Everyone involved in the battery supply chain knows last week was an important one: it was the Battery Show Europe in Stuttgart, Germany. Stuttgart is no random city: it is said to be where the automobile and the motorcycle were invented.
People from all backgrounds met at this event: engineers, innovators, thought leaders, leading suppliers, industry executives and decision makers were all there to shape the future of electric vehicles and batteries.
Laser Cleaning Before Ultrasonic Bonding
Ultrasonic bonding is a technology that is widely by battery manufacturers. Every manufacturer needs it, whether it’s for busbar or wire bonding applications. Many contaminants like electrolyte, dust, oil, and oxide must be removed just before ultrasonic bonding to ensure a good welding performance.
According to laser expert Guillaume Jobin, “many people are not aware that it is good practice to clean surfaces before ultrasonic bonding. There is still a lot of education that needs to be done to promote the benefits of a clean surface.”
After discussing with our experts, many attendees wanted to buy the demo machine we had brought on site. Unfortunately for them, this one was not for sale! Watch the following video to see the solution we have for them:
Widespread Enthusiasm for Laser Welding
Many people who came to the Laserax booth were interested in laser welding. Battery packs often include thousands of welds. Laser welding offers important advantages compared to ultrasonic bonding.
For example, surfaces don’t need to be cleaned prior to laser welding, as the contaminants are vaporized during the process. This helps simplify the manufacturing process by removing a step, whether it’s plasma cleaning or laser cleaning.
Lesser-Known Laser Texturing Applications
One of the most important developments being made in EV battery design is structural batteries, where the battery “functions both as part of the structure and as a power source,” ultimately reducing the weight of the vehicle.
This development means that several structural adhesives are added to the battery. To ensure a good bonding performance for these adhesives, surfaces need to be cleaned and textured. While mechanical and chemical methods have been used to prepare surfaces in other industries, batteries require more precision and careful handling.
This is why laser texturing comes in as a key technology for batteries. Battery manufacturers will need the process in the future for structural batteries.
Battery packs also include cold plates that are critical for thermal management. They too require a good bonding performance and hence benefit from laser texturing. Laser texturing also improves heat transfer from the cells to the cooling components.
Thanks for Meeting Us at the Battery Show Europe!
Left to Right: (1) Catherine Veilleux, Application Specialist, (2) Stéphane Melançon, Electric Vehicle Expert, (3) Alex Fraser, CTO and Vice President, (4) Guillaume Jobin, Application Specialist
Also at the Battery Show: Xavier Godmaire, President