Development of World’s First X-ray Inspection Systems Capable of High Speed Detection and Automatic Elemental Analysis of Small Contaminant in Li-Ion Batteries
Presence of metal particle contaminants in fuel cells and lithium ion rechargeable batteries are the major contributor to batteries production yield as well as their lifetime. It also causes the batteries to heat up and in worst scenario causes fire. In light of this, it would be of out most importance for the manufacturer of such batteries to detect and avoid the metal particles contaminant due to the large presence of such batteries in electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, as well as in home use. For this reason battery manufacturers as a safety step perform complex failure analysis to detect such metal particles. The contamination is caused by the materials such as active materials, the separators as well as materials from the coating process. The current failure analysis specifies which manufacturing process the batteries are contaminated from, along with identifying the location of metal particles using X-ray CT system or an optical microscope. Finally, the target particles are analyzed using a Scanning Electron Microscope or a fluorescent X-ray analyzer. However, this system fails to detect particles of less than 50um in diameter, plus it takes a long time for detection analysis.
In addition to this, the current system has a problem with losing location in case other system is used for the elemental analysis. To overcome these issues, Seiko Instrument Nano Technology Incorporated (SIINT) subsidiary of SII, has developed the world’s first X-ray particle inspection system capable of inspecting and detecting metal particles is size of 20um in diameter using metal detection by X-ray Imaging and fluorescent X-ray analysis. The SII Nano Technology has resulted in high speed detection more than 100 times compared to current speed which has reduced the imaging time using newly developed detector, new X-ray tube, and new image processing technology. The detection of particles through imaging will take only 3 to 6 minutes.