You increasingly see them on German streets: Electric cars. Supported by the state, they are intended to help bring about the energy turnaround. However, the new technology is not without problems for fire brigades, towing companies and car dealers. But the Bocholt-based textile company IBENA has now found a solution.
The problem: in the event of an accident, the lithium-ion batteries installed in the cars can still pose a danger up to 48 hours later, explains Oliver Tatsch from IBENA. Because that is the time the battery can still ignite itself if it is damaged in an accident. Since the extinguishing water usually does not reach the installed batteries, up to now there were only two solutions for rescue services: Either observe the vehicle for 48 hours, or sink it in a container with extinguishing water and thus cause a total loss.
Ibena has now developed a third option for a customer specialising in safety around lithium batteries. The damaged car is wrapped in a so-called Rescue Bag and stored for the next 48 hours. It takes just three minutes for two men to pack the vehicle into the Rescue Bag, says Tatsch. To do this, the car must first be pushed onto the lower part of the protective cover. The other parts are then fastened with zips and Velcro fasteners.
What at first glance looks like a mobile car garage is actually a modern high-tech solution, explains Tatsch. "The fabric is self-extinguishing," says the sales manager. This means that when a fire breaks out in the vehicle, the heat generated by the fire releases gases in the fabric that extinguish the fire.
The fabric also has a protective layer that protects the vehicle's paintwork and an absorbent filter material that filters and absorbs hazardous substances such as toxic fumes or escaping hydrofluoric acid. And a ceramic layer on the bottom of the Rescue Bag ensures that escaping fuel cannot escape into the environment in a hybrid vehicle.
The experts have even considered a possible explosion of the battery, says Tatsch. "The fabric has an extreme gas permeability." This means that the gases pass through the fabric in an explosion and so don't tear it. In addition, this gas permeability also prevents heat from building up under the rescue bag and causing the battery to ignite.
Ibena's experts worked on the solution for two years until it was ready for the market. Again and again, details were improved, for example openings that allow towing companies to load the vehicle. In the meantime, the Rescue Bag is available for cars and SUVs. Another one for vans is currently being worked on, says Tatsch. And even e-bikes have been considered. Because there is already a solution for bicycle batteries, too.
Contact: Oliver Tatsch Tel: +49-2871-287124 eMail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: BBV article 15.06.2020