Fri, 05 May, 2023
TWI has been working as part of a consortium to scale up the UK’s automotive battery pack manufacturing and supply chain industry.
The H1perChain (high performance EV supply chain) project is critical for the UK Government’s industrial strategy to deliver a reduction in battery pack costs for the automotive sector through the introduction of UK component and sub-system supply chain capabilities.
The project consortium includes a mix of academic and industrial organisations with the aim of establishing robust and high-speed laser welding processes while also innovating design and manufacturing solutions for higher volume battery packs.
Bringing together academia and industry, the H1perChain project team includes representatives from Coventry University, Unipart Powertrain Applications Ltd, WAE, Hyperbat, Ditec-Tec, and HSSMI Ltd alongside TWI.
Underpinned by an Industry 4.0 digitalisation strategy, the project aims to enable reduced lead-times, optimised productivity, reduced costs and improved overall competitiveness.
The challenge includes reducing costs for high performance batteries that are currently around four times higher than industry targets, with over 70% of these costs coming from non-cell-related components and manufacturing.
Digital manufacturing solutions are being developed to offer a digital manufacturing platform that addresses scalability and manufacturing technology developments across the supply chain for an end-to-end product lifecycle.
Our experts are working alongside Coventry University to conduct tests to quantify the quality of welded joints. These tests include four point electrical testing, tensile and fatigue testing and computed tomography (CT) scanning to provide maximum permissible defects in thin copper-aluminium joints, which are commonly seen in battery electric vehicles.
Current results show considerable variance in joint properties which can be used to provide best practice recommendations for welding of such materials to achieve desirable properties and avoid defects.
The H1perChain project has received funding from Innovate UK under Grant No 113244