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Lithium-Ion Batteries

Vacuum plays an essential role in lithium-ion batteries cell production.

Vacuum expertise for every step of Lithium-Ion Battery production

Leybold offers the perfect products for each vacuum step of the Lithium-ion cell production process. With the growing importance and emergence of new solutions for energy storage and mobility, Lithium-ion batteries have become more relevant. Thanks to the increasing demand, research in Lithium-ion batteries has been intense, leading to significant technology improvements regarding the batteries' capacity, power, and lifetime.

Lithium-ion batteries are one important step on our way towards the green use of energy. They are being used as energy storage solutions for renewable energy e.g., produced by wind turbines or solar panels. For our way towards sustainable mobility, Lithium-ion batteries are built-in cars, trucks, buses, or scooters for private or public e-mobility.

Starting with the fabrication of the anode and cathode material, requiring active material, solvents, binders and additives, and the copper and aluminum foils, the production process of a Li-ion battery cell consists of various steps. Each step has its specific requirements and particularities, which define the quality of the final product, the Li-ion battery at the end of the process.

Vacuum plays an essential role in Lithium-ion battery cell production. Looking at the different production steps of a Lithium-ion battery, vacuum is needed:

  • To enable the process
  •  To deliver purity in process
  • To achieve process efficiency
  • To produce a high-quality product

Without a vacuum, some process steps would not even be possible. In other steps, a vacuum is needed to enhance purity, quality and/or safety of the Lithium-ion batteries. Finally, a vacuum leak test can prove the battery quality in the last production step to ensure a high product lifetime.

We offer the perfect products for each vacuum process step. With detailed application and product expertise, we support selecting the right vacuum product or system for your specific process requirements.

Our vacuum expertise - your advantage
For the whole battery production process, we offer the perfect vacuum solution. Depending on the specific and individual process requirements, different pump types and configurations can be chosen.

Oil-sealed vacuum pumps
For battery cell production steps not requiring a completely oil-free system, we offer highly robust and reliable oil-sealed pumps with a perfect cost-performance ratio. Get the most out of your vacuum pump with exceptional robustness and save on costs with our all-time favorites.

Dry compressing vacuum pumps
In battery cell production, purity is essential. Dry-compressing pumps are oil emission-free and avoid the potential risk of oil-migration into the process chamber, ensuring the highest process quality of the vacuum system. Save time and cost with minimized maintenance and optimized service life, plus ensure a high-quality battery cell.

Battery Application

Vacuum solutions in the cell production

In the different steps of the battery production process, vacuum is relevant and essential for a high battery quality. Depending on the vacuum requirements and process challenges, different vacuum pumps are suitable. 

 

Mixing

To prevent gas inlets, reach homogeneity, viscosity and purity of the slurry, the mixing process ideally takes place under vacuum conditions. The mixer is therefore equipped with a vacuum pump. The vacuum degassing leads to a high-quality slurry in terms of homogeneity and purity.

Stacking

The correct positioning of the electrode sheets is ensured by vacuum grippers. In this step, the anode, separator and cathode are stacked into the electrode sheets in a repeated cylce. The exact positioning of the sheets has a high impact on the later product quality. To achieve an exact stacking, vacuum grippers are used. These are mostly connected to a central vacuum system in the facility, leading to process stability and efficiency.

Vacuum Drying

After the electrodes are rolled and slit into smaller electrode bands, these coils need to be dried. For a high-quality battery, it is essential to remove all humidity and solvent residues. The drying process uses heat and vacuum to remove all residues which weaken the battery capabilities. Vacuum plays an essential role during the drying process because it enables a much lower residual humidity of the electrodes.

This step requires a robust and reliable vacuum system. The vacuum pumps need to withstand humidity and solvent traces. Furthermore, purity in process is a must, so dry compressing pumps become relevant to avoid backstreaming of oil particles towards the coils. The vacuum drying can either take place in a batch dryer or an in-line dryer.

Packaging (Pouch)

Before the cell stack can be inserted into the pouch housing, the pouch foil needs to be formed. This forming is typically done via deep-drawing of the pouch foil under vacuum. Vacuum-assisted deep drawing is an efficient solution and leads to stable results.

Electrolyte Filling

Electrolyte filling of the battery cells, both pouch and hard cells, is done under vacuum to ensure an even dispersion of the electrolyte within the cell. Afterwards, the pouch foil is sealed under vacuum. Working pressure during the filling is typically <= 0.01 mbar. The vacuum pump must withstand electrolyte traces which might be dragged into the pump. Purity in process is essential, so dry compressing oil-free pumps are a must. To deal with potentially explosive gas-mixtures, we can offer ATEX rated pumps to ensure process safety at all times.

Degassing

During formation, the pouch cell’s gas bag fills up with gas. In a final step, this gas bag needs to be degassed and removed. For removing the gas bag, a clean and dry environment is essential to avoid backstreaming of contaminants into the pouch cell – the degassing and sealing takes place under vacuum. To maintain a humidity- and oil-free atmosphere dry compressing pumps are needed.

EOL Testing

For quality and safety reasons, the absolute tightness of the final battery is essential. That’s why in the final step, a leak test is performed to ensure a tight battery, leading to a long lifetime and high product quality. For this step, we offer different versions of helium leak detectors for a reliable and non-destructive leak test that can detect even tiny leaks.

Lithium Ion Battery

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Battery Production Flyer

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Vacuum Equipment for Lithium Ion Battery Production Flyer

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