Since 2020, Sonplas has focused on battery production, and specifically on improving quality in battery cell manufacturing. Since the automotive standards are significantly higher than those in the consumer market, the objective is to produce superior cutting edges when manufacturing electrodes for battery cells to achieve outstanding quality “made in Germany”. The performance and life of these cells depend on the current quality levels being increased.
Sonplas’ in-house research and development department is actively researching ways to improve cut performance. They achieved a very high-quality laser cutting of the electrode foils that have to be separated.
- The HAZ (heat affected zone) – the area within which the material is affected by the power of the laser, has been reduced
- No burnback of the coating or burr formation during cutting
- The number and size of particles have been reduced
The microscopic image of the laser cutting edge shows a graphite anode, coated on both sides, with a thickness of 260 μm:
A laser cutting edge on a cathode with a thickness of 230 μm and a lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide coating:
The difference in quality is unmistakable when the right process parameters are selected. There are no welding beads and the heat affected zone is reduced.
Therefor Sonplas works closely with the laser specialist Raylase. This union of expertise in special machine construction from Sonplas with innovative laser technic from Raylase has the potential to improve the quality of foil cutting and thus of battery production many times over.
The next goal Sonplas has set itself is to use a variation of the laser configuration to increase throughput while maintaining the high cutting-edge quality of the battery foils.
Sonplas is currently building a demonstrator for customers to allow them to view and experience this leap forward first-hand.