Laser-Based Drying of Battery Electrode Slurries

With the rise of smartphones, laptops, and electrical cars, we have become an increasingly electronic society. This, in turn, has led to an increase in battery usage and this is only likely to increase over the coming years.

With this increased rate of battery usage, batteries must be produced more effectively and efficiently. Below we look at one such way, which is the laser-based drying of battery electrode slurries.

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Laser technology can be used for more efficient production of batteries for the increasing number of electronics

A new process – DRYLAS

Laser-Based Drying of Battery Electrode Slurries, or DRYLAS for short, is a relatively new process which has been brought to the market by the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT and the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS. In their press release from 2015, they announce how they can use laser technology to dramatically increase the cost-effectiveness of battery production.

Laser technology can be used for more efficient production of batteries for the increasing number of electronics

The term slurries refer to the electrode layers of a battery, and conventional approaches have these applied in a wet-chemical process to the conducting metal foils of the battery. The sheets are then repetitively run through a furnace to dry them out and remove the slurry from the solvent.

While this process does work, the two teams from Fraunhofer have developed a new process to replace the furnaces with lasers, which reduces the heat energy used and speeds up the process.

What does this mean for the battery manufacturing industry?

The new process has many benefits for the battery manufacturing industry. No solvents are used meaning the lack of chemicals has many environmental benefits, and as the sheets do not need to be repetitively run through a furnace and can instead be quickly dried using a laser, a great deal of time is saved. Also, as the lasers are extremely precise and focused on one area, the light and heat energy is absorbed directly into the slurry, which leaves little to no heat loss. This both saves on energy wastage and reduces the effect that the heat will have on the surroundings. A scientist from Fraunhofer, Dr. Dominik Hawelka, said thatOur drying process uses about half of the energy that the continuous furnace needs.”

The Benefits of Lasers

The cost-effective, time-saving, environmentally-friendly benefits that lasers will have on the battery manufacturing industry are not restricted to this industry alone, but can be applied to multiple industries and sectors. Interested to hear more about our range of efficient and reliable fiber lasers? Simply get in contact with us here or contact us on +44(0)1489 779 696, or by email at sales@spilasers.com.

 

Image Credit: tookapic

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