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  • Dr. Vladimir Yufit

5 Safety Advantages of 3D Electrodes Technology

It is an extremely dreadful scenario for any battery business — a high-profile battery fire or explosion that puts consumers in real danger. It could take a long time for the business to recover if at all.


Safety is the primary concern in any battery-powered device. But for EVs, it is doubled and tripled especially while driving.


The infamous old problem is how to get the maximum of the battery yet keeping it safe and operational for long. The companies that can solve this problem will be primed to dominate lucrative commercial markets.



The Challenges


Every industry is in a constant race for improved performance. This is especially true for the battery industry. But safety concerns are never far away. When batteries operate at high power, performance stresses could cause accelerated degradation and even a failure.


There have been many high-profile examples of automakers and consumer electronics companies whose batteries have caught fire. These accidents have been deeply damaging to the brand standing and profitability of those companies.


Technical Explanation


The underlying issue is that degradation and failure occur because batteries contain a quite lot of energy in a relatively small volume or weight. A state of art lithium-ion battery may have a specific energy density of up to 270 watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg). Thermal runaway is suspected of having caused battery failure in a series of recent incidents. This process occurs when a thin membrane that separates anode and cathode is damaged, resulting in both electrodes short-circuited. The high energy stored in the battery is released during a very short time period causing the internal temperature to rise and to ignite the volatile mixture of flammable gases and oxygen. This leads to battery fire and even explosion.





Smart 3D battery architecture safety advantages


The solutions that OEMs are using today vary between using relatively safe chemistries (such as LFP), preventing overheating using battery cooling systems, and algorithmically restricting battery operation within the safety limits.

But there is an additional way to improve battery performance and safety and using a new smart battery electrode design.

Addionics has produced revolutionary smart 3D battery electrodes that replace the traditional 2D metal foils and address some of these challenges.

The new design enables many refinements in battery safety such as:


1. Improved heat dissipation: Through the low internal resistance of its porous structure, heat transfer and dissipation take place much more effectively than with a 2D electrode. This keeps homogeneous temperature distribution, which reduces dangerous overheating.


*Graphite and NMC 622 - 1st Addionics pouch cell prototype

2. Better thermal uniformity: The smart 3D structure distributes the heat in all directions, thanks to the 3D network, avoiding hot-spots common in electrodes. These hot-spots can affect battery performance.


3. Better mechanical stability: The network-connected design of the 3D electrode differs from the conventional 2D layer battery design. This unique 3D architecture enables stronger structural stability and resistance to phase separation.


*Graphite and NMC 622 - 1st Addionics pouch cell prototype

4. Reduces dendrites formation: These tiny needle-like structures may develop on battery anodes after many charging cycles. This happens when metallic lithium deposits in irregular patterns. Dendrites are dangerous and can cause a short circuit which can lead to a fire. The unique porous architecture of 3D electrodes can mitigate this adverse phenomenon.


5. Excellent handling of shrinking and expansion: expansion and contraction of battery electrodes during charge and discharge can limit battery life. Addionics’ 3D materials are uniquely designed to tolerate shrinking and expansion, by using the metal structure as a rigid framework that holds the electrode structure together. Using Addionics’ 3D electrodes significant benefits for emerging materials such as for example Silicon (employed in high-energy Lithium-Ion battery anodes). The 3D metal framework can accommodate silicon swelling and shrinkage and improve battery longevity.


Silicon swelling simulation captured by Addionics 3D structure

Conclusion


There are several challenges facing battery cells. Focusing on solving long-standing safety problems while keeping cost-effectiveness, sustainability, and compatibility with existing battery factories, Addionics' new smart 3D electrodes technology is a game-changer component. There has never been a better time to consider this powerful new technology.



Sign up to learn more about Addionics Smart 3D Metal Structures for Next-Generation Batteries.






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