Unifrax and Clearlake Announce Battery Advisory Board to Support Breakthrough Silicon Fiber Anode Battery Technology, Thermal Run-Away and Separator Products

Addition of industry thought leaders in the battery technology, engineering and operations space to drive battery portfolio expansion

BUFFALO, N.Y. & SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Unifrax, a leading manufacturer of high-performance specialty materials, today introduced its Battery Advisory Board, which will meet regularly to provide strategic guidance as Unifrax grows its battery portfolio and enters the silicon anode market with its new SiFAB™ Silicon Fiber Anode Battery Technology.

SiFAB, a scalable proprietary silicon anode battery technology demonstrated in wide-reaching applications, including electric vehicles, power tools, smartphones, personal computers, medical devices and aviation, can deliver up to 20% increase in gravimetric energy density in lithium-ion batteries. It has proven through advanced testing high reversible capacity of greater than 1,000 mAh/g. Unifrax recently broke ground on its first production line located in New Carlisle, IN, which is expected to come online in early 2022.

This transformational technology becomes part of a robust battery portfolio that also consists of world class thermal management products and separator media.

The advisory board will bring together four highly experienced professionals and visionaries in the battery technology, engineering and operations space, with experts from the nation’s top universities and esteemed technology companies.

Unifrax’s Battery Advisory Board will include:

  • Dr. Prabhakar Patil, former CEO, LG Chem Power, and Chief Engineer of Hybrid Technologies, Ford Motor Company. Dr. Patil previously served as CEO of LG Chem Power (LGCPI) for 10 years. Prior to joining LGCPI in 2005, Dr. Patil spent 27 years of his professional career at Ford Motor Company in various engineering and management positions. He served as Chief Engineer for Ford’s hybrid technologies during 2003 and was also Chief Engineer for the Ford Escape Hybrid from 1998 to 2003.
  • Rita Lane, former Vice President of Operations, Apple Inc., and Senior Vice President of Integrated Supply Chain, Motorola. Ms. Lane has more than 30 years of experience building and leading global hardware operations and supply chain teams for Fortune 100 companies. From 2008 until her retirement in 2014, she served as Vice President of Operations at Apple, where she oversaw the launch of the iPad and manufacturing of the Mac desktop and accessories product lines. From 2006 to 2008, Lane was Chief Procurement Officer and SVP, Supply Chain, at Motorola. Prior to working at Motorola, Lane held various senior-level operations roles at IBM for more than 10 years.
  • Dr. Arumugam “Ram” Manthiram, Professor, University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Manthiram is Director of the Texas Materials Institute and the Materials Science and Engineering Graduate Program. With more than 35 years of experience, Dr. Manthiram’s research is focused on the development of low-cost, high-performance materials for batteries. He is a globally recognized leader in cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries. He has authored more than 850 journal articles. Dr. Manthiram holds the Cockrell Family Regents Chair in Engineering #5. He delivered the lecture on behalf of Nobel Prize recipient John B. Goodenough in 2019 in Stockholm for his work on lithium-ion batteries.
  • Dr. Jennifer Rupp, Professor of Electrochemical Materials, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and TU Munich (TUM). Dr. Rupp is Associate Professor of Electrochemical Materials in the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT and in the Department of Chemistry at TUM, and technical director of TUM Int. Energy. Dr. Rupp gave keynote lectures at Nature Energy and Sustainability conferences, Gordon Research keynote lectures in ceramics and electrochemistry and at the Royal Chemical Society, and presented on battery, information and energy technology at the World Economic Forum. Dr. Rupp’s team’s current research focuses are on solid-state material design and tuning of structure-property relations for novel energy and information devices and operation schemes. In 2021, Rupp was invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC).

“We’re thrilled to have put together such a talented and influential advisory board,” said John Dandolph, CEO, Unifrax. “Their depth of experience and perspective in lithium-ion battery technology and novel chemistries spans multiple industries, including portable electronics, consumer devices and EVs, which will help us navigate the complex supply chains as we bring hundreds of metric tons of capacity to the market in the near future. I look forward to partnering with this group of industry icons as we transform battery safety, capacity, power, and charge times.”

To learn more about SiFAB or to follow the latest updates on the technology, visit www.sifab.com.

About Unifrax

Unifrax develops and manufactures high-performance specialty materials used in advanced applications, including high-temperature industrial insulation, electric vehicles, energy storage, filtration and fire protection, among many others. Unifrax products are designed with the ultimate goal of saving energy, reducing pollution and improving safety for people, buildings and equipment by delivering on our commitment to our customers of greener, cleaner, safer solutions for their application challenges. Unifrax has over 60 global manufacturing facilities and employs 5,600+ employees globally. More information is available at www.unifrax.com. For updates, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

About Clearlake

Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. is a leading investment firm founded in 2006 operating integrated businesses across private equity, credit, and other related strategies. With a sector-focused approach, the firm seeks to partner with world-class management teams by providing patient, long-term capital to dynamic businesses that can benefit from Clearlake’s operational improvement approach, O.P.S.® The firm’s core target sectors are technology, industrials, and consumer. Clearlake currently has approximately $50 billion of assets under management and its senior investment principals have led or co-led over 300 investments. The firm has offices in Santa Monica and Dallas. More information is available at www.clearlake.com and on Twitter @ClearlakeCap.


For Unifrax:

Deborah L. Myers

Director, Global Marketing Communication


For Clearlake:

Jennifer Hurson

Lambert & Co.