INFICON, a global manufacturer of leak testing devices and instruments, has introduced its new electrolyte leak detector, the ELT3000 PLUS. Built on the technology of the ELT3000, the ELT3000 PLUS incorporates innovations that make it especially well-suited for in-line leak testing of lithium-ion battery cells with high throughput and heightened quality assurance metrics.
The new ELT3000 PLUS is specifically designed for leak testing ready-filled lithium-ion and sodium-ion battery cells by direct detection of electrolyte solvent leaking into a vacuum chamber.
INFICON’s leak-testing method identifies leaks with all cell formats, from cells with rigid cases, including prismatic, round or button cells, or soft pouch cells. Testing systems can be designed to operate at the battery cell manufacturer’s line speed to keep pace with cell production.
In addition to manual operating mode, INFICON’s ELT3000 PLUS is equipped with an automatic in-line leak detection mode, which is optimized for short cycle times and high throughput in series production. Powerful vacuum pumps in combination with multiple chambers served by just one ELT3000 PLUS and a batch testing approach add to a time-savings and high-speed, in-line testing process.
INFICON was first to offer a leak detection product that directly detects leaking electrolyte solvent. The ELT3000 PLUS is capable of testing leaks that are a few micrometers in diameter with a leak test rate of 5×10-7 mbar·l/s (helium equivalent leak rate). (Its predecessor, the ELT3000, had a smallest detectable leak rate of 1×10-6mbar·l/s (Helium equivalent leak rate).)
Leak testing is necessary for battery cell safety and to protect cell energy capacity, durability and longevity. If water, or even humidity, mixes with an electrolyte, no matter how small the amount, it creates an increased risk of battery failure, fire and costly recalls.
The ELT3000 PLUS can be fully integrated into a series production line. With several test chambers connected to just one ELT3000 PLUS, it enables simultaneous testing of multiple cells, saving time by increasing throughput and significantly accelerating cycle time. The customized test chambers for the ELT3000 PLUS are designed for optimal fit to the actual battery cell format to handle any lithium-ion battery cell type, and can fit different sizes, as well as cells with hard or soft outer layers. The ELT3000 PLUS can be set to detect many different electrolytes, eliminating the need to purchase other machines or system updates to accomplish this.
With its automatic calibration feature, the ELT3000 PLUS makes it possible in only 30 seconds to ensure the system is producing highly accurate, reliable and repeatable measurements of electrolyte leakage. All test data can be exported in real time and migrated to each plant’s quality system, which ensures the accuracy of important quality assurance programs and metrics.
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