Especially in today's era of electric mobility, the reliability and performance of batteries are critical. Batteries represent the heart of any electric vehicle and affect not only the range but also the safety and durability of the vehicle. Since batteries are complex in design and operate under extreme conditions, thorough material testing is essential to detect potential defects, irregularities, or safety risks at an early stage.
Various battery technologies exist, including lithium-ion, lead-acid, nickel-metal hydride, nickel-cadmium, lithium-polymer, sodium-ion, solid-state and redox-flow batteries. Each technology has its own advantages and disadvantages and is used depending on the application and requirements. Battery research and development continues to advance, which may lead to new technologies and improvements.
Batteries are used in a wide variety of end products, including electronic devices such as smartphones and laptops, electric vehicles, energy storage systems, UPSs, tools, medical devices, emergency lighting, portable electronics, aerospace applications, and military equipment and defense systems. Battery applications are diverse, ranging from small portable devices to large energy storage solutions and vehicles.
The testing technology requirements are as diverse as the technologies and end-use applications.
Battery materials testing is a complex process that presents some unique challenges due to the nature of battery technology. Here are some of the main issues:
Overall, battery materials testing requires a deep understanding of battery technology, close adherence to safety protocols, and the application of appropriate test methods to ensure battery quality, performance, and safety. It is recommended to work with an experienced partner in this area.
X-ray images or CT scans can show whether the materials in the battery are evenly distributed. Irregular distributions can indicate manufacturing defects that can affect battery performance.
X-rays can detect air bubbles or air pockets within the battery. These defects reduce the contact area between the electrodes and electrolyte and affect battery efficiency.
High-resolution CT scans can show porosity deformation of electrode materials. Porous structures can affect battery performance by impeding electron and ion flow.
X-ray images or CT scans can show the thickness and homogeneity of individual layers in the battery. Deviations from the desired values may indicate production defects.
CT scans can reveal anode overhangs or other misalignments between anodes and cathodes. These can lead to short circuits.
X-ray scans can detect if the separator is properly positioned and has no damage. Incorrectly placed or damaged separator foils can lead to short circuits.
X-rays can show foreign particles or contaminants in the battery that were trapped during the manufacturing process and can affect battery quality.
X-rays or CT scans may reveal internal shorting where the electrodes may accidentally touch and cause undesirable reactions.
X-rays may show surface damage or cracks in the battery that may indicate improper handling or shipping damage.
X-ray inspection and CT scans provide a non-invasive, rapid, and detailed examination of the internal structure and material distribution of batteries. By detecting these defects, manufacturers can identify potential quality issues early and improve battery quality, performance, and safety.
Battery manufacturers' quality control requirements vary widely and can be broadly divided into three categories:
Manufacturers who produce lower volumes or have low-quality requirements for their products only need manual systems for small batches or single inspections. These are often high-resolution laboratory CT systems.
Medium volume manufacturers and the requirement to implement in-batch inspection need more automation of inspection and also often need to regularly check the quality of manufacturing processes using CT. At-line solutions with a medium level of automation are suitable for this purpose.
In the case of extremely high volumes, for example in series production, high-performance inline systems with automatic evaluation are required. Using robot loading or integration directly into the production line, the shortest possible cycle times can be achieved.
Choosing the right system can be complex, and a good decision must weigh many parameters such as size, speed, cost, etc. Contact our product specialists for further advice.
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Improve the quality and safety of your EV batteries with our state-of-the-art X-ray systems and CT systems. Contact us today to learn more about our electric vehicle battery material testing services and solutions. Our team is always available to answer your questions and develop a customized solution for your needs. Together, we are shaping a sustainable and safe future for electric mobility.