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Advancing Battery Possibilities with Measurement Solutions

Advancements in batteries have opened new possibilities for the types of cars we drive, products we use in our homes, and even the way we store energy. Force measurement solutions play a crucial role in supporting advancements and innovation in battery technologies, as noted in Advancing Lithium-Ion Battery Test and Measurement.

The primary areas for battery developement utilizing Interface load cells and instrumentation are design, testing, and manufacturing. From structural integrity and safety tests to material testing and optimization, Interface measurement solutions are used for evolving batteries and their applications across many industries.

Interface is a preferred provider of force measurment solutions to the automotive industry, where they have long utilized our load cells and instrumentation for different battery testing. Learn more about our battery solutions for the auto and vehicle industry here.

As batteries become more powerful, ensuring their structural integrity for safety purposes becomes paramount. Our load cells are used to accurately measure the forces during various mechanical stresses, such as compression and impact testing. These measurement solutions can help to assess their robustness and identify potential weak points of the battery structure. Read: Electric Vehicle Structural Battery Testing

Understanding how battery materials respond to forces is critical in optimizing their performance and durability. Testing new materials is critical in developing new battery capabilities and capacities. With the introduction of new battery types, there is a requirement to thoroughly assess the chemicals and materials used in the battery, it’s encasing and the surrounding environment.

Load cells can be integrated into battery testing setups to monitor the mechanical stress on batteries during charge and discharge cycles. Load cells are utilized in thermal testing chambers to measure the mechanical stress experienced by batteries during thermal cycling. Load cells that are designed for high cycle counts for fatigue and stress testing are ideal for this type of measurement.

Interface products are important in the quality control processes of battery manufacturing. By validating the mechanical properties of batteries at different production stages, manufacturers can maintain consistent quality and comply with industry standards and safety regulations. All types of batteries are regulated in many countries to ensure safety, environmental protection, and consumer rights. The specific regulations may vary; however, most batteries are designed to meet the maximum industry standards.

Advancements in battery testing are essential for a wide range of industries that rely on batteries as a crucial component of their products or operations. Some of the industries that heavily rely on battery testing include automotive, particularly electric vehicles (EVs), renewable energy, consumer electronics, manufacturers, aerospace and aviation, medical devices, military, industrial equipment,, transportation and shipping, and maritime.

How are load cells used in battery testing?

The most common types of battery testing include capacity testing, safety testing, environmental testing, and manufacturing quality control. Load cells are commonly used for battery compression tests, impact testing, and thermal expansion and contraction.

Battery Compression Testing

This is crucial to ensure the battery’s structural integrity and safety under different conditions. During compression testing, the battery is subjected to controlled forces using hydraulic or mechanical presses, and load cells placed between the battery and the press measure the applied force accurately. Engineers can analyze the data to determine how the battery deforms and behaves under pressure, helping them design safer and more robust battery packs.

Interface low profile load cells, like our popular 1200 series or through-hole load cells like our precision load washers are often used for compression tests on batteries. Low profile load cells have a flat, disk-like shape and are suitable for applications where the force needs to be applied in a perpendicular direction to the cell’s surface. Through-hole load cells, on the other hand, have a central hole through which the force is applied, making them suitable for applications where the load needs to pass through the load cell.  Interface offers a wide range of models including high-capacity, compression-only, precision, and mounting options for our load cells.

Battery Impact Testing

Load cells can be integrated into a machine, drop tower or other testing setups, where the battery is dropped from a specific height to create impact. The load cells measure the impact force experienced by the battery during the fall. This data is vital for evaluating the battery’s ability to withstand sudden shocks and impacts, ensuring it meets safety standards for real-world situations.

For impact testing, high-capacity load cells with a rugged and robust design are preferred. Impact events can generate high forces in a short period, so the load cells must be capable of handling such sudden loads without damage. Interface’s S-type load cells or rod-end load cells are commonly used for impact testing applications due to their ability to measure tension and compression forces accurately.

Battery Thermal Expansion and Contraction Testing

Load cells are used in thermal testing chambers to measure the changes in mechanical stress that occur within the battery as the temperature fluctuates. By analyzing how the load on the cells changes with temperature, engineers can assess the battery’s performance and structural stability under different thermal conditions, which is critical for battery design and optimization.

In thermal testing applications, miniature load cells often used. Miniature WMC load cells are compact and can be easily integrated into small spaces within thermal chambers. Strain gages offer excellent sensitivity and are suitable for measuring small changes in mechanical stress that occur during thermal expansion and contraction testing.

Read EV Battery Testing Solutions Utilize Interface Mini Load Cells

Interface Force Load Cell Considerations Used for Battery Testing

  • Capacity: Choose a load cell with a capacity that covers the expected force range during testing. Ensure that the load cell can handle the maximum force that might be applied during compression, impact, or thermal testing.
  • Accuracy: Look for load cells with high accuracy and low hysteresis to ensure precise and repeatable measurements, especially when evaluating the mechanical properties and behavior of EV batteries under various test conditions. Interface is known for accuracy in measurement. All specifications related to the accuracy are available on each product’s datasheet.
  • Model Design: The load cell’s form factor should be robust and durable to withstand the demands of testing. A rugged design, preferrably stainless steel, is essential for impact testing and to ensure the load cell remains stable and reliable throughout the testing process.
  • Compatibility: Ensure that the measurement device is compatible with the testing equipment and data acquisition system being used in the battery testing setup. Interface will work with you in selecting the right sensor, instrumentation, cable and any accessories based on your test plan.
  • Calibration and Temperature Compensation: All Interface load cells have calibration certificates. The temperature compensation features are outlined in the model specifications. Accurate calibration and temperature compensation are vital for obtaining reliable and accurate force measurements, especially during thermal testing.
  • Application-specific features: Depending on the type of battery testing, certain load cell features, such as high-frequency response for impact testing or low profile designs for compression testing in confined spaces, might be beneficial. Discuss with our application engineers if you have questions on selecting the right products.

Overall, advancements in battery testing have far-reaching implications across various industries, enabling the development and deployment of safer, more efficient, and higher-performing battery technologies, which are essential for the ongoing transition to a sustainable and electrified future. To learn more about solutions that Interface has supplied for battery testing, and affiliated components used in the advancements of batteries, contact us. Our solutions team is ready to help.

Additional Resources

Electric Vehicle Battery Load Testing Feature and Application

Feature Article Highlights Interface Solutions for EV Battery Testing

EV Battery Testing Solutions Utilize Interface Mini Load Cells

Advancing Lithium-Ion Battery Test and Measurement

Electric Vehicle Structural Battery Testing App Note

Electric Vehicle Battery Monitoring

Interface Powers Smart Transportation Solutions

 

Electric Vehicle Battery Load Testing Feature and Application

The demand for quality load cell sensors and testing technology solutions in the electric vehicle market is high. This extends into the innovations and testing related to electric vehicle batteries. Design engineers and automotive manufacturers are looking for ways to extend the life of the EV battery, while also seeking ways to maximize overall vehicle performance.

Interface application engineers have been working to provide standard and custom solutions to EV battery manufacturers and testing labs for R&D, prototyping, and performance monitoring. It has sparked recent publications to reach out to Interface to discuss the types of force measurement devices that are being used, along with supportive instrumentation for various tests related to the electric vehicle market.

We’ve captured one of these use cases in the new application note, Electric Vehicle Structural Battery Testing.

The initial requirements for this application were to validate structural battery pack design, both in terms of life expectancy against design targets as well as crash test compliance and survivability.  Interface recommended utilizing 1100 Ultra-Precision LowProfile Load Cells in-line with hydraulic or electromechanical actuators within a structural test stand. The 6-Axis Load Cells were used to capture reactive forces transmitting through pack structure. These multi-axis sensors provide more measurement data and brings greater system level insight and improved product success. Using this configuration, the tests performed using Interface’s force measurement products validated the battery packs strong structural design. Read more here.

Recently we shared our experience in working with companies to provide load cells for testing batteries.  The details of this interview with DesignNews are highlighted in a brief excerpt below. Read the entire article here.

BATTERY LOAD TESTING PRESENTS NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR INTERFACE

By Dan Carney at DesignNews

The Arizona force management specialist is finding new opportunities for its load cells testing batteries.  In addition to measuring the strength of the battery case, it is also important for automakers to measure the pressure of the cells inside the case. In both situations, force management solutions from Interface, Inc. (Scottsdale, Arizona) are beneficial.

“FEA and computerized modeling get the customer most of the way there,” observed Interface vice president of global sales Brian Peters in a phone interview with Design News. “Automotive OEMs are spending more time on various structural development testing,” he said. “They are push-pull, multi-axis similar to what we see with aerospace fuselage testing.”

This is important because, in addition to the torsional loads normally applied to the battery box in the course of normal driving, there is also the need to model for worst-case crash scenarios.

“You have basic (noise, vibration, and harshness) torsional rigidity requirements, but then you have the crash requirements,” Peters noted. “How do you model, test, and have successful test results? When you run the full system into the barrier, sometimes the outcome is hard to model.”

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Feature Article Highlights Interface Solutions for EV Battery Testing

EV Battery Testing Solutions Utilize Interface Mini Load Cells

Electric Vehicle Battery Monitoring

Interface Helps to Power the Electric Vehicle Market Forward

Test and Measurement for Electric Vehicles

Torque Measurement for Electric Vehicles App Note

The Future of Automotive is Electric

Feature Article Highlights Interface Solutions for EV Battery Testing

In the recent article, Force sensors find opportunity in electric vehicles, battery assembly by Dan O’Shea of Fierce Electronics, the feature details increasing use of force measurement technologies in the EV industry.

In this must-read piece, Brian Peters was interviewed to share Interface’s role and growing support for the testing of electric vehicle components including electric vehicle battery testing.

In the article, the author highlights the different use cases for sensor technologies in the EV market. Interface shared our experience in supplying vehicle force measurement solutions for EV batteries chemical mixing, batch weighing scales, battery assembly machines, tension monitoring, material tests, structural tests and more.

Dan writes, “In the automotive sector, one of the most important areas where force sensor technology can play a role is in the manufacturing of electric vehicle batteries, as well as testing and monitoring batteries for quality assurance.”

He continues, “Brian Peters, vice president of global sales at Interface Force Measurement Solutions, told Fierce Electronics that the need for force sensors in EV battery applications has grown rapidly as more new automakers and battery manufacturers have appeared on the scene and consumer interest in EVs has risen.”

An example of one of these applications is detailed in use case of Electric Vehicle Battery Monitoring.

ELECTRIC VEHICLE BATTERY MONITORING

Interface’s customer was designing a system to monitor lithium-batteries used in electric vehicles. Typically, lithium-batteries are measured through ICV to monitor and analyze life and performance. Interface suggested using our LBM Compression Load Button Load Cell in between two garolite end plates, and measuring the force that is created from cell swelling or expansion. Instead of monitoring through voltage (ICV), this method is based on measured force (ICF). Paired with the 9330 Battery Powered High Speed Data Logging Indicator, force results can be displayed, recorded, and logged with supplied software. 

Additional Resources

Interface Automotive Force Measurement Solutions

Automotive + Vehicle Brochure

Advancing Auto Testing with Interface Measurement Solutions

Torque Measurement for Electric Vehicles App Note

Interface Helps to Power the Electric Vehicle Market Forward

The Future of Automotive is Electric

Test and Measurement for Electric Vehicles

 

 

EV Battery Testing Solutions Utilize Interface Mini Load Cells

Automotive components undergo rigorous testing to meet regulatory standards, guarantee performance, and ensure consumer safety. These components continually require investment in innovation to meet the expressed governmental, consumer and commercial use requirements.

One of the vehicle components that is undergoing intense change is the battery. The market is heavily focused on increasing mileage use and life, which includes the shift from single-use lithium batteries to lithium-ion batteries which are rechargeable.

These customer sentiments are noticeable in the growing global electric vehicle (EV) and hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) demands for sustainable and longer-lasting battery solutions. Customer satisfaction and commercial applications are closely intertwined with a vehicle’s ability to travel longer distances without refueling or charging. The demands and changes drive robust test and measurement programs to bring new battery models and designs to market.

In 2021, it is estimated the EV battery market exceeded 38% of total battery sales. As technology continues to improve the lifecycle and reducing battery costs, Precedence Research estimates 32% CAGR through 2030. This translated to $46B in the US alone of market share, while Asia Pacific is leading the production of EVs and overall demand for the EV batteries. Based on global adoption of electric vehicles, supported by government initiatives and an intense focus on reduced carbon emissions, the EV battery market is expected to continue expanding around the world.

The testing of batteries is growing in complexity with the increase in number of cells, modern designs, materials, cycles, installation, vehicle models, certifications and charging equipment to name a few. Battery simulation and real battery integration testing are two examples of commonly used T&M programs used to validate battery adaptability and use requirements. In battery testing, accuracy and quality of the measurement devices are vital. The following are the most common battery types today:

  • Lithium-ion Battery
  • Lead-Acid Battery
  • Sodium-ion Battery
  • Nickel-Metal Hydride Battery
  • Others

Due to the market shift to EVs, the lithium-ion battery is the number one battery type today. The domination of the lithium-ion battery exceeded all other battery types in 2021. Manufacturers of EVs prefer partnering with OEMs of newer model Li-ion batteries because they are lighter in weight and have higher energy density. The following details one of many Interface solutions offered to automotive component and battery manufacturers.

Electric Vehicle Battery Monitoring

The EV battery manufacturer required a system to monitor their lithium-ion batteries. Normally, lithium-ion batteries are measured through voltage and current measurements or (ICV) to analyze and monitor the battery life. In consultation with the design and testing engineers, Interface recommended a solution that required installing the LBM Compression Load Button Load Cell in between two garolite end plates, and measuring the force due to cell swelling or expansion. Instead of monitoring through voltage (ICV), this method is based on measured force (ICF). To monitor the testing, the load cell was paired with the 9330 Battery Powered High Speed Data Logging Indicator. This instrumentation solution provides the ability to display, record and log the force measurement results with supplied software.  To review the results and complete application note, go here.

Interface has long partnered with auto manufacturers and suppliers of various parts and components to provide a large range of automotive industry test and measurement solutions.  This includes sensors and instrumentation solutions for the development, testing and performance monitoring of all types of batteries, with growing interest for lithium-ion battery testing.

Interface will be discussing this and other force measurement solutions at the upcoming Auto Test Expo in Europe. Join us in Stuttgart or contact our application engineers to collaborate on a testing solution that works for your next project.

Additional Automotive Industry Resources

Interface Automotive Force Measurement Solutions

Driving Force in Automotive Applications

Test and Measurement for Electric Vehicles

The Future of Automotive is Electric

AxialTQ Technical White Paper Details Comparative Testing

WTS Brake Pedal Force Testing

Automotive + Vehicle Brochure

Automotive Window Pinch Force Testing App Note

Automotive Head Rest Testing App Note

Advancing Auto Testing with Interface Measurement Solutions

Force Measurement Solutions for Mobility Markets

One of the tenets in addressing urban mobility is innovation.  As populations grow around the world, addressing how people get from here to there is part of a challenge and opportunity.  Investments are growing in this sector, as experts and designers look to how to increase efficiency and performance in vehicle markets.

Interface has long been a supplier of test and measurement solutions to industries that play a critical role in mobility, from vehicle manufacturers to infrastructure planners and builders. In our latest case study, we look at some of the innovative ways our solutions are being used to advance technologies and capabilities in transportation.

If something moves, it likely needs force and torque testing for reliability, safety and performance. With the evolving trends in urban mobility, Interface is working with makers and builders of all types of transportation solutions for unmanned vehicles like drones and autonomous vehicles, as well as alternatively fueled and electric vehicles.

READ OUR NEW CASE STUDY: INTERFACE’S CRUCIAL ROLE IN VEHICLE AND URBAN MOBILITY MARKETS

Interface customers utilize our standard and custom products in the vehicle and mobility markets to:

  1. Test the force and torque of components for validation or for design improvements
  2. Integration of sensor technology into a component or product for functional real-time performance data

These products include Interface load cells, mini load cells and subminiature load button load cells, rotary and reaction torque transducers, instrumentation, and accessories. For the growing trends for digital requirements in testing and OEM solutions, our wireless and Bluetooth solutions are commonly used in these markets.  Interface is also frequently engaged on specific customer requests for engineer-to-order products and customized solutions.

Here are four use case scenarios of Interface solutions used in the vehicle and mobility markets:

Brake Pedal Testing

Interface’s Brake Pedal Load Cell BPL-300-C was installed on a brake pedal and then connected to a BTS-AM-1 Bluetooth Low Energy Strain Bridge Transmitter Module, which collects and transmits data to our BTS Toolkit Mobile App. This solution allowed the customer to record and review data from a mobile device while out on a test track. READ MORE HERE.

Drone Delivery Systems

Interface supplied four WMC Sealed Stainless Miniature Load Cells to measure the payload weight and  for the detection of in-motion shifting and uneven distribution of the package weight. As the load cells detect this data, it provides a signal to the propeller to increase RPMs on the propellers and adjust balance and weight distribution inflight. WATCH HERE.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Battery Testing

Compression testing performed on EV batteries is critical for performance and safety. As an EV battery is charged and stores more electrons, it swells. If the packaging housing the batteries does not compensate for this swelling in the design, failure is likely. Interface can supply a WMC miniature load cell. The load cell will measure compression force as a battery goes through charge cycles on a test stand to determine the force given off as the battery swells. This allows our customers to design the proper packaging for the batteries. Read more about the future of EV markets and testing here.

Engine Performance Testing

Force and torque sensors are used with a dynamometer, which isolates the engine’s power output to help quantify its overall performance.  In this application, a  precision SSMF Fatigue Rated S-Type Load Cell is attached to a torque arm to “feels” the torque from an engine loading system. The fatigue rating on the load cell allows it to accurately measure performance for extended cycles. A signal conditioner is used to connect out from the load cell to a computer to ensure clear transmission of data to accurately measure torque being produced by the engine. Engineers analyze power transfer through the data output to tune the engine performance. Check out this engine dynamometer application note here.

Contact our experts to learn more about these types of testing applications, use cases and products used in urban mobility projects.