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3d charge collectors for electrochemical generators

New technology development for a low cost production
process of '3d' structures, to be used for various
applications, and particularly in high performance
rechargeable batteries.

Electronic devices and transportation means require a growing number of stand-alone energy sources, such as batteries. This phenomenon is expanding. Secondary batteries (i.e. rechargeable batteries) are presently the most suitable to these needs. In order to attain higher performances (capacity, i.e. autonomy, and speed of recharge), alkaline secondary batteries (nickel-cadmium, nickel-metal hydrides and for the mid-term, nickel-zinc) have already been built with three dimensional (3D) current collectors, typically metallic foams and non-wovens; mainly involving small batteries but developments are underway to produce large alkaline as well as large lithium batteries. 3D structures are, for the most part, produced in Asia and North America, using thirty year old processes which are expensive today, taking into account end-user requirements which are ever more stringent in terms of technical specifications and cost. It is necessary to implement in Europe metallic 3D production units using new technologies, to meet a growing demand for a component which is of strategic importance for rechargeable batteries and activities depending on clean and reliable energy sources. 3D structures also have potential applications in fields other than batteries, such as electromagnetic shielding. These new markets strengthen this project. The partners, who benefit from well established technological and industrial experience in the field of metallic 3D structures, wish to pool their skills and efforts to develop and industrialise a new technology for manufacturing 3D structures, on the basis of proprietary patents and related know-how. This new technology, compared to existing ones, will lead to an important reduction in production cost, and bring about an improvement in technical characteristics as well as an extension of the 3D structures range in terms of morphology, thickness, type of metal, etc. At the end of the project, the partners will develop and share depending on the manufacturing step, 3D production equipment. A tight co-operation programme will be established, which will include the commercialisation of finished products. Keywords: battery, foam, energy.
Acronym: 
3D STRUCTURES
Project ID: 
2 179
Start date: 
01-10-1999
Project Duration: 
30months
Project costs: 
6 170 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.