Vacuum Infused Composite Battery Tray

Proterra Performance Composites manufactured the composite battery enclosure for an all-electric bus.

Performance Composites was hired by an electric bus manufacturer and a 1st tier Automotive OEM engineering design firm to develop and manufacture a composite battery enclosure (approx.. 40” x 60” x 8”). The design had multiple criteria: must support 900 lbs of batteries and electronics, sustain 20G shock load, be water tight, surpass salt spray corrosion test, prevent road hazard from penetrating into the batteries, be Class 1 fire retardant and be very light weight (<80 lbs) - all while meeting an aggressive cost target.

Composite material was the ideal choice for this application and was the only material that met all of the requirements. Performance Composite engineers worked closely with the customer’s design team to develop the battery enclosure. We spent a lot of time on the structural design so the enclosure could meet the load specification and also secure the batteries and components inside the enclosure. The enclosure was comprised of a hybrid sandwich construction consisting of biaxial fiberglass fabric, balsa core and Kevlar fabric. Proprietary insert design was used at high load points. We use the vacuum infusion process (VIP) for this enclosure - the ideal process for this application. VIP allowed us to achieve very high fiber content (>65% by weight), which resulted in an enclosure with high strength and stiffness at minimum weight. We manufactured matched inner and outer molds that were vacuum sealed. The molds allowed us to create class A surfaces on all sides and control the tolerances of the key interfaces.

After the design was finalized, Performance Composites crafted five prototype enclosures that were subjected to testing and fit up. Based on the testing and the fit up, a few minor design changes made, and we fabricated the production tooling and manufactured the first article enclosures. The first article units went through the PPAP quality process and passed the life cycle testing at Altoona track testing. We are currently in full production of these enclosures.

Why Performance Composites?

  • Quality
  • High Quality Composite Manufacturing ISO 9001: 2015 certified
  • Receive composite parts that will consistently meet your specifications every time. We use high-quality molds, well-designed manufacturing processes, optimal composites materials, effective ISO 9001:2015 quality processes, and well-trained employees to consistently achieve 100% quality ratings from our customers.
  • Rely on us to supply all of your critical fiberglass composites. We are honored to be designated as a strategic supplier by many of our large OEM customers, and we have many customer partners for over 10 years.
  • Cost-Effective
  • Cost Effective Solutions Using Fiberglass and Composite Materials
  • Receive low cost, high performance composites and fiberglass parts that are value engineered and are manufactured using the most cost-effective materials and processes.
  • Reduce your overall part cost and improve product performance when we help you convert your existing designs from sheet metal or plastics to composites.
  • Save time and money by utilizing our efficient workforce and low overhead to perform your custom assembly.
  • Reliable
  • Reliable On-Time Delivery of Your Composite Parts
  • Receive your composite products on time! Our production team is dedicated to on-time delivery, and we consistently achieve 100% on-time delivery ratings from our customers.
  • Receive the fastest response time from the composite industry. Our typical production through-put time is less than 2 weeks.
  • Have your fiberglass composites products delivered on a "Just-in-Time" basis to help you minimize your inventory.
  • Rely on us to work with your Kan Ban system to simplify your order fulfillment and ensure your composite parts are always available.
  • Service
  • Superior Customer Service from our team
  • Receive excellent customer service. Performance Composites is structured as a service company that specializes in composite fabrication. We are committed to serving our customers and developing long-term mutually beneficial partnerships. Many of our customers have been partners with us for over 10 years.
  • Receive support from our experienced team on every step of the process from design, engineering, process development, project management, prototype development, composite product manufacturing, quality control per ISO 9001:2008, custom assembly, packaging and shipping. We will help you optimize performance, quality and cost.
Wind Turbine Blade Repair & Services (sister company)

Company Information

Performance Composites is a full service composites manufacturer providing engineered fiberglass products to original equipment manufacturer (OEM). We offer engineering, analysis, design assistance, process development, tooling fabrication, composite fabrication, assembly, quality control and project management. Our goal is to provide high-quality fiberglass manufacturing, cost-effective solutions, superior service and on-time delivery.

Contact Information

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  +1 (310) 328-6661
  +1 (310) 782-3578
  1418 Alameda St Compton, CA 90221

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