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Identifying the cause of rupture of Li-ion batteries during thermal runaway

DOI: 10.1002/advs.201700369 DOI Help

Authors: Donal P. Finegan (University College London) , Eric Darcy (NASA Johnson Space Center) , Matthew Keyser (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) , Bernhard Tjaden (University College London) , Thomas M. M. Heenan (University College London) , Rhodri Jervis (University College London) , Josh J. Bailey (University College London) , Nghia T. Vo (Diamond Light Source) , Oxana V. Magdysyuk (Diamond Light Source) , Michael Drakopoulos (Diamond Light Source) , Marco Di Michiel (ESRF–The European Synchrotron) , Alexander Rack (ESRF–The European Synchrotron) , Gareth Hinds (National Physical Laboratory) , Dan J. L. Brett (University College London) , Paul Shearing (University College London)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Advanced Science , VOL 5

State: Published (Approved)
Published: October 2017
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 13884

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: As the energy density of lithium-ion cells and batteries increases, controlling the outcomes of thermal runaway becomes more challenging. If the high rate of gas generation during thermal runaway is not adequately vented, commercial cell designs can rupture and explode, presenting serious safety concerns. Here, ultra-high-speed synchrotron X-ray imaging is used at >20 000 frames per second to characterize the venting processes of six different 18650 cell designs undergoing thermal runaway. For the first time, the mechanisms that lead to the most catastrophic type of cell failure, rupture, and explosion are identified and elucidated in detail. The practical application of the technique is highlighted by evaluating a novel 18650 cell design with a second vent at the base, which is shown to avoid the critical stages that lead to rupture. The insights yielded in this study shed new light on battery failure and are expected to guide the development of safer commercial cell designs.

Journal Keywords: high-speed imaging; Li-ion batteries; thermal runaway; venting; X-ray CT

Diamond Keywords: Batteries; Lithium-ion; Electric Vehicles

Subject Areas: Energy, Chemistry, Materials

Instruments: I12-JEEP: Joint Engineering, Environmental and Processing

Other Facilities: ID19 at ESRF

Added On: 07/11/2017 09:33


Discipline Tags:

Energy Storage Energy Physical Chemistry Energy Materials Chemistry Materials Science

Technical Tags:

Imaging Tomography