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Advancing Lithium-Ion Battery Test and Measurement

One of the key driving forces behind electric vehicle innovation is advancements in lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery technology. Exploring more efficient and powerful lithium-ion batteries increases electric vehicle adoptions and propels robust Li-ion battery developments into other industries that include industrial automation, robotics, consumer products, machinery and renewable energy.

Today, lithium-ion batteries generally last two to three years. A lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery is an advanced battery technology, also referred to as a secondary cell, that uses lithium ions as the primary component of the electrochemistry design.

To achieve the goal of improved and longer-lasting batteries, a wide variety of testing is needed to confirm performance, capacity, safety and fatigue. Force measurement testing is used in many facets of lithium-ion battery testing. Force testing is done on the battery itself and is used for various stages within the R&D and manufacturing processes.

The lithium-ion battery market is also expanding rapidly. According to Markets and Markets research, this market is projected to reach $135B in 2031, up from an estimated $48.6B in 2023. Interface is poised to support the growth by supplying our industry leading force products to battery and electric vehicle manufacturers around the world.

Li-ion Battery Test & Measurement 

There are several different ways force sensors are being used in the design, manufacturing, and testing of lithium-ion batteries. There is an even wider variety of measurement and high-accuracy sensors being used by engineers in this field. Interface has a product suited for the following test and measurement use cases.

Performance Testing: Load cells are used to measure the mechanical properties and performance of lithium-ion batteries. This is achieved by applying controlled loads to the batteries and monitoring the corresponding responses, such as force, strain, or displacement. Using this data, researchers can evaluate the battery’s structural integrity, durability, and mechanical behavior under different conditions.

Capacity Testing: Load cells can also be employed to assess the capacity and energy density of lithium-ion batteries. By subjecting the batteries to various load profiles and measuring the corresponding electrical outputs, load cells enable the characterization of a battery’s energy storage capabilities and performance over time. This is critically important as electric vehicles manufacturers push to get more range out of their vehicles.

Safety Testing: Lithium-ion batteries are prone to thermal runaway and other safety hazards. By integrating temperature sensors, pressure sensors, and load cells, it becomes possible to monitor and analyze critical parameters during battery operation. Load cells can detect abnormal mechanical forces or stresses that may indicate an impending failure, allowing for preventive measures or shutdown protocols to be implemented.

Environmental Testing: Load cells and other sensor technologies can be utilized to simulate real-world conditions and environmental factors that batteries may encounter during their lifespan. This includes subjecting batteries to vibration testing, temperature cycling, humidity exposure, or even simulating acceleration forces. By monitoring the battery’s response under these conditions, manufacturers and researchers can assess the battery’s performance and reliability in various environments.

Manufacturing Quality Control: Load cells can be used in battery manufacturing processes to ensure consistent quality and performance. By measuring and analyzing the forces and stresses experienced during assembly, welding, or compression processes, load cells can help identify manufacturing defects, inconsistencies, or deviations from design specifications.

Interface has detailed several examples of these types of testing in the following electric vehicle battery application notes:

Electric Vehicle Battery Load Testing Feature and Application

Electric Vehicle Structural Battery Testing

Electric Vehicle Battery Monitoring

Interface Products Used in Li-ion Battery Tests

Several types of load cells can be used in lithium-ion battery tests, depending on the specific requirements and parameters being measured. Here are a few commonly used load cell types in battery testing:

  • Compression Load Cells are often employed to measure the compressive forces applied to lithium-ion batteries during performance or safety testing. Compression load cells are designed to accurately sense and quantify the forces experienced when batteries are subjected to compression, stacking, or other types of mechanical loading.
  • Tension Load Cells are utilized when measuring the tensile forces applied to batteries. They are particularly useful in applications where the batteries are subjected to tension or pulling forces, such as in certain structural integrity tests or when evaluating the behavior of battery modules or packs under different loading conditions. Tension load cells provide high accuracy measurement.
  • Shear Beam Load Cells are suitable for measuring shear forces, which occur when two forces are applied in opposite directions parallel to each other but not in the same line. In lithium-ion battery testing, shear and bending beam load cells can be used to assess the mechanical behavior of battery components, such as adhesive bonds or interfaces, where shear forces may be a critical parameter.
  • Multi-Axis Load Cells are designed to measure forces in multiple directions simultaneously. These multi-axis sensors are beneficial when evaluating complex loading scenarios or when assessing the behavior of batteries under multidirectional forces. They provide a comprehensive understanding of the mechanical response of the battery in different directions.
  • Customized Load Cells are engineered to the unique requirements of various testing options and use cases for lithium-ion battery testing and performance monitoring. These load cells can be tailored to fit the battery’s form factor, provide high accuracy, or measure specific force parameters critical to the testing objectives. Interface can work directly with our customers to understand the use case and design a product suited for your specific needs. Go here to inquire about Interface Custom Solutions.

Interface is also supplying force measurement products used in research and for mining operations that supply the materials used in lithium-ion batteries. To learn more about Interface’s products and offerings used in the advances of Li-ion batteries and electric vehicle design, test and manufacturing, visit our automotive solutions.

Additional Resources

Feature Article Highlights Interface Solutions for EV Battery Testing

EV Battery Testing Solutions Utilize Interface Mini Load Cells

Interface Powers Smart Transportation Solutions

Force Sensors Advance Industrial Automation

Evolving Urban Mobility Sector for Test and Measurement

 

Interface and Testing Lab Applications

Test and measurement impacts nearly every industry.  At Interface, we classify Test and Measurement (T&M) as it’s own solutions market. Though testing is generally a service, the accuracy and quality equipment and tools that are required for performing these T&M services has created an industry in itself.

Throughout the Test and Measurement industry, there are several different classifications and testing lab types. Each of these different testing labs provide unique equipment for different forms of testing depending on the application, system or component. These different types test labs include:

  • Structural testing labs perform tensile, compression, bending, fatigue and hardness testing on materials, components, or assemblies.
  • Environmental testing labs evaluate the impact of environmental factors on products, components, or materials performing temperature, humidity, salt spray, and vibration testing.
  • Electrical testing labs determine the electrical properties of components or products using insulation resistance, electrical continuity, and dielectric strength testing.
  • Chemical testing labs determine the composition and purity of materials using chromatography, spectroscopy, and elemental analysis.
  • Product safety testing labs ensure that products meet safety and regulatory standards with flammability, toxicity, and durability testing.
  • Calibration testing labs ensure that measuring instruments and equipment are accurate and reliable. Common disciplines include force, torque, pressure, temperature and physical calibration. Read more: Interface Calibration 101
  • Non-destructive testing labs evaluate the integrity of materials with ultrasonic testing, magnetic particle inspection, and radiography.

Here at Interface, we are deeply ingrained in supplying nearly every type of testing lab out there with precision T&M devices, from the world’s best force measurement sensors to advanced instrumentation. Interface offers one of the most diverse force, torque, and weight related force sensor product lines in the market. It is why labs prefer Interface. In addition to our expanding line of  data acquisition systems, software and accessories, T&M engineers and lab pros find Interface as a one-stop-shop for simple and complex testing projects.

Testing Lab Applications Using Interface Products

Material Testing Lab – Press Form Monitoring

Customer Challenge: Press forming is a method to deform different materials. A force measurement solution is required to monitor the forces being applied by the press forming machine to ensure quality control and traceability during the production process.

Interface Solution: For large press forming machines, Interface recommended installing the 1000 High Capacity Fatigue-Rated LowProfile™ Load Cell. When the material was placed under the punch plate to form a shape, the force applied was measured and results were sent to the INF-USB3 Universal Serial Bus Single Channel PC Interface Module, where results can be graphed and logged.  Read: Press Forming and Load Monitoring

Medical Testing Lab – Specimen Research Linear Test Stand

Customer Challenge: Medical experts need the best equipment during research of multiple specimens. In this case, a medical researcher needed to monitor the load force of their linear actuator that uses a needle to collect material from the desired specimen.

Interface Solution; Interface’s SuperSC S-Type Miniature Load Cell was easily installed into the linear test stand. A needle with a gripper on the end was installed on the lower end of the SuperSC. As the needle is pushed to collect material of the specimen, the load feedback is captured using the 9330 Battery Powered High Speed Data Logging Indicator.  Read: Specimen Research App Note

Safety Test Facility – Bike Helmet Impact Test

Customer Challenge: A company wanted to test the impact of a bike helmet when dropped from different heights, onto a flat surface such as an anvil. This test is necessary to ensure consumer safety, and that their products are made of the highest quality until sold to the public.

Interface Solution: Interface suggested installing our 1101 Compression Only Ultra Precision LowProfile™ Load Cell at the bottom of an anvil. The bike helmet was then dropped from multiple heights, at multiple angles, onto the anvil. The measurements from impact were then recorded and logged using our INF-USB3 Interface Module.  Read: CPG Bike Helmet Impact Test

Product Test Lab – Touch Screen Force Testing

Customer Challenge: Touchscreen kiosks used in restaurants, retail and entertainment venues all need various tests to be performed to ensure functionality and sensitivity. One of those tests are force tests that touch screens to withstand high use by all types of consumers.

Interface Solution: Interface’s SMTM Micro S-Type Load Cell was installed on the customer’s force testing machine. The touchscreen was laid flat under the machine, and force tests were conducted in different locations of the touchscreen. With supplied BlueDAQ software, results are captured and reviewed using the 9330 Battery Powered High Speed Data Logging Indicator through an SD card.

These are just a few examples of where Interface products are involved in a wide variety of different testing labs and how T&M engineers are utilizing them. To learn more, check out our new Testing Lab Essentials webinar, which can be found here.


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Testing Lab Essentials Webinar Recap

Introducing the Interface Consumer Product Testing Case Study

Interface Solutions for Safety and Regulation Testing and Monitoring

Electric Vehicle Structural Battery Testing

 

Modernizing Infrastructure with Interface Sensor Technologies

Modernizing infrastructure is a major priority for governments and companies around the world, and significant investments are being made to support this effort. Force measurement solutions are a critical component of modern infrastructure, helping to ensure safety, optimize performance, and improve efficiency. Interface load cells, torque transducers, load pins, tension links and other wireless solutions are used in projects all over the world that are modernizing our global infrastructure in a variety of ways.

The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that global infrastructure investment could reach $79 trillion by 2030, with China accounting for the largest share of that investment. These estimates are based on a range of factors, including population growth, urbanization, and the need for infrastructure upgrades and maintenance.

There is also a heavy emphasis in utilizing sensor technologies for “smart” infrastructure. This includes building smart cities, smart buildings, smart grids, smart highways and intelligent transportation systems.  Read more about how infrastructure related companies, suppliers and civil engineers use our sensors in Infrastructure Projects Rely on Interface,

Intelligent Transportation Solutions for In-Motion Train Track Monitoring

Pillow block load cells are valuable in building and enhancing infrastructure. When our PBLC1 is installed on a track, and the train runs across it, the sensor can provide a signal to a station elsewhere in the world. If any force indicators suggest that there could be a problem with the weight the train is holding or the train itself, the sensor can also trigger an automatic shutdown of the train.

Trains are not new; however, how we can use sensor technologies to keep passengers and cargo is growing in demands. These sensors could prevent major damage from train derailments and other train related incidents by detecting errors before the inflict damage. This type of sensor is a great solution for monitoring trains on a track, in-motion.

How are Interface sensor technologies in modernization projects?

Structural testing: Force measurement solutions are used to test the strength and durability of structures such as bridges, buildings, and dams. Sensors can be attached to the structure and used to measure the forces acting on it, such as wind, vibration, or seismic activity. This information can then be used to identify areas that may be weak or prone to failure, allowing for necessary repairs or upgrades. Read more in our Bridge Seismic Force Monitoring Solution App Note.

Monitoring machinery: Force measurement solutions can also be used to monitor the performance of machinery and equipment. Sensors can be installed to measure the forces generated by the machinery, such as torque or pressure, and this data can be used to identify potential problems before they cause equipment failure or downtime. This is exemplified in our Crane Capacity Verification App Note.

Material testing: Force measurement solutions are also used to test the strength and durability of materials such as metals, plastics, and composites used in modernizing infrastructure. Sensors can be used to measure the forces required to break or deform the material, providing valuable data for material selection and design. Read Interface Solutions for Material Testing Engineers.

Geotechnical engineering: Force measurement solutions can be used to monitor the forces acting on soil and rock formations, which is important for the design and construction of structures such as tunnels, mines, and retaining walls. Sensors can be installed to measure factors such as pressure, stress, and strain, which can be used to ensure the safety and stability of these structures.

As sensor technologies continue to advance, we can expect to see even more innovative projects in the future.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface And Infrastructure Markets Form A Perfect Partnership

Uses Cases for Load Pins

Innovative Load Pin Applications

Monitoring The Seismic Force Of A Suspension Bridge

Infrastructure-Brochure-1

Electrical Engineers Choose Interface Sensor Technologies

Interface is a premier provider of force, torque and weighing solutions to electrical engineers around the world who are responsible for creating new products, solving problems, and improving systems.

Electrical engineers vary in specialization and industry experience with responsibilities for designing and testing electrical systems and components such as power generators, electric motors, lighting systems, and production robots. They use their expertise and knowledge of electrical systems and components to design, develop, assess, and maintain safe and reliable electrical systems. There are many electrical engineers who work on complex systems and who are responsible for troubleshooting and diagnosing problems that may arise.

The electrical engineers whose primary focus is research and development look to create new electrical technologies and advance existing systems. Projects related to renewable energy, smart grids, wireless communication systems, and electric vehicles utilize all types of measurement solutions throughout all phases of their R&D. Accuracy of testing is essential for electrical engineers, to ensure components comply with safety regulations and industry standards.

How does an electrical engineer use sensor technology for testing?

Sensors are a critical tool for electrical engineers in testing and optimizing the performance of electronic devices, systems, and processes. The type of sensor used, and the specific testing application will depend on the needs of the project or product, including the following examples.

  • Structural testing: Sensors are used to measure the structural integrity of materials and components. Load cells convert force or weight into an electrical signal that can be measured and analyzed. For example, Interface’s standard load cells are frequently used to measure the amount of strain or deformation in a material under load, which can help electrical engineers design stronger and more reliable structures. See how Interface’s products were used in an EV battery structural testing project.
  • Process control: Sensor technologies, including load cells and torque transducers are frequently utilized in manufacturing processes to monitor and control various parameters. Electrical use this data gathered through various instrumentation devices to ensure that the manufacturing process is operating within the desired parameters and to optimize the process for efficiency and quality.
  • Environmental testing: Environmental sensors are commonplace for measuring temperature, humidity, pressure, and other environmental factors. Electrical engineers can use this data to test and optimize the performance of electronic devices and systems under various environmental conditions. Read Hazardous Environment Solutions from Interface to learn more.

Electrical engineers use load cells in a variety of applications, such as measuring the weight of objects, monitoring the force applied to a structure, or controlling the tension in a cable or wire. The choice of load cell will depend on the specific application and the requirements for accuracy, sensitivity, and capacity. Electrical engineers must also consider factors such as environmental conditions, installation requirements, and cost when selecting a load cell.

Electrical engineers work in a wide range of industries and sectors, as their expertise is required in many different areas of technology and engineering. Interface has supplied quality testing devices and components to EEs in every sector, from electronics to construction.

Electrical engineers in the electronics industry use Interface products in designing and developing components such as microchips, sensors, and circuits. Demands for intrinsically safe load cells and instrumentation come from electrical engineers that are responsible for designing, maintaining, and improving power generation and distribution systems, including renewable energy systems such as solar, wind, and hydropower.

More than any time in Interface’s 55-year history, electrical engineers who work on a variety of aerospace and defense projects, are using Interface sensor products for designing and testing avionics systems, communication systems, and navigation systems.

We also continue provide electrical engineers who engage in designing and developing the electrical and electronic systems in vehicles, including everything from powertrains and engine management systems to infotainment systems and driver assistance technologies with new and innovative force measurement solutions.

Manufacturing electrical engineers who engage in designing and optimizing manufacturing processes, as well as designing and evaluating the electronic components and systems used in manufacturing equipment are frequently using Interface sensors. This includes the rising demands for sensors in robotics.

Electrical engineers across many different industries depend on Interface, just as all the companies and organizations around the world depend on their expertise. Interface is a proud partner of engineers across all disciplines.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface Celebrates Engineers

Interface Solutions for Production Line Engineers

Quality Engineers Require Accurate Force Measurement Solutions

Interface Solutions for Material Testing Engineers

Why Civil Engineers Prefer Interface Products

Why Product Design Engineers Choose Interface