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Results confirm firm’s 3-D battery printing can cut manufacturing costs

Fri, 10/15/2021 - 11:15 -- paul Crompton

Blackstone Resources’ production of 3D printed battery cells has been verified following a “complex production simulation” conducted with the Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH) in Switzerland.

The results show Blackstone's patented process reduced material costs by €20/kWh through better utilisation of inactive materials (fewer collector foils and separators). 

The simulation has also shown that production costs can be reduced by about 20%.

The result was verified and confirmed by unnamed independent experts on behalf of the funding body Innosuisse, which released another tranche of money for the project following the successful tests.

Blackstone will use the cash to create further models for printing solid-state batteries. 

The validation process involved more than 250 process parameters and 90 product parameters to verify the production technique with the firm’s benchmark model.

The company is developing proprietary 3D-printing techniques for the production of lithium-ion batteries that use printed battery electrodes and solid-state battery technology.

In parallel with this validation process, Blackstone Technology has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system with the Saxon company Symate, which will be integrated into the production of printed electrodes and battery cells by December 2021. 

Serhat Yilmaz, chief marketing officer of Blackstone Resources, said: "This will allow the mathematical models developed by BFH to be fed with data from the AI Life system for the first time.

"We can thus optimise our production processes cyclically and in real time." 

New laboratory

Last month, Blackstone Resources confirmed it was set to commission a state-of-the-art development laboratory for battery cell research at its new production site in Döbeln, Germany.

Through its wholly owned subsidiary Blackstone Technology, the company aims to further expand its “market-leading competencies” in the field of battery technology. 

The development, analysis and testing of Blackstone’s battery cells will take place directly at the site. 

The new safety and environmental laboratory is a center of excellence for research into ageing phenomena and the analysis of components and raw materials.

The research center will be connected to existing manufacturing processes to help Blackstone Technology develop and bring to commercialsation of innovations in battery cell technology in a timely manner. 

Ulrich Ernst, president and CEO of Blackstone Resources, said: "We will now adapt our product ranges to the changing requirements and developments in the dynamic market of the e-mobility and communications industry in an even shorter cycle.

"We have spared no investment to equip our site in Döbeln with a state-of-the-art laboratory that fits our requirements. The research facility can keep pace with the best in Europe."

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