Developers from Bosch and scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are using neutrons to analyze the filling of lithium ion batteries for hybrid cars with electrolytes. Their experiments show that electrodes are wetted twice as fast in a vacuum as under normal pressure.
One of the most critical and time-consuming processes in battery production is the filling of lithium cells with electrolyte fluid following the placement the of electrodes in a battery cell. While the actual filling process takes only a few seconds, battery manufacturers often wait several hours to ensure the liquid is fully absorbed into the pores of the electrode stack.
The fact that neutrons are hardly absorbed by the metal battery housing makes them ideal for analyzing batteries. That is why Bosch employees, in collaboration with scientists from the TU Munich and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, investigated the filling process at the neutron imaging and tomography facility ANTARES of the research neutron source FRM II.
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