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Powder processing equipment for battery production

As the global battery market continues to expand, battery manufacturers are under pressure to improve battery performance, reduce their carbon footprint and save costs. Whether you are an existing or emerging battery producer, powder processing technology from the Hosokawa Group helps you to tackle these challenges and strengthen your competitive edge.

Meeting customer demands

Whether for electric vehicles or consumer electronics and portables, today's battery users want faster charging, a longer-lasting charge and a longer useful life of the battery overall. Meanwhile, the OEMs want batteries to be smaller and more compact with an increased energy density – not to mention reliable and safe.

Battery production process steps

As a leader in powder processing technology, at Hosokawa Micron – along with our sister companies that make up the worldwide Hosokawa Group – we provide high-quality equipment for use in numerous steps of the battery production process (for both mass production and R&D purposes, e.g. for solid-state batteries), including:

  • Drying
  • Ultra-fine milling
  • Classification
  • Rounding (spheroidization)
  • Mixing
  • Coating
  • Containment

Hosokawa powder processing solutions for battery production

Drying

The active materials or precursors such as nickel, manganese and cobalt oxides need to be dried and milled for the battery cathode. This can be done using various pieces of Hosokawa powder processing equipment, including:

  • DMR flash dryer for the efficient continuous drying of slurries and filter cakes
  • Nauta vacuum dryer for batch drying of smaller volumes
  • CPD conical paddle dryer combining high temperatures with vacuum for difficult volatiles or extremely low moisture levels

DMR flash dryerNauta vacuum dryerConical paddle dryer (CPD)

Ultra-fine milling

For optimum battery performance – in terms of higher usable capacity, faster recharging and longer useful life – it is important for the active materials in batteries to have well-defined particle size distribution and small particles to create a larger surface area. This is achieved by ultra-fine milling of the active powders.

The following milling solutions from Hosokawa are most commonly used within the battery industry:

  • ACM air classifying mill
  • AFG fluidized bed jet mill

Both of these mills can achieve extremely fine and narrow particle size distribution. As well as handling cathode materials such as lithium cobalt oxide or manganese-based precursors, the mills can also be used for anode materials (graphite and silicon).

Air Classifying Mill (ACM)Fluidized Bed Jet Mill (AFG)

Spheroidizing graphite

Graphite has a naturally flaky structure and low bulk density, both of which decrease the capacity of a battery. To improve battery performance, it is therefore 'spheroidized' (i.e. rounded) to increase its bulk density and 'wettability'. Hosokawa mills can be used to spheroidize both natural and synthetic graphite. While natural graphite is cheaper to source, synthetic graphite is more spherical which saves you valuable time and costs in the milling process.

High-shear mixing and coating

To improve the flow properties of the precursors and reduce 'sticking', high-shear (i.e. high-intensity) mixing is usually the best solution for battery manufacturers. This can also ensure a strong coating of carbon black and binders around the precursor materials to further improve the conductivity.

Depending on your specific needs, we provide equipment ranging from high shear to ultra-high shear, including:

  • Cyclomix batch mixer
  • Modulomix continuous mixer
  • Nobilta super-high-shear mixer
  • Mechanofusion ultra-high-shear mixer (mechanical fusion)

All Hosokawa mills and mixers can be supplied with a wear-resistant coating as an optional extra for optimum purity of the active materials.

Cyclomix high-shear batch mixerModulomix continuous high-shear mixer Nobilta super-high-shear mixer Mechanofusion ultra-high-shear mixer

Safety first

Operator safety is an important consideration for the whole of the Hosokawa Group. That's why all our equipment is certified in line with strict European standards including ATEX and CE. Furthermore, we offer equipment with a range of safety protection such as:

  • OEB 3 (e.g. downflow booth for containment of discharge)
  • OEB 4 (e.g. split butterfly valves for nitrogen flushing)
  • OEB 5 (e.g. gloveboxes, isolators)

Try before you buy

In line with our policy of 'try before you buy', you can often conduct trials using the recommended machinery with your own products at one of our Test Centres (3,000m² at Hosokawa Alpine in Germany and 2,000m² at Hosokawa Micron in the Netherlands). Alternatively, we can test dummy materials or arrange for you to use our equipment on loan so that you can perform tests yourself. Contact us for more details!

How can we help you?

To learn more about our powder process equipment for battery production, contact us:

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