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Korean cell maker partners with research institute to make safer lithium-ion batteries

Fri, 11/19/2021 - 09:36 -- Paul Crompton

SK On, the battery unit split-off from SK Innovations, and Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI) will partner to create safer lithium-ion batteries related safety standards.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) is to conduct rigorous tests and research in the areas of battery performance, reliability, and safety.

The firms aim to “enhance the internal quality evaluation criteria” beyond what is required, and set battery quality test requirements for potential real-time situations, such as driving an electric vehicle.

KERI is a South Korean government-funded research institute under the Ministry of Science and ICT. It conducts power machinery testing and certification and engages in a variety of electricity-related technologies R&D.

Among the changes will be a stress test that simultaneously adds external impact on a cell. The test goes beyond a standard thermal shock endurance test that assesses a battery’s tolerance to heat.

In order to analyse fires in battery cells, the firms will study conditions in simulated working environments to understand varying ignition conditions, depending on the types and quantity of foreign substances. 

Test values derived from this method will then be used to build ‘super gap’ technology to prevent fires.

Both parties will devise an evaluation method to pin down which conditions are conducive to certain types of fires, in order to prevent them in the future.

SK On says it has not had a single cell fire in the company’s 150 million battery cells delivered to date. 

Improving battery standards

The two also agreed to work together to address future areas of improvement regarding international battery standards. 

They will propose ideas to reflect evaluations that global standards aim for, resulting in precise conclusions, ultimately advancing the electric car and battery industries.

SK On CEO Jee Dong-seob, said: “We will create an unrivaled super gap in terms of safety, allowing SK On batteries to be recognised as a new ‘measure of quality’ for customers looking for safe and outstanding electric vehicles, while also contributing to the development of the global battery industry and the growth of the electric vehicle industry.” 

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