Infrared lasers bring the heat for sustainable battery production
The TruHeat VCSEL systems generate directed and homogeneous infrared radiation. (Photo: TRUMPF)
Trumpf Photonic Components will present a solution for sustainable lithium battery production, which uses infrared lasers to heat treat surfaces and materials with almost no energy loss, at Battery Show Europe in Stuttgart next week.
The TruHeat VCSEL heating systems are designed for battery foil drying and pouch cell sealing – processes which typically emit a lot of CO2.
“Sustainable manufacturing equipment is more important than ever before,” said Ralph Gudde, Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Trumpf Photonic Components. “Our TruHeat VCSEL systems require a smaller footprint while being more efficient compared to many conventional production methods.”
For foil drying, the systems apply infrared radiation in a direct, controlled, and homogenous manner to the lithium battery slurry. This dries the active material on the electrode foils while keeping the solvent content as low as possible. The process requires less energy than standard ovens, reducing the carbon footprint of the overall system, and dries battery foils up to three times fast than conventional production methods, the company says.
“The largest part of the CO2 emission in battery manufacturing is caused by the drying of the coating on the battery foils. Using our TruHeat VCSEL systems, the energy efficiency is increased by a factor of two or more”, explained Gudde.
The TruHeat VCSEL systems can also seal pouches in less than a second using direct heat treatments, with minimal heat loss or energy waste, Trumpf Says. This is because the heat for welding is only applied inside the pouch foil, close to the weld, which reduces heat loss and energy waste.
The process involves separating the heating and pressing processes, which allows the seam to cool before opening the press. This prevents delamination and wrinkles in the pouch cells – common issues in conventional methods – and extends the lifetime of the cells.
Trumpf Photonic Components will showcase its TruHeat VCSEL systems at Battery Show Europe, Booth 10-H20.