Blackstone Resources AG is researching new methods of manufacturing lithium solid-state batteries by way of 3D printing techniques. Additive manufacturing boasts several advantages over conventional production methods that use liquid electrolytes, according to the company. In this way, costs could be cut up to 70 percent, while this approach also offers greater energy densities and more flexible manufacturing processes.
According to a press release, Blackstone Resources has already produced the first lithium solid-state battery prototypes using its 3D printing process. These are currently being tested in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany.
Up to now, the batteries printed by Blackstone Resources have resulted in an increase of 20 percent in terms of energy density in comparison with conventional manufacturing methods that rely on liquid electrolytes. Moreover, the volume of materials that do not store energy – copper and aluminum, for example – has been reduced by up to 10 percent. Blackstone Resources is now proposing to further refine this technology, with the aim of eventually using it for mass production.
“Together with the developments we have made in 3D-printing battery technology to date, this development paves the way for the mass production of solid-state battery cells”, comments Holger Gritzka, CEO of Blackstone Technology GmbH, the German subsidiary of Blackstone Resources AG, in the press release, before adding: “In addition to major markets such as the automotive industry, marine applications and new 5G wireless networks would benefit from the advantages that 3D-printed solid-state cells can offer”.