LiC are not yet available to the market at large scale, which Beyonder is planning to accomplish. In order to improve the properties of Beyonder’s LiC cells and upscale the production, it is necessary to perform research and assure the quality of the final cells. The collaboration with Intom and Karsruhe Univesity addresses both these aspects.
Intom is developing a new CT scanner, which is a device to study the internal structure of objects such as LiC cells in a non-destructive manner. For the moment, the way Beyonder studies the internal structure of the LiC cells is to open the cells, whereby they do not function anymore. It is therefore not straightforward to assure the quality of the cells in terms of internal structure, i.e. assure that no significant defects are present in the cells. Additionally, it is not possible to study the internal structure of the same cell twice, for example to study the structure as a function of time or charge/discharge cycle number.
Such studies and quality inspection will be possible with CT scanning, but the large space requirement of conventional CT scanners makes them unfeasible as a standard equipment in the research lab or pilot line. Intom’s new machine, on the other hand, takes up less space and at the same time is able to provide a higher resolution. However, Intom’s scanner and method is currently prepared for laboratory use only, so it needs to be developed further to be suitable for industrial use. Intom therefore requires an industrial collaborator in order to implement, optimize and test their instrumentation in a real life situation, with a particular focus on developing a fast, high-resolution CT scanner for production environment.
In this project, we plan to utilize Intom’s new CT scanner at our prototype line for structural characterization of Beyonder’s LiC cell at two stages for two purposes: cell optimization research and automatic quality inspection of the cells.