Batteries - The New Challenges in Quality Control

March 24, 2021 | Gina Naujokat

Lithium-ion batteries (LIB) have become an indispensable part of modern life. The intensive testing of rechargeable batteries is not only important for ensuring their quality and function but even more for safety aspects.

Lithium-ion batteries (LIB) have become an indispensable part of modern life. They are available for numerous applications such as smartphones, tablets, and notebooks, but their importance is rapidly increasing with regards to e-mobility and in the aerospace sector. The intensive testing of batteries is not only important for ensuring their quality and function but even more for safety aspects.

Declared as dangerous goods under the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR), for example, short circuits and even fires can occur due to faulty assembly or leaking housing.

The most effective inspection method for batteries is the non-destructive X-ray technology. It’s the only method that makes the inner structures visible through the housing, and even batteries already installed in devices can be examined safely and accurately without being removed or opened. By use of three-dimensional computed tomography, the precise and reliable analysis of a test object is possible by magnification, rotation, and slicing the virtual 3D volume at any region of interest.

The sophisticated Cera reconstruction and visualization software no longer relies on processing the entire X-ray image package over 360°, but already calculates the complete 3D volume from 180° without any discernible differences. In this way, it is possible to bring devices close enough to the X-ray tube that all details in the micrometer range are captured at the highest resolution. In this example, we inspected a power bank with a partial scan over 220°. Special filters optimized the image quality by correcting artifacts and beam hardening.

The results of this inspection are really impressive:

Figure 1: Precise manipulation in the YXLON FF35 CT
system with automatic collision protection.

Fig. 2 and 3: The virtual slice of the 3D volume clearly shows that the overlaps of the anodes are sufficient to prevent a short-circuit or a thermal runaway.

Figure 4: Delamination and cracks can result in a reduction of capacity and lifetime or even the breakdown of a battery.

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