EV battery inspection

Full CT-scan in only 1 second

High-speed inline microCT with the Excillum MetalJet E1+

Reliable energy storage and efficient renewable energy production are key to a sustainable future. But fast-changing global vehicle fleets and electrical production systems will require exponential growth in the number of battery cells produced. Excillum’s MetalJet X-ray sources enable full inline CT scanning capabilities with micrometer resolution, giving manufacturers the high-speed, high-resolution 3D imaging they need to ensure product safety and quality at the highest throughputs.

Inline X-ray computed tomography (CT) is a powerful inspection technique that can further reduce the risk of defects and recalls, compared with today’s 2D X-ray inspection techniques. However, to achieve the levels of inspection coverage, throughput and resolution necessary for high-volume battery production, a high-power X-ray source with a micrometer-sized X-ray spot is necessary. The Excillum MetalJet E1+ 160 kV source makes this possible, achieving a full scan with micrometer resolution in just one second, or less.

An internal feature to be inspected during manufacturing of a battery is the anode overhang. The anode should be dimensioned to overlap the cathode. To produce this with repeatability puts high demands on the manufacturing and process precisions. To inspect this with precision in prismatic battery cells, X-ray CT is a pre-requisite. Furthermore, to have a 3D model of each produced battery cell can be very helpful for forensics in case a battery cell would fail in the field – in order to minimize a recall to an as small volume as possible.

100 % 3D X-ray inspection, or 3D complement to 2D inspection in unclear cases, is a promising path to satisfactory quality control. But, in order to achieve 100 % 3D X-ray inspection, a high-power X-ray source with a micrometer-sized X-ray spot is needed – something previously not available on the market.

With the MetalJet E1+, Excillum is addressing this problem, to enable high-speed 3D X-ray inspection of batteries and other industrial parts. In these videos, you’ll see examples of how we achieve a full CT-scan with micrometer resolution of an EV battery cell and a Li-ion battery in only 1 second. These tests were performed at Excillum’s facilities in Sweden using our MetalJet E1+, a high-performance detector from Direct Conversion (Thor FX20.256 CdTe) and a high-speed, high-precision rotation stage.

1 second X-ray CT of an EV battery cell:

1 second X-ray CT of a Li-ion battery cell:

We are more than happy to engage with experts to address the battery inspection field, and others, in the best possible way. 

Please contact us for further discussions. 

About the Excillum MetalJet E1+

Kilowatt microfocus performance with submicron stability

At 1000 watts, the new Excillum MetalJet E1+ delivers 17 times more X-ray flux across a broad spectral range compared to a 30 W conventional tungsten-solid-anode microfocus source with the same 30 µm spot size. In the spectral range of 24-29 keV where the indium and tin characteristic emission lines are present, the flux advantage is as high as 100 times.

Built for 24/7 continuous performance

The MetalJet E1+ is designed for high-throughput, 100% duty-cycle operation with up to once-per-year preventive maintenance cycles. This eliminates the need for frequent filament changes as required by traditional tubes.

Sub-µm positional stability

Although running at a high thermal load of 1000 W, the MetalJet E1+ maintains a positional stability of below 1 µm during continuous long-term operation.

Features and benefits

  • Extreme microfocus source power
  • Superior spot quality
  • Single (left or right) X-ray window or dual (left and right)
  • Minimal maintenance
  • User variable size and aspect ratio of spot
  • LaB6 long-life cathode
  • Very stable X-ray emission and spot position
  • User-friendly Graphical User Interface
  • Controlled through GUI or TCP/IP protocol
  • Adjustable take-off angle
  • No external cooling water requirement
  • Operated remotely from any computer

Technical specifications

Target material1

Liquid metal alloy

Min. focal spot size

< 10 μm

Target type

Liquid jet

Emission stability3

< 1%

Voltage

30-160 kV

Position stability3

< 1 μm

Power2

0-1000 W

Min. focus-object distance

22.5mm

Max current

6.25 mA

Beam angle

20°

1) The room temperature liquid metal alloys supplied for the MetalJet source consist mainly of gallium, indium and tin. They have low reactivity and low toxicity but should be handled according to their safety data sheets and local regulations.
2) The actual power used is dependent on spot-size and voltage. However, maximum output power of the 160 kV high-voltage generators is 3000 W software limited to 1000 W.
3) Standard deviation.

Brochure

EV battery inspection with micrometer resolution

Data sheet

MetalJet E1+ data sheet

Webinar

Increasing throughput and resolution of industrial X-ray inspection

What some of our customers say

Chris Ryan

CSIRO, Australia

You’re approaching an order of magnitude more out of the MetalJet and an order of magnitude more out of Maia. Put those together and you’re really getting some high throughput.

… our imaging has proved to be just brilliant. It’s clearly the best quality XRF imaging with any source.

Prof. Dr. Tim Salditt

University of Göttingen, Germany

We’ve been trying a lot in imaging and the main message is: It really works. The throughput and the information is there, and it’s this mixture of contrast, resolution and three-dimensionality that is crucial.

Dr. Atsushi Ogura

Meiji University, Japan

By introducing home-lab HAXPES [with the Excillum MetalJet at the core], continuous measurements for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year became possible. This allowed us to significantly accelerate our research and the result was a remarkable improvement in scientific output.

Prof. Jan Skov Pedersen

Aarhus University, Denmark

The higher X-ray flux enables new types of experiments that were not feasible to do in a laboratory before and we can even do measurements in the time range of seconds and thus be able to repeat it many times to get better statistics.

Prof. Dr. Serena De Beer

Max Planck Institute, Germany

I  do see [the Excillum MetalJet] as a breakthrough in that the previous prototype instrument we were using offered a good microfocus, which is important because this focus defines our resolution. But we also need a relatively high photon flux — a relatively high-brilliance source in a small spot — in order to actually measure real catalytic systems. It’s this combination that’s really important for us in order to perform time-resolved experiments where we can detect the entire spectrum at once.

Dr. Isaac Pinar

Monash University, Australia

You can image with short exposures because you’ve got the magnification to allow the use of larger pixels. This means you can use a thicker scintillator, which is much more efficient. You can collect enough photons for an image in a much shorter time than you would be able to with a low-divergence source that requires a detector with small pixels.

Powered by partnerships

Excillum’s sources are an integral part of system development for some of the most trusted names in X-ray instrumentation. Together, we work intensely to put the benefits of MetalJet and NanoTube sources into the hands of users everywhere.

Contact us