Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) (Tokyo: 4004) has decided to double Oyama Plant’s capacity to produce aluminum heat radiators for power modules (PMs)*1 to be installed in electrified vehicles (xEVs) including battery electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles, in order to respond to an increase in demand for aluminum heat radiators for PMs. SDK has started installation of the additional production line whose start-up of operation is scheduled to be at the beginning of 2022.
PMs are important parts of xEVs and contribute to the improvement in the performance of xEVs. For example, PMs contribute to extension of cruising range and improvement in fuel economy of cars. PMs are usually installed into limited spaces of xEVs. Therefore, heat radiators for PMs must be small, be designed to allow various installation methods, and have high energy efficiency and large heat dissipation capacity.
Aluminum heat radiators for PMs produced by SDK adopt direct vacuum brazing*2 between insulated substrates and other parts including aluminum fins produced by SDK. Therefore, SDK’s aluminum heat radiators for PMs are small, have large heat dissipation capacity, and allow free design of coolant pipes, thereby having a multiplicity of uses. SDK started to produce aluminum heat radiators for PMs in 2019. SDK’s aluminum heat radiators are put into PMs by a large PM manufacturer in Japan, and those PMs are installed in xEVs assembled by various car manufacturers operating in Japan and other Asian countries.
Backed by the global movement toward realization of carbon neutral society, the automobile industry is accelerating its shift toward xEVs. Therefore, the market for aluminum heat radiators for PMs is expected to expand further. SDK will develop and produce smaller high-performance aluminum heat radiators for PMs on the basis of its long-time fostered aluminum-alloy design technology, aluminum processing technology and power-module evaluation technology, and provide customers with solutions for their problems, thereby expanding its aluminum specialty components business.
*1. Power module (PM) is a part of electronic device. It consists of several power semiconductor chips, and supplies electronic power to an electronic device. PM with good efficiency improves xEVs’ performance.
*2. Vacuum brazing joints parts without melting basic materials. Vacuum brazing is suitable for jointing of precision parts because inside of the furnace is vacuum and fine control of inside temperature is possible.
This news originally published on www.sdk.co.jp