A key process step in electrode manufacturing is drying the active material layer completely before it is compressed in the subsequent calendering process. In addition to the coating process, the drying process can also influence the surface characteristics of electrodes significantly.
In general, convection dryers and infrared dryers combined with hot air units are used in battery manufacturing. The heat output (heater temperature), as well as the temperature and flow velocity of the hot air, need to be adapted to the specific requirements of the combination of active material and substrate. This is essential for a fast drying process that is gentle on materials.
These optimum drying conditions and their impact on cell performance can be evaluated in the laboratory. The drying line in the roll-to-roll pilot line has a range of adjustable parameters. Therefore it is ideal for upscaling the optimum process parameters gained in the lab towards an industrial scale. Furthermore, by flexibly adapting drying conditions to the requirements of specific electrode systems, the energy efficiency of this cost-intensive process step can be optimized.