Kyocera Corp will start volume production of a new lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery that does not cause any accident in principle and is expected to drastically increase capacity density in 2020.
The new Li-ion battery can reduce material cost by about 40% and shorten manufacturing process to 1/3, compared with existing Li-ion batteries, according to Kyocera. Also, it has less technical problems than all-solid batteries, which can realize both a high safety and high density and are attracting attention. Therefore, the new battery can start to be mass-produced early.
Materials, manufacturing processes drastically reduced
For the new battery, Kyocera employed a totally new composition of slurry, which constitutes an electrode with a collector (metal foil in general). The existing slurry includes (1) active materials (that absorb and discharge Li ions and contribute to storing power), (2) binder (adhesive) that makes it easier to attach the slurry closely to the metal foil, (3) solvent that makes the application of the slurry easier, etc.
On the other hand, the new battery eliminates the needs for a binder and solvent. The existing manufacturing process requires a drying process after applying the slurry liquefied by using binder or solvent to the metal foil, and the volume of the slurry is reduced, making it impossible to thickly apply the slurry. The new Li-ion battery can eliminate the drying process because it does not use binder and enables to apply the slurry thickly.