Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New technique to improve quality control of lithium-ion batteries

Date:
May 9, 2013
Source:
Purdue University
Summary:
Researchers have created a new tool to detect flaws in lithium-ion batteries as they are being manufactured, a step toward reducing defects and inconsistencies in the thickness of electrodes that affect battery life and reliability.

This thermal image was recorded using a new tool developed at Purdue that detects flaws in lithium-ion batteries as they are being manufactured, a step toward reducing defects and inconsistencies in the thickness of electrodes that affect battery life and reliability.
Credit: Purdue University

Researchers have created a new tool to detect flaws in lithium-ion batteries as they are being manufactured, a step toward reducing defects and inconsistencies in the thickness of electrodes that affect battery life and reliability.

The electrodes, called anodes and cathodes, are the building blocks of powerful battery arrays like those used in electric and hybrid vehicles. They are copper on one side and coated with a black compound to store lithium on the other. Lithium ions travel from the anode to the cathode while the battery is being charged and in the reverse direction when discharging energy.

The material expands as lithium ions travel into it, and this expansion and contraction causes mechanical stresses that can eventually damage a battery and reduce its lifetime, said Douglas Adams, Kenninger Professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Purdue Center for Systems Integrity.

The coating is a complex mixture of carbon, particulates that store lithium, chemical binders and carbon black. The quality of the electrodes depends on this "battery paint" being applied with uniform composition and thickness.

"A key challenge is to be able to rapidly and accurately sense the quality of the battery paint," said James Caruthers, Reilly Professor of Chemical Engineering and co-inventor of the new sensing technology.

The Purdue researchers have developed a system that uses a flashbulb-like heat source and a thermal camera to read how heat travels through the electrodes. The "flash thermography measurement" takes less than a second and reveals differences in thickness and composition.

"This technique represents a practical quality-control method for lithium-ion batteries," Adams said. "The ultimate aim is to improve the reliability of these batteries."

Findings are detailed in a research paper being presented during the 2013 annual meeting of the Society for Experimental Mechanics, which is June 3-5 in Lombard, Ill. The paper was written by doctoral students Nathan Sharp, Peter O'Regan, Anand David and Mark Suchomel, and Adams and Caruthers.

The method uses a flashing xenon bulb to heat the copper side of the electrode, and an infrared camera reads the heat signature on the black side, producing a thermal image.

The researchers found that the viscous compound is sometimes spread unevenly, producing a wavelike pattern of streaks that could impact performance. Findings show the technology also is able to detect subtle differences in the ratio of carbon black to the polymer binder, which could be useful in quality control.

The technique also has revealed various flaws, such as scratches and air bubbles, as well as contaminants and differences in thickness, factors that could affect battery performance and reliability.

"We showed that we can sense these differences in thickness by looking at the differences in temperature," Adams said. "When there is a thickness difference of 4 percent, we saw a 4.8 percent rise in temperature from one part of the electrode to another. For 10 percent, the temperature was 9.2 percent higher, and for 17 percent it was 19.2 percent higher."

The thermal imaging process is ideal for a manufacturing line because it is fast and accurate and can detect flaws prior to the assembly of the anode and cathodes into a working battery.

"For example, if I see a difference in temperature of more than 1 degree, I can flag that electrode right on the manufacturing floor," Adams said. "The real benefit, we think, is not just finding flaws but also being able to fix them on the spot."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Purdue University. The original article was written by Emil Venere. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Purdue University. "New technique to improve quality control of lithium-ion batteries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130509154552.htm>.
Purdue University. (2013, May 9). New technique to improve quality control of lithium-ion batteries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130509154552.htm
Purdue University. "New technique to improve quality control of lithium-ion batteries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130509154552.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Reuters - US Online Video (July 29, 2014) Passengers stuck overnight on a whale watching boat return safely to Boston. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

AP (July 29, 2014) The U.S. nuclear industry started building its first new plants using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and prevent the cost overruns that crippled the sector decades ago. So far, it's not working. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins