A new TWI Members’ Core Research Programme (CRP) aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of joining and recycling options for electric vehicle (EV) battery pack manufacture.
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With the increasing focus on the renewable energy generation, there has been a significant change in the automotive industry with a drive towards electrification and EVs.
Recent government targets propose a ban on the sales of new cars with internal combustion engines by 2025 in the Netherlands, 2030 in Germany, 2040 in France, and 2035 in the UK (2032 in Scotland).
As a result of the current surge in targets for EV manufacturing, significant challenges are being placed on the supply chain in terms of design requirements, joining and manufacturing technologies, recycling, inspection, testing and validation.
A key concern is that poorly formed joints can result in the loss of individual cells with the potential knock-on effect of either module loss, or local thermal events. Therefore, it is very timely to undertake a more specific research activity to benchmark and quantify the different joining technologies and, in the process, develop comparable data sets.
Another significant future industrial need will be the ability to ensure the recyclability/reusability of battery packs so that the separate components and waste streams can be separated.
The overall project concept is two-fold. One priority will be to focus on research related to battery pack joining and joint performance using techniques suitable to connect cells and other features to bus bars. The second focus will be around developing new capability in terms of design, testing, recycling and other knowledge relevant to TWI Members interested in electrification. Additionally, this project aims to identify industrial requirements concerning a need for standards that do not exist yet.
- Benchmark different technologies suitable for cell to bus bar
- Undertake characterisation and mechanical testing of joints manufactured by different techniques – primarily tensile strength and fatigue performance
- Develop a capability for electrical testing of cell packs
- Develop suitable approaches for pack disassembly and recycling/reuse
- Validated manufacturing processes with correlating performance data for cell to bus bar joining
- Mechanical testing protocols for cell to bus bar joining
- Electrical testing protocols for cell to bus bar joining
- Assessment of NDT approaches applied to battery pack manufacturing
- Design guidance for dis-assembly and reuse/second use of battery cells/packs
- Clear understanding of standards activities and legislation related to electrification
Nick Edge, TWI EV Consultant said:
“We are delighted to be carrying out this work on behalf of our many Members in the EV sector to provide important data and ideas in the fundamental research of welding batteries and busbars. Carrying out this research will help keep TWI at the forefront of battery cell joining technologies and then grow the knowledge we already established over the millions of welds carried out for EV customers over the last few years. We are looking forward to sharing the results with our Members and continuing to push the industrialisation of the processes.”
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