New process replaces costly battery cell film wrapping

Hayley Everett

Plasma technology specialist Plasmatreat and coatings firm Venjakob Maschinenbau have joined forces to develop a new process for more efficient and reliable battery production.

Traditionally, battery cells – especially prismatic cells – are wrapped with a film in a process that is costly, time-consuming and can lead to errors. Now, the companies have come up with an innovative alternative for battery manufacturers, where plasma-cleaned battery cells are coated with a special lacquer instead of foil to ensure reliable electrical insulation. 

Ultra-fine cleaning

The process uses Plasmatreat’s Openair-Plasma technology to ultra-fine clean the bare battery cell to enable reliable, long-term stable lacquer application. The Openair-Plasma is precisely applied to the metal surface of the battery cells in a plasma treatment unit (PTU)  at atmospheric pressure using simple compressed air and electricity through specially designed nozzles. Compared to conventional cleaning methods, the process is reportedly more environmentally friendly, selective and inline capable.

The process ensures the surfaces of the battery cells are reliably cleaned of wafer-thin layers of dust and residual traces from the production process, such as oil and grease. This allows the protective coating to be applied without gaps in order to achieve long-term adhesion.

Contact-free coating

For its part in the process, Venjakob has developed a fully automated system that delivers a continuous contact-free coating process. Battery cells in various formats are coated with a 100% UV coating after the ultra-fine cleaning. A specially designed tool carrier ensures that sensitive areas and the electrical poles of the battery cells are reliably protected from overspray.

Since the process requires no gripping, turning or other handling, the risk of damage to the battery cells is minimised. The contact-free process also allows for higher production speeds. The immediate curing of the UV coating means that the cells can be processed directly in order to speed up the entire battery manufacturing process.

Successful demonstration

According to the partners, various analyses have confirmed the high efficiency of the innovative insulating coating, which achieves adhesion values in excess of 15 MPa in tensile shear tests.

 

Recent Issues