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Whitepaper Benefits of aluminium cell housings for cylindrical lithium-ion batteries

Aluminium is a highly versatile material providing a multiplicity of great properties, such as high thermal conductivity, lightweight, high formability, strength and recyclability, that are crucial for manufacturing of modern, high-energy lithium ion battery (LIB) cells. While industry takes advantage of these beneficial properties and uses aluminium as the standard material for prismatic and pouch LIB cell housings, the majority of cylindrical cell concepts is still based on nickel-plated steel (NPS). However, with increasing cell sizes, efficient thermal management of the battery cells becomes more important and aluminium cell housings can provide a technical superior solution for cylindrical cells compared to NPS.

This joint study between Speira GmbH and the chair of Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components (PEM) Aachen provides a 4680 cell concept featuring an aluminum cell housing based on a novel material solution for battery cell housings named Speira Ion cell. The cell concept was challenged in different 3C fast-charging scenarios using thermal simulation. The simulations reveal significantly improved cooling performance compared to a reference LIB cell with commonly used NPS cell housing.

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