INFICON is proposing technology that will enable automakers and battery vendors to reliably inspect crucial EV battery cells for harmful leakage for the first time. Every year, billions of the lithium-ion battery cells are manufactured, and it’s estimated that 5% of them have minor leakage that could shorten battery life or even cause vehicle fires.
The Advanced Automotive Battery Conference, held December 7 to 9 at San Diego Convention Center, will feature INFICON’s leak-detection technology (Booth #409). As per Dr. Daniel Wetzig, the firm’s research and development director, the firm’s new ELT3000 systems may accurately evaluate all varieties of the lithium-ion battery cells for the very first time — the single most essential leak-detection breakthrough in the past decade.
“Even the tiniest battery-cell leakage must be detected quickly in order to achieve extended service life as well as meet relevant safety criteria,” Wetzig stated. “Today, standard approaches can only detect a small percentage of fresh battery-cell leaks.”
Today’s pressure-decay systems are just too slow or unreliable, allowing major leaks to go undetected “INFICON’s executive made a point. INFICON’s latest quality-control systems were developed at the firm’s research centers in Cologne, Germany, and include industry-first mass-spectrometer advanced technologies that can identify risky leaks 1,000 times tinier than other test methods, paving the way for the sector’s first quality standards for the EV battery cells.
INFICON is already working with numerous companies to create robotic as well as other high-speed assembly-line solutions for its latest ELT3000 technology, according to Thomas Parker, who works as automotive sales manager at INFICION’s North American. Last year, an SAE International paper dubbed “Methods for the Leak Testing Lithium-Ion Batteries to Assure Quality with Proposed Rejection Limit Standards” addressed the concept for the first time publicly.
Wetzig and Marc Blaufuss, an INFICON applications engineer, co-authored a second SAE paper this year dubbed “New Leak Detection Methodology to Protect Against Microscopic Leaks and Water Ingress in Battery Cells, Battery Packs, and ADAS Sensors.”
Wetzig and Blaufuss discovered that gas-based assessment methods may accurately find potential water as well as other liquid leak routes in a variety of battery-housing materials and that comparable tests can also be used to leak test sensors used in autonomous driving systems. According to Parker, “research provides scientific support that gas-centered leak detection is required to fulfill IP67 standards.” “Employing equipment having high sensitivity rates is going to ensure that batteries function as intended, increasing consumer confidence in electric vehicles and driving growth in the coming years. “Our new ELT3000 systems totally automate every stage in the leak-detection procedure, from calibration and estimating signal rates to establishing real leak rates,” Parker noted. “The user only needs to press the start button and wait for the answer to appear on the screen. For learning how to utilize the system on a regular basis, ten minutes of the operator training will be enough.”