Lithium-Ion Battery Production
Doctor blades are a critical component in the production of lithium-ion batteries.
Most commonly, separator film manufacturers use a gravure process to lay down the ceramic coating onto a base film. In this process, the doctor blade is essential in providing a consistent and uniform thickness of coating for optimal separator film performance. This same gravure process is sometimes used in the anode and cathode manufacturing process where an electrode slurry is applied to copper, aluminum, etc.
Specialty coatings are applied to layers of film during the lithium-ion battery production process using application tools (e.g. slot die, doctor blade, anilox roller). Coating anode and cathode materials are critical to Li-Ion batteries energy storage capabilities, and the battery capacity to efficiently discharge energy. Consistent and uniform thickness of the electrode coating is required for optimal lithium-ion battery performance.
Calendar rolls are another place that doctor blades play a key role in the lithium-ion battery production process. Keeping the calendaring rolls clean and free of debris is crucial to the performance of the final product.
Elimination of Steel Contaminants
While all three applications are a little different, all have one thing in common: They require a plastic doctor blade. The use of steel doctor blade is a detriment to the lithium-ion production process and dangerous for the final product. When steel doctor blades are used, metallic micro-particles transfer to the coating or film as the doctor blades wear. Steel particle contamination can result in thermal runaway. This creates problems with lithium-ion battery storage and performance. The use of plastic doctor blades solves this problem because the materials are inert and non-conductive.
Common Doctor Blade Configurations
Although lithium batteries are a new technology, the methods being used for applying coatings during their production process are time tested. Both reverse angle and positive-angle metering blade configurations are used. Some LIB production processes utilize multi-roll and others use slot-die coating processes when target very heavy coating weights.
Advantages of TruPoint Doctor Blades
Flexo Concepts produces a number of doctor blade products ideal for production of high-quality Lithium-ion batteries. Products like TruPoint Polylam, Renew, Orange, and Keon offer different performance characteristics depending on whether the application needs to be optimized for stiffness, wear, creep, or resistance to certain chemicals or temperatures.
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