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Industrial Microscopes Support Lithium-Ion Battery Safety for Electric Vehicles
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Source: Evident
The adoption of electric vehicles, also called EVs or battery-electric vehicles, continues to grow rapidly. While electric cars are popular for their lower emissions, higher fuel savings, and lower maintenance costs, battery safety remains a concern.

Lithium-ion batteries, which are used to power EVs and many portable electronics, can overheat if they are improperly manufactured or damaged. This can cause the battery to catch fire—or even explode. To prevent these risks, various standards and inspection processes for lithium battery safety are in place around the world.

One useful inspection tool used for lithium-battery safety is the industrial microscope. This post discusses how different types of industrial microscopes support the inspection of lithium-ion batteries for EVs.

How Does a Lithium-Ion Battery Work?

Put simply, a lithium-ion battery is a rechargeable battery that generates electricity through the movement of lithium ions. The four main components in a lithium-ion battery are a cathode, anode, electrolyte, and separator.

  • The cathode is a positive electrode (typically a metal oxide) and is the source of lithium ions. It determines the battery’s capacity and voltage.
  • The anode is a negative electrode (typically graphite) that generates electricity by storing and releasing the lithium that came from the cathode.
  • The electrolyte acts as a conductor that facilitates the movement of lithium ions between the anode and cathode.
  • The separator (e.g., diaphragm) is a thin membrane that prevents physical contact between the anode and cathode. This barrier prevents the direct flow of electrons (important to prevent a short circuit) while allowing the passage of lithium ions through tiny holes.

When a lithium battery discharges, lithium ions move from the anode to the cathode. This discharging process provides the electrical energy needed to operate various devices. When plugging in the device, the charge reverses this movement—the lithium ions move from the cathode to the anode.

The entire power battery system depends on battery safety to perform well. A battery cell that short circuits can cause a fire, explosion, or other accidents. Contamination or damage introduced during the manufacturing process can also affect battery safety and performance. For this reason, it is critical to have rigorous inspection processes throughout battery production.

Inspection Processes to Support Lithium-Ion Battery Safety and Performance Inspectors must check various components during the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries to confirm the parts are clean and free of defects.

Read the full blog article at Evident.

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