Electrode materials and simulation

© Photo Fraunhofer IPA

Fraunhofer IPA has the necessary expertise and equipment to produce, modify and handle energy storages systems with improved properties. We implement established wet-chemical, mechanical and CVD processes, as well as newer plasma-based methods, to produce modified and known electrode materials, as well as innovative structured fillers with higher storage capacities. A key focus of our work is on hybridizing materials. Electrode materials are combined with new fillers to improve material properties, reduce the number of production steps required and speed up the industrial use of new and previously unknown or modified materials.

Simulation is used for materials in energy storage systems to research the performance of promising material combinations without the need for costly, time-consuming laboratory tests. Especially in the field of active materials, this allows to vary and optimize essential parameters such as electrical and thermal conductivity, or to investigate the visco-elastic behaviour of active pastes during the coating process. At Fraunhofer IPA, we perform simulation experiments on active material composites by computer aided engineering (CAE); nano and micro structures are also modeled with computer based modelling (multiscale simulation). We couple conventional FE-based CAE technology (ANSYS Workbench) with an environment for multi-scale composite modelling (DIGIMAT FE) to extract material parameters from innovative nano and micro composites and to design materials with specific functionalities (keyword “virtual material design”).

To design production processes in an optimum way, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can be used. One example is the simulation of the electrode coating process to find the ideal parameters for the viscosity and wetting behaviour of active pastes. In this way, we improve the efficiency of electrode production by maximizing the speed of the coating process without compromising on reliability or reproducibility.