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Joining and Recycling for Electric Vehicle Battery Pack Manufacture

Project Code: 33559


  • Benchmark different technologies suitable for battery cell to bus bar joining and joining of other features (e.g. wires) to bus bars.
  • Undertake characterisation and mechanical testing of joints manufactured by different techniques – primarily tensile strength and fatigue performance.
  • Develop a capability for electrical testing of ‘live’ battery cell packs.
  • Develop suitable approaches for battery pack disassembly and recycling/reuse.

Project Outline

The overall project concept is two-fold. One priority will be to focus on research related to battery pack joining and joint performance using techniques suitable to connect cells and other features to bus bars. The second focus will be around developing new capability in terms of design, testing, recycling and other knowledge relevant to electrification.

Limited data exist in the public domain related to mechanical and electrical performance as a function of the different joining techniques, which makes the design of battery modules a more empirical process. Recent literature typically provides a top level review rather than process specific data. A suitable design for a cell to bus bar assembly will be developed in order to standardise a test methodology. This design will address the challenge of the variety of joint geometries created by the different joining processes.

Design concepts and opportunities for disassembly and recycling will be investigated. Opportunities based on the concept of design for disassembly will be developed that may facilitate better reuse/recycling of battery packs. A key aspect of this activity will be engagement with industry to identify future trends in pack design.

The final activity will focus on identifying gaps in current standards and identifying areas where the application of a standard could be beneficial. This could range from control and qualification of a joining procedure and associated inspection through to minimum levels of mechanical or electrical performance. TWI will work with other R&D organisations as well as industry, industry bodies and other stakeholders e.g. HSE, to identify and contribute to new standards as required.

Relevant Industry Sectors

Benefits to Industry

  • Ability to reliably manufacture battery packs with reduced failure rates.
  • Mechanical and electrical joint properties to allow for optimised designs.
  • Understanding of requirements related to design for disassembly and second use/recycling.
  • Validated mechanical testing methodology for QA.
  • Non-destructive testing protocols for QA.
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