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 (previously unknown) speed up the industrial use of new or modified materials.

Simulation is used for materials in energy storage systems to alter the performance of promising material combinations without the need for costly, time-consuming laboratory tests. Especially in the field of active materials, this enables essential parameters such as electrical and thermal conductivity to be optimized, or the visco-elastic behavior of active pastes to be investigated 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 the aid of computers (multiscale simulation). We couple conventional FE-based CAE technology (ANSYS Workbench) with an environment for multi-scale composite modeling (DIGIMAT FE) to extract material parameters from innovative nano and micro composites and design materials with specific functionalities (keyword “virtual material design”).

To help us design production processes in an optimum way, we also use computational fluid dynamics (CFD). For example, we simulate the electrode coating process to find the ideal parameters for the viscosity and wetting behavior 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.