Leybold Supports Manufacturers in Developing Li-Ion Battery Technologies

Leybold has been supporting manufacturers of lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries in their processes and technological challenges and has been heavily involved in the development of electric mobility.

April 15, 2021. By Manu Tayal

Leybold has been supporting manufacturers of lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries in their processes and technological challenges and has been heavily involved in the development of electric mobility.

The vacuum technology has been relevant to the quality and safety of various stages in the production of lithium-ion batteries.

“From the perspective of vacuum technology, we have been closely monitoring this evolution for many years,” said Dr. Sina Forster, Business Development Manager at Leybold GmbH.

She further added “having an opportunity to help shape current developments and research is incredibly exciting.”

In her opinion, one of the main tasks is to determine new vacuum applications and markets from new technologies and developments as early as possible. The strategic role of vacuum technology is therefore to enable and advance these developments.

For example, the design of the vacuum environment is a factor that can have a positive influence on processes. Vacuum is often used during the electrolyte filling stage to ensure that the cell is evenly saturated with the electrolyte and to lend purity to the filling process..

Leybold studied developments in this area and identified opportunities for vacuum application in the manufacturing process of lithium-ion batteries. Because there was initially little information available regarding the manufacturing process of lithium-ion components, the company joined forces with Verband Deutscher Maschinen und Anlagenbau (VDMA) and the Chair of Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components at RWTH Aachen University in order to establish a manufacturing process.

In addition to lithium-ion batteries, the company has also been focusing on developments in fuel cells. Applicable vacuum processes are already emerging, including the coating of the bipolar plates under vacuum. Here, it’s important to observe the technological developments over the next few years and, if necessary, to provide support through cooperation.

Vacuum technology is used in various process steps in electrode manufacture as well as in research and development. The company said that it is works closely with machine and plant manufacturers who supply battery manufacturers with production plants. Additionally, Leybold cooperates with battery manufacturers as well as with institutions that conduct research to further develop battery technologies.

The majority of production continues to take place in Asia. However, much of the research and development is shifting to Europe, making the EU (and especially Germany) more important as a research and production location.

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