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On mechanical characterization and multi-scale modeling of Lithium-ion batteries

Time: Wed 2021-10-27 10.00

Location: Hörsal F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Live streaming via Zoom:, Stockholm (English)

Subject area: Solid Mechanics

Doctoral student: Priyank Gupta , Farkostteknik och Solidmekanik

Supervisor: Peter Gudmundson, Hållfasthetslära, Hållfasthetslära

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Over the last few decades, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have been extensively used in portable instruments due to their high energy density and low self-discharge rate. Recently, lithium-ion batteries have emerged as the most promising candidate for electric vehicles and stationary energy storage. However, the maximum energy that lithium-ion batteries can store decreases as they are used because of various irreversible degradation mechanisms. Lithium-ion batteries are complex systems to understand, and various processes and their interactions are responsible for the degradation over time. The mechanical integrity and stability of the electrode layers inside the battery highly influence the battery performance, which makes it a necessity to characterize the mechanical behavior of electrode active layers for mesoscopic and macroscopic level modeling.

In papers 1 and 2, the macroscopic mechanical behavior of active layers in the electrodes is investigated using U-shape bending tests. The active layers are porous and a different tensile and compressive behavior is captured by performing tests on single side coated dry specimens. The experiments reveal that the active layer is stiffer in compression as compared to tension. The compressive stiffness increases with bending strain whereas the tensile stiffness is almost independent of the bending strain. A very low value of modulus of the active layer (1-5 GPa) is measured in comparison to the metal foils (70-110 GPa) and the active particles (50-200 GPa) which shows that the electrode properties are governed majorly by the binders present in the active layers.  The time-dependent and hysteresis effects are also captured by the method which circumvents the flaws of many other test methods presented in the literature.  

In paper 3, we present a multiscale homogenization method that couples mechanics and electrochemistry at the particle, electrode, and battery scales. The active materials of lithium-ion battery electrodes exhibit volume change during lithium intercalation or deintercalation. A lithium concentration gradient develops inside particles, as well as inside the active layer. The developed stress due to deformations further affects solid diffusion.  We utilized models that have already been developed to couple particle and electrode layer levels. The mechanical coupling between the electrode and the battery level is achieved by homogenization of the layered battery using three-dimensional laminate theory.  By application of the model, we demonstrate that the stresses on all considered scales can be predicted from the homogenized model. It is furthermore demonstrated that the effects of external battery loadings like battery stacks, casings, and external pressure can be captured by the model. The model can also capture the effect of various electrochemical cycling rates and mechanical parameters like layer thicknesses, stiffnesses, and swelling properties. The presented multi-scale model is fast, accurate and the efficiency of the method is demonstrated by comparisons to detailed finite element computations where each layer is individually modeled.