Lignin thermal devices for automotive power electronics

Date: 01.03.2023

Topics: Additive Manufacturing, Advanced Packaging, Net Zero

A realistic scene of electric cars charging at a station. One vehicle is fully visible, while the other has a semi-transparent overlay showing internal components like the battery and electrical wiring. The backdrop features a modern building and a tree casting shadows. - CSA Catapult

Project summary

Project details

Total project cost: £ 400,000

Funder: Driving the Electric Revolution

Start date: 01/03/2023

Partners: Carbon Forest Products Ltd; CSA Catapult

This project brings together Carbon Forest Products and CSA Catapult to demonstrate the world’s first for use in automotive thermal management systems.

The project will prove that 3D printing using the novel material lignin—a low-cost, renewable by-product of the paper manufacturing industry. It can produce products with superior thermal and electrical properties.

The team will use selective laser sintering and 3D printing technology to demonstrate heatsinks specifically designed for the UK’s power electronics, machines and drives (PEMD) industry.

Heatsinks are important devices used in the electronics of vehicles to transfer heat from devices to the outer environment.

The lignin used in this project is derived from sustainable forestry feedstocks and will provide industry with a sustainable alternative to copper and aluminium at a time when mined copper resources are due to capacity, helping to meet Net Zero goals by 2050.

“The use of renewable carbon-based graphite to produce thermal management devices will help the PEMD industry in its objective of reaching Net Zero by 2050 as well as provide the PEMD industry with a sustainable alternative to copper and aluminium at a time when mined copper resources will reach supply capacity within a few years.

“Carbon Forest Products’ ambition is to become a trusted and reliable supplier of renewable and Net Zero additive manufactured carbon-carbon composite solutions into the PEMD market. This project supports this ambition through the credible application identification, product analysis and on ramping into industrial partnerships provided by the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult.”

Patrick Morris, founder and CEO at Carbon Forest Products Ltd

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