Dissertation defence (Machine Technology): DI Heikki Saariluoma


20.8.2024 at 12.00 - 16.00
DI Heikki Saariluoma defends the dissertation in Machine Technology titled “CONSTRUCTION FEATURES OF A BATTERY CELL CAN PROFITABLY SIMPLIFIED BY ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING ‘A NOVEL CASE STUDY OF LASER POWDER BED FUSION PRODUCED PRISMATIC BATTERY CELL LID’” at the University of Turku on 20 August 2024 at 12.00 (University of Turku, Natura, lecture hall X, Turku).

Opponent: Dr. Edward W. (Ted) Reutzel (Pennsylvania State University, USA)
Custos: Professor Antti Salminen (University of Turku)


Summary of the Doctoral Dissertation:

Increasing volumes of electric vehicles is one way to control global warming and has led to a high demand of Lithium-ion batteries. The dissertation presents the possibilities and advantages of Additive Manufacturing, AM, i.e. 3D printing to produce efficient batteries. Especially cooling and heating the batteries has a great effect to the vehicle batteries performance. The AM method opens completely new possibilities for making liquid channels and other features in the battery structure. This method has previously been thought as a manufacturing method for the small production quantities and prototypes. This research focuses on the utilization of aluminium parts, especially parts made of ALSi10Mg alloy, for batteries mass production.

The dissertation shows that it is possible to design coolant channels, heat transfer-enhancing ribs and the necessary pressure fuse safety function in the basic part of the battery cell and exceptionally integrate them into one single part which can joined to the cell assembly laser welding. The price of the Powder Bed Fusion – Laser Beam / Metal (PBF-LB/M) part is heavily determined of the used machine, powder costs, required post-machining and setup time. According to machine vendors, simulation programs and calculations the method is profitable with an annual production level of one hundred thousand pieces. The research shows that PBF-LB/M significantly enhances the integration of product features, producing added value, and the method is suitable as a profitable production method for parts of Li-ion battery cells.

3D printing is a sustainable method for mass production, parts can be formed from metal powder by laser melting, using only the amount of metal powder which is required for the part volume. By applying the method to the mass-produced battery components of electric vehicles it remarkably reduces production costs, greenhouse gas emissions and global warming in a long term.
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