Fraunhofer is researching process technology for solid-state batteries

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Fraunhofer is researching process technology for solid-state batteries-technology

In the center for digitized battery cell production at the Fraunhofer IPA, together with the medium-sized company Dr. Fritsch Sondermaschinen GmbH and Dr. Fritsch GmbH & Co KG developed the process technology for the solid-state batteries of the future. The state of Baden-Wurttemberg is funding the research project with over one million euros. “Solid-state batteries have the potential to replace previous battery technology,” Carsten Glanz is convinced. The group leader for application technology for functional materials at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA, together with a team of scientists and two medium-sized companies from Baden-Wurttemberg, wants to create the conditions for the automated production of high-quality power storage devices.

Solid-state batteries have several advantages compared to today’s lithium-ion batteries: They are safer. Because no liquid electrolyte is required, nothing can leak and ignite. In addition, there is a higher energy density and a longer service life. The technology is still in its infancy. “Solid-state batteries with an electrolyte layer made of ceramic, for example, have so far only been manufactured on a laboratory scale. The scalability – i.e. the transfer of the results to large-scale production – is still completely unclear,” explains Glanz.

In the project ‘Research into new mixing and sintering technologies for graded ceramic solid electrolytes’, EMSig for short, the engineer now wants to work with two industrial partners to develop and optimize a process chain for the large-scale production of batteries with ceramic solid electrolytes: “At the IPA, we have the Center for Digitized battery cell production has a lot of experience with automation in battery production, and our cooperation partners have in-depth know-how when it comes to the manufacture and functionalization, handling and sintering of powders.”

“Dr. As part of the project, Fritsch GmbH & Co KG will provide and modify the ceramic starting powder that is required for the production of ceramic electrolytes,” says Ute Wilkinson, Managing Director at Dr. Fritsch. “Here we have the expertise to create and analyze tailor-made materials.The second partner is the Dr. Fritsch Sondermaschinen GmbH, a leading international manufacturer of machines for mixing, dosing and sinter pressing of powders. The company has a long tradition of innovative handling of powders and sintering technology. In this way, new production methods can be implemented immediately in the required machines. The focus of the production process will be the further development of innovative FAST / SPS sintering systems. dr. With more than 1000 installed sintering systems, Fritsch is the world’s leading manufacturer of such FAST / SPS machines.

Smooth transition instead of rigid borders

The material transitions are a particular challenge in the manufacture of solid-state batteries: Sharp boundaries between the individual layers of the battery can lead to poor ionic conductivity. Different thermal expansions can even lead to fracture along the boundary layers. The solution: fluid borders. “We know from laboratory tests that the voltages can be prevented by gradual transitions between the ceramic solid electrolyte and the electrodes,” reports Glanz. “Until now, however, it was unclear how these stress-reducing transitions can be implemented in terms of process technology.”

The aim of the EMSIG project is to build a demonstrator system, built up and sintered in the solid-thin, homogeneous powder layers of just thin, homogeneous powder layers layer for position, wherein the composition of the powder is changed with each layer: for example at the transition between the electrode and electrolyte will be added successively more ceramic powder – 25, 50, 75 and finally 100 percent. In two years, the entire production process should be mature enough to be used by industry for large-scale battery production. The EMSig project is supported by the state of Baden-Wurttemberg with a good 1.2 million euros.

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1 thought on “Fraunhofer is researching process technology for solid-state batteries”

  1. Fraunhofer conducts excellent basic research. Z. B. the first digital audio compression MPEG 1 Layer 3 was developed there and has developed into a quasi-worldwide standard. Maybe it will be a similar success with the solid state battery. I keep my fingers crossed. We need gigantic storage capacities as swarm storage on site now and in the future. Increasing the storage density and service life would be very important so that battery storage does not create a new environmental and cost problem. Maybe it makes sense that the Fraunhofer takes a look at the NiFe battery and improves it. It is more robust and easier to load during operation. And consists only of nickel and iron, which do not belong to the rare earths and are non-toxic.

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