Trumpf shows VCSEL solutions for battery makers
VCSEL-based systems generate direct and homogeneous infrared laser light to heat treat surfaces and materials efficiently
Trumpf Photonic Components is showiing two manufacturing solutions from its TruHeat VCSEL product series for Li-battery manufacturing at the Battery Show Europe in Stuttgart.
The VCSEL-based systems generate direct and homogeneous infrared laser light to heat treat surfaces and materials efficiently and with almost no energy loss.
“Sustainable manufacturing equipment is more important than ever before. Our TruHeat VCSEL systems require a smaller footprint while being more efficient compared to many conventional production methods,” says Ralph Gudde, VP marketing and sales at Trumpf Photonic Components.
Lower CO2 emissions using VCSELs for battery foil drying
One main application field is battery foil drying. The active material on the electrode foils can be dried efficiently and homogenously, while keeping the solvent content as low as possible.
“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”, explains Gudde.
VCSEL-based heating systems apply the infrared radiation in a direct, controlled, and homogenous manner to the slurry. The systems need less energy compared to standard ovens and allow for a significantly reduced footprint of the overall production system. Using the maintenance friendly, highly reliable TruHeat VCSEL systems, the battery foil drying process is also up to three times faster compared to conventional production.
VCSELs seal pouch cells three times faster
The second application field is pouch cell sealing. This process is up to three times faster using VCSEL heating systems, according to Trumpf. The actual sealing time with the direct heat treatments is below one second.
The increase in production speed is also enabled because the heat for welding is only applied inside the pouch foil, close to the weld. There is hardly any heat loss or energy waste, as the TruHeat VCSEL systems come with individual emission zones to create targeted heating profiles. The individual emission zones yield an excellent sealing quality as the power can be adjusted to the dedicated area of the pouch cell.
Furthermore, the heating is decoupled from the pressing process, meaning that the seam can cool down before the press is opened. This in turn prevents uncontrolled delamination during the solidification of the seam, as is observed in conventional processes. As a result, the overall lifetime of the pouch cells is increased as wrinkles are avoided by the highly accurate sealing process with the TruHeat VCSEL. Depending on the cell format, the processing area of the VCSEL heating systems can be adapted flexibly.