EV Battery Analysis & Industrial CT Scanning

Learn how industrial computed tomography (CT) scanning can help secure EV battery safety, reliability, and performance.

Victoria Russman
Victoria Russman

Industrial computed tomography (CT) scanning or x-ray scanning is a game-changing technology for electric vehicle (EV) battery defect analysis. With its ability to generate high-resolution 3D images of the interior of complex objects, industrial CT scanning provides unparalleled insight into the structure and composition of batteries. This makes it an invaluable tool for detecting defects such as cracks, voids, and foreign materials that can compromise electric car battery performance and safety.


Here are just some of the typical problems battery manufacturers are experiencing within the cells that might lead to product recalls:
  • Folded or torn anode tabs
  • Contaminates (ie. metal from the welding process)
  • Internal short circuits
  • Cathode debris
  • Battery connector corrosion
  • Incorrect soldering
  • Electrode defects (cracks, folds, pores)


How Does an Industrial Computed Tomography (CT) Scanning Work?

Industrial computed tomography scanning, just like medical CT for human/animal use, is the process of gathering 2D x-ray slice images and reconstructing them into a full internal and external 3D digital data set. The data is then used to analyze or certify products. It is sometimes referred to as x-ray material testing.

  1. The object is placed on a rotary stage inside the CT scanner.
  2. On one side of the scanner is an x-ray source, which projects x-rays on the sample to be scanned.
  3. An x-ray detector on the side of the machine opposite the source collects the x-ray data.
  4. The data can then be exported into specialized software developed for a multitude of analysis capabilities.


Industrial computed tomography schematic using a cone-beam x-ray.


Why Use Industrial Computed Tomography (CT) Scanning for EV Battery Inspection?

To diagnose flaws that can disturb the functionality of EV batteries, manufacturers need robust, traceable metrology with excellent repeatability. The best EV battery inspection labs will utilize an industrial CT scanner with high-speed x-ray scanning capabilities and post-scan processing software that can provide visual inspection of these internal defects.

Some of the quality control subject matter this type of non-destructive testing and post CT scan processing can illustrate are:
  • overhang measurements
  • distances between jelly roll and housing
  • quality of welds
  • cathode and anode measurements
  • material identification
  • stack alignments
  • component CAD models for design improvement
Computed tomography (CT) scan of battery cell showing anode layers


People Also Ask: How Long Does Industrial Computed Tomography (CT) Scanning Take?

In addition to its diagnostic capabilities, industrial computed tomography scanning also offers significant advantages in terms of speed, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness. Unlike traditional destructive testing methods, which require the disassembly of batteries, can take days or even weeks to complete, and are not to mention hazardous, industrial computed tomography can provide detailed results in a matter of hours. This not only saves time but also reduces costs by minimizing the need for expensive equipment and specialized personnel.


EV Battery Outlook: How Does Industrial CT Scanning Fit In?

There are upwards of 10 million electric cars on the road today with that number climbing, especially in the top three markets. Electric car sales for 2023 are expected to continue this upward climb. Climate demands and EV policies are driving the projections. Due to this scenario, battery manufacturing plants are expanding and will need to keep up with demand. Overall, industrial computed tomography scanning services are a must-have for any company involved in EV battery production or maintenance. By enabling rapid and accurate defect detection, it helps ensure that batteries are safe, reliable, and perform at their best. EV battery manufacturers are at a critical stage of evolution and need to gain the trust of the market. Industrial computed tomography scanning offers a powerful solution for manufacturers looking to gain or maintain a competitive edge in this rapidly evolving industry.


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