Blackstone: 3D printing of battery cells based on science

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Blackstone: 3D printing of battery cells based on science-battery

The Swiss company Blackstone Resources has now placed the production of 3D-printed battery cells on a validated and solid scientific basis. “This is the result of a complex production simulation that was also carried out with the Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH),” explains Serhat Yilmaz, Chief Marketing Officer of Blackstone Resources AG. “More than 250 process and 90 product parameters were included in the validation procedure in order to verify this unique production technology with our benchmark model.”

Blackstone Resources sees it as proven that printing battery cells using Blackstone‘s patented process reduces material costs by a good 20 euros per kWh through better utilization of inactive materials (fewer collector foils and separators). “This result was checked and confirmed by independent experts on behalf of the funding agency Innosuisse,” explains Yilmaz. On this basis, Innosuisse has now approved a further tranche of money for the project, with which Blackstone intends to create further models for printing solid-state batteries. The simulation also showed that production costs can also be reduced, by about 20 percent.

Parallel to this validation process, Blackstone Technology has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) with the Saxon company Symate GmbH, which is to be integrated into the production of printed electrodes and battery cells by December 2021. “This means that the mathematical models developed by the BFH can be fed with data from the KI-Life system for the first time,” explains Yilmaz. “We can thus optimize our production processes cyclically and in real time.From the testing of the raw materials to the choice of recipe, processing and the manufacture of the battery cell, all relevant parameters should be recorded in one system, optimized and analyzed using AI predictions.

The special advantage: According to Blackstone, the use of AI makes interactions visible, which means that the highly complex and data-intensive 3D printing can be safely mastered even in series production. Blackstone relies on the principle of the digital twin.

Digital twin for 3D printed battery electrodes

The new Blackstone production in DObeln, Saxony, is all about digitization and Industry 4.0 standard: “We want to analyze the amount of data generated during the ongoing production process and control the process based on this data,” explains Holger Gritzka, CEO and managing director of Blackstone Technology GmbH in DObeln. “For this we will introduce a newly developed Cyber-Physical Production System (CPPS).The CPPS creates a digital twin for each process of the individual energy cells on the basis and with the help of artificial intelligence. “As soon as sufficient analyzed data is available, the digital twin can be ‘trained’ in order to convey individual normal behavior to it,” explains Gritzka. This normal behavior is then permanently compared with ongoing production. In the case of anomalies, possible causes and connections should then be communicated or identified via a notification system. be corrected automatically.

3D printed lithium-ion batteries

Blackstone developed the patented technology for three-dimensional printing of batteries itself. It should be just as suitable for the production of liquid-electrolyte batteries as for solid-state batteries. With the special Blackstone 3D printing technology and the data-based technologies, production should not only be stable, but also highly flexible. The individual process design is possible regardless of the general conditions and customer-specific geometries. In addition, the energy density of the new batteries will be increased by 20 percent, while the manufacturing costs will fall compared to the lithium-ion battery technologies that are currently in widespread use. At the same time, Blackstone wants to be able to reduce investment costs by up to 70 percent with automated battery production using the 3D printing process.

“By doing without long drying sections and toxic solvents, we can sustainably reduce energy consumption in the manufacture of electrodes,” explains Serhat Yilmaz. The company also wants to have created “a valuable basis” for the future production of new solid-state batteries, which should set “new standards” in terms of energy density, charging speed and safety – while at the same time having moderate costs and environmental influences.

Blackstone Technology is currently building a production line for 3D-printed battery small series in DObeln, Saxony. The short-term production will be pouch cells with Blackstone Thick Layer Technology, which should enable a 20 percent higher energy density in lithium-ion cells. Blackstone continues the development program for solid state batteries and their production process.

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1 thought on “Blackstone: 3D printing of battery cells based on science”

  1. I think it’s an exciting topic, but I’m not technically up to date enough.

    I only know 3D printers for plastic parts.
    A battery printer is then filled with all metals and rare earths so that it can print such a battery? It will certainly not be made of plastic, so how should it be able to store electricity then?. Or does this mean only the cell housing of the battery?

    Please to enlightenment

    it remains exciting

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