On-line metrology represents an environment friendly and correct technique of making certain high quality, security and consistency – all of that are essential issues within the battery business. These instruments are significantly helpful when it comes to the electrode coatings utilized in lithium-ion batteries.
This interview with [name] from Thermo Fisher Scientific appears at a few of the out there instruments and strategies for the net characterization of electrode coatings, highlighting the benefits and drawbacks of every strategy.
Additionally they present a abstract of the theoretical foundation of metrology measurements, in addition to offering helpful insights into one of the best methods to optimize these instruments to be used with battery supplies.
Might you begin by introducing the idea of the electrode coating line and the standard prices concerned?
An electrode coating line is an costly piece of apparatus, each when it comes to direct manufacturing prices and oblique prices. This device must be used commonly and with a excessive diploma of productiveness with a purpose to guarantee a return on funding.
Manufacturing prices embody the road itself and the uncooked supplies. The substrate and coating supplies will be costly, as are the utilities to run the road and the folks to help, monitor and management this. These direct prices add up when making the fabric itself.
Oblique prices could happen if the road goes down, within the type of a possibility price. The price of high quality must be thought of to make sure that the fabric meets your buyer’s specs and any upkeep that must be executed to deal with put on and tear on the gear.
How is electrode high quality at present measured, and what are the benefits and drawbacks of leveraging a web based metrology strategy as a substitute?
Electrode producers at present test their high quality on the finish of the road, roll or sheet. They do that by chopping a bit and utilizing a hand mic to measure the thickness of the coded part and the uncoded part.
The hand mic could be very user-dependent and position-dependent, which can solely measure the excessive factors. Resulting from this, some involved producers and QA departments are utilizing a waste strip methodology, whereby they punch a coupon out, weigh it, take away the coating after which weigh it once more.
The distinction between the primary and the second weight provides the premise weight, for instance, the loading in grams per sq. meter of the coded materials on prime of the substrate.
That is extra user-independent, and it supplies higher decision and accuracy. This methodology has particular tolerances relative to the dimension you might be chopping out and the size decision.
The drawbacks of each strategies are that they happen after the product has been produced, and every entails a tiny pattern dimension relative to the coded space itself. You might be operating many meters of fabric, however you might be solely checking a small part on the finish.
On-line metrology brings optimized electrode loading to the manufacturing course of and will increase productiveness when it comes to time financial savings.
As you’re making these measurements on-line, if there’s a drawback, you’ll be able to appropriate it in real-time to keep up prime quality and guarantee buyer confidence.
This strategy additionally ensures reliable outcomes, and knowledge is obtainable to help claims across the excessive repeatability of those on-line instruments. You too can do common offline validation of measurement reference samples, that means that if you’re involved a few CPK worth, you’ll be able to go and test that instrument to ensure that the tolerances are as anticipated.
One other benefit of on-line metrology is knowledge analytics.
When measuring, you scan backwards and forwards throughout the strip. Which means that extra knowledge is collected than scanning just some knowledge factors on the finish of the sheet. Scanning covers the whole width and from head to tail, supplying you with an incredible quantity of information for analytics or machine studying that you just may need to implement regarding coating management.
What particular benefits does this strategy and these measurements supply to battery producers?
This diploma of measurement and management permits a quicker response to any modifications within the materials. You’ll be able to implement a management, whether or not that is automated or guide, as a consequence of with the ability to detect defects at the next decision.
You even have entry to measurements of the whole space you might be sampling, permitting you to generate far more related statistics than will be collected from a number of knowledge factors on the finish of the method.
Exact measurements are attainable as a result of the sensors are calibrated to provide the most optimum on-line measurement.
Lastly, you could have an efficient person interface that permits the operator to visualise any modifications. You’ll be able to see if the measurement device shouldn’t be the place it must be and make changes. A versatile PLC hyperlink additionally permits distant knowledge storage or automated management.
What kind of sensor know-how is utilized in metrology for electrode coating traces?
The 2 main metrology applied sciences we use – beta and X-Rays – supply non-contact, non-destructive measurements. Each use a radiation supply and a detector, and as you place materials into the beam, the depth of radiation that the detector sees drops primarily based on how absorbent the fabric is.
These measurements will be plotted on a graph, and if the fabric modifications when it comes to its density or absorption, there shall be an offset in that curve.
This works in line with a fundamental formulation referred to as Beer’s Regulation, which sees the exponent of that attenuation coefficient multiplied by the thickness. These two exponents dictate how the form of this curve will behave as a operate of thickness.
X-Rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation. After we discuss in regards to the electromagnetic spectrum, we begin with very low frequency, lengthy wavelength, low vitality radio waves that may journey many miles.
As we work our means throughout this electromagnetic spectrum, we transfer in direction of larger frequency, larger vitality, a lot shorter wavelengths from microwave, infrared and visual to X-Rays and gamma rays. These wavelengths have a lot larger energies and the power to cross by way of supplies.
Electrode measurement makes use of X-Rays within the vary of round 5 kV to 25 kV, relying on what you measure. If you understand the photon’s wavelength getting used, you’ll be able to convert that to the vitality and electrons within the type of volts.
X-Rays are usually produced through an X-Ray tube, which sees high-speed electrons from a filament directed in direction of a goal. As they strike the goal, they convert their vitality into X-Ray emissions from the goal itself.
You’ll be able to have an effect on the utmost vitality of the photons leaving the X-Ray tube by adjusting its potential.
If you wish to improve or lower the quantity of sign, it’s important to regulate the present by way of the tube and the goal materials. Even at a low electron or a low X-Ray tube present stage, the photon output is round one thousand instances larger than a typical isotope emission.
Beta particles are a lot larger in vitality as a result of they’re bodily particles, not like photons. These hand over much more vitality as they cross by way of any materials, that means that you just want larger beta vitality than you’d with photons as a result of photons are massless and can cross proper by way of the fabric when it comes to scatter or absorption.
Which means that beta particles usually are not giving us the identical sign relative to an X-Ray tube, however they do present a significantly better measurement when it comes to compositional variation.
For instance, when utilizing X-Rays to research an anode with a copper substrate and carbon or graphite coating, you want to take into account the distinction between the atomic numbers of copper (29) and carbon (6).
For typical electrode coating measurements, this could lead to two orders of magnitude when it comes to the attenuation coefficient within the photon vary that you just’re searching for.
Due to this fact, if you see a minimal change in copper, it should seem like a major change in graphite. It is because the absorption ratio has a distinction of round 40. Any variation on this coating is essential as a result of that’s a part of the electrode itself and is accountable for the battery’s vitality density.
How can customers optimize the decision of their on-line metrology measurements?
Making certain excessive decision with a standard spherical beta supply the place radioactive materials is deposited on this small cylinder will be achieved by taking that energetic materials and positioning it in a line. You’ll be able to obtain a a lot larger decision when you could have a line supply.
Some applied sciences and producers will attempt to masks that spherical beam, however that absorbs a few of the energetic materials and reduces the quantity of radiation that your detector sees. This implies you see much more of the energetic materials, and the radio ICEP itself is absorbed by the masks, leading to a decrease signal-to-noise ratio that impacts your measurement.
The road supply lets you have a way more slim beam of round three millimeters of cross line relative to a spherical beam masked down. Most beam sizes are outlined by their full width at half most.
Relying on the cross line and the geometry of the supply, it’s attainable to realize a really slim or very huge radiation measurement. A narrower X-Ray or beta beam supplies a greater decision.
The place the signal-to-noise ratio is approaching one, will probably be more difficult to separate the sign from that noise. There are two methods to try this. The primary is to make use of the next supply or the next energy X-Ray, and the opposite method is to start out slowing issues down, averaging and filtering them.
This supplies larger counting statistics, which lets you differentiate your sign out of your noise.
Each of these approaches are helpful in sure circumstances, however the finish results of slowing your sign down and averaging it’s that you find yourself blurring what’s going on when it comes to any step modifications or localized defects.
A high-speed measurement is critical, making certain larger exercise reasonably than averaging. This permits us to detect defects on the order of 1 millimeter or much less. Any defect on the one-millimeter stage could possibly be essential for a battery.
Utilizing a extremely energetic supply and scanning throughout the coating within the order of three seconds will present a ample quantity of information to make sure a superb indication of what’s occurring. Additionally it is important to make sure that measurement efficiency is constant all through the whole loading vary.
How important is repeatability to metrology for electrode coating traces?
Whatever the decision or pace of measurements, it’s critical to have a extremely repeatable measurement. Repeatable measurements require a extremely energetic supply, and you want to guarantee very exact measurement through a delicate detector.
One other factor to contemplate when scanning backwards and forwards is the sensor lag, which will be minimized through the use of a quicker sensor and never counting on averaging, which might exaggerate shifted or smeared knowledge.
Is there some other recommendation you’d give to corporations seeking to implement on-line metrology of their battery manufacturing operations?
Whether or not you’re looking on the substrate, the coated materials or the press line, it’s important to contemplate the relative strengths of beta ray and the X-Ray instruments and perceive the place every could fall brief in particular functions.
Beta rays are good when it comes to their applicability for a number of completely different supplies. X-Rays have a wonderful sign and determination, however this can be extra delicate to compositional results.
After getting all that knowledge, you could have an excellent device to visualise what’s going on in your course of. You’ll be able to have a look at your product’s uniformity and high quality and get data on the place the loading could be excessive when it comes to its X, Y place, permitting you to regulate your course of and enhance your course of yield.
A better decision line supply can present perception into what’s going on at these strip edges, reminiscent of bunny ears, a sliding edge, a scratch, a wrinkle or a fold.
You will get a greater indication of what’s going on together with your product each step of the way in which, due to a timestamp telling you precisely when the measurement is going down and the power to hint this when it comes to lot quantity.
No matter what sensor know-how is getting used, numerous choices can be found to archive and retailer the info domestically or in a third-party cloud.
New battery functions are rising nearly each day when it comes to supplies and efficiency required to satisfy the wants of the tip product that the battery is powering. It’s essential assure high quality, security and battery efficiency – all of which will be improved through on-line metrology.
Total, high quality can’t be sacrificed for productiveness, however on the identical time, productiveness shouldn’t be sacrificed for high quality. That’s the reason on-line dimensional measurement is essential to battery manufacturing.
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