s PI varnish is now supplied to LS Cable & System Ltd. to coat traction motor cables after the industry’s first commercial development for the new application, and it is used for in Hyundai Motor’s newest purpose-built all-electric car Ioniq 5, said a PI Advanced Materials spokesperson.
The PI vanish has been used to coat traction more cables of hybrid cars before but it is the first time to be applied to pure electric vehicle, the company said.
PI Advanced Materials’ annual supply of PI varnish to LS Cable may reach about 300 tons although it will vary depending on the sales of pure electric cars, according to market analysts.
PI varnish, a raw material for PI film, enables heat-resistant and high-strength coating compared to commonly used rubber insulation. Rubber is a good insulator but weak and bulky for EV motor cables. PI varnish also beats polyamide-imides (PAIs) in service temperature. PI varnish can withstand temperatures up to 400 Celsius degrees to protect the drive motor windings in high voltage charging environments, PI Advanced Materials said.
PI film and PI varnish are key products of the Kosdaq-listed company. A major end-use sector for the company’s PI film is heat dissipation sheets in smartphones.
The company’s PI film for heat dissipation sheets features high thermal conductivity and lightweight properties, and the film can be processed as thin as 10㎛.
The company reported 261.7 billion won ($235.4 million) in sales and 60 billion won in operating profit last year, up 17 percent and 78 percent from the previous year, respectively.
By Shin Soo-hyun and Minu Kim
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