Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Battery production: laser light instead of oven-drying and vacuum technology – Chemie.de (press release)

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In the truest sense of watts it goes to Dresden Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS and the Aachen-based Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT: The focus of the “DRYLAS joint project – Energy-efficient, laser-based drying of electrode coatings for lithium-ion batteries” is the energy-efficient drying of electrode layers, so-called slurries which are applied wet-chemically during battery production to the current-conducting metal foils. Previously come furnaces used which remove the solvent contained in the slurry during drying. Dr. Dominik Hawelka, scientists at the Fraunhofer ILT, brings the motivation for the research project to the point: “The energy input into the layers designed in these furnaces as compared to the energy input by laser radiation is not particularly energy efficient. Therefore, we rely here on the lighting tool. “

Energy consumption halved

The two institutions have as an alternative developed an in-line process, which in itself already in the first test with their fiber laser drying module a so-called roll-to-roll system at Fraunhofer IKTS has been proven in Dresden. “We can bring the laser beam directly into the slurry and dry them so much more efficient,” says the physicist. “Our drying process comes about with half of the otherwise necessary when continuous furnace energy from.” The two institutions demonstrated also that it is possible to build battery cells to the electrodes fiber laser dried, the work just as flawlessly as conventionally treated in a continuous furnace components.

Continuous production with the roll-to-roll process chain

The Fraunhofer ILT uses its expertise in laser technology but also close to the realization of photonic process and plant engineering in the BMBF-funded project ProSoLitBat that Schmid Energy Systems GmbH from Dunningen coordinated. It focuses on the industrial, continuous production of lithium-solid-state batteries in thin film technology. The aim of the current project by 2017 is a so-called roll-to-roll process chain as an alternative to the vacuum method previously used. The batch-type vacuum process is extremely complex and costly. “On the contrary, can be produced by a continuous manufacturing significantly higher volumes at lower costs, so that the solid-state lithium batteries are found significantly wider applications,” explains Dipl.-Ing. Christian Hörde man Scientists at participating Fraunhofer ILT. “We have built a first working under an inert gas atmosphere test facility, with which we can now assemble batteries with integrated ultra-short-pulse laser.”

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