Pilot-scale battery manufacturing line facility

 

Located at the NRC's Boucherville location, the battery manufacturing line facility enables the fabrication of real-size prototype battery cells using the same processes as used in the Li-ion battery industry. It can produce either small-size cells for research and development (R&D) purposes or large cells suitable for the assembly of electric vehicle (EV) battery packs. This facility allows the NRC and its clients to develop and de-risk new battery technologies.

Our capabilities

The facility can be used to evaluate and qualify new battery materials and components at any step of the manufacturing process. Our team of battery experts is composed of materials chemists, electrochemists, engineers and technicians who possess extensive knowledge on all aspects of battery science. We have robust experience in electrode fabrication as well as battery assembly and testing from the laboratory scale to industrial prototypes, including:

  • active layers formulation and optimization
  • determination of the critical manufacturing parameters
  • performance optimization
  • identification of the battery failure modes.

The facility has been designed to enable 2 sequential steps of scale-up: from laboratory scale (coin cell type) to small R&D pouch cells (size 5x8x0.3 cm3; capacity 300-500 mAh) and then to EV-size pouch cells (size 17x22x1 cm3; capacity 20-30 Ah). The NRC can therefore test your new battery material with as low as a few hundred grams of material.

Our services

  • Formulation of slurries made with innovative materials: active materials, conducting additives, binders, optimization of slurry composition and mixing strategy
  • Electrode fabrication: active layer coating using the industry standard slot-die technique, optimization of electrode porosity and mechanical properties
  • Assessment of any battery component at the pilot scale: separators, current collectors, electrolytes
  • Testing of innovative battery formation protocols
  • Standard or custom-made battery testing protocols
  • Post-mortem analysis for the determination of failure modes

Equipment:

Electrode fabrication

  • Bühler HiVis 3D2 mixer, combining planetary and high-speed disperser blades
  • Primix Filmix 56-30, capable of batch or continuous mixing
  • IMC R2R coater, coating width up to 20 cm, 2-zones drying oven (1 m each), active web guiding system; slot-die technique; continuous, stripes or patch coating available; metered slurry delivery system from 0.5 L up to 7.5 L
  • IMC R2R calender, 40 T of pneumatic force, 20 cm diameter calendering rolls (width 25 cm), HEPA-filtration enclosure
  • Solith EPM280 press cutter with automated edge-positioning system
  • Memmert vacuum oven for electrode drying

Battery assembly

  • Dry room
  • Solith BFM280 pouch embosser
  • Solith SFE280 automatic Z-folding stack assembly machine
  • Branson MWX100 ultrasonic welder for tab welding, equipped with precision alignment devices
  • Solith MFC280 electrolyte filling and degassing machine
  • RDM Test Equipment HSE-3D pouch side-sealer, equipped with precision alignment devices

Battery formation and testing

  • MTI BST8-3 battery tester, 32 channels up to 3A; Constant temperature monitoring on each cell
  • BioLogic BCS815 battery cycler, 64 channels up to 15A; Constant temperature and pressure monitoring on each cell
  • Memmert ovens; CO gas sensors and automatic safety systems
  • Espec EGNX16-6NWL environmental chambers with fire detection and suppression capabilities; CO gas sensors and automatic safety systems

Ideal facility for SMEs

The NRC's battery manufacturing line is the perfect facility for pilot-scale demonstration and testing of any active material or other battery components such as electrolytes, separators or current collectors. This is ideal for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) wishing to demonstrate their technologies without having to invest in a pilot-scale manufacturing line and develop all the necessary expertise. The facility can also be used as a platform for the development and testing of innovative manufacturing tools such as in-line sensing systems for quality control. Any part of the battery manufacturing line can be used independently so as to provide the maximum flexibility to our customers and partners.

Targeted industries

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), parts and systems suppliers, raw material producers, processing companies, technology developers and integrators, system integrators.