Charged EVs | INFICON’s ELT Vmax enables individual leak testing for mass-produced EV battery cells

INFICON, a manufacturer of leak testing solutions, introduces the ELT Vmax—a leak detector specifically designed for integration into leak testing systems for the industrial high-speed mass production of lithium-ion and sodium-ion battery cells.

The ELT Vmax tests the leak tightness of all battery cells filled with liquid electrolyte—lithium-ion or sodium-ion—in all formats, including prismatic, round and button cells with a rigid housing, or pouch cells with a soft, bag-like housing. The device uses INFICON’s patented method of direct electrolyte leakage testing—it detects electrolyte leaking from filled cells in a vacuum chamber.

While INFICON’s ELT3000 PLUS can be used as a stand-alone device, INFICON created the new ELT Vmax specifically for use in mass production, as a testing device for integrators’ individually designed, automatic leak testing stations. Designed to provide the same levels of accuracy and sensitivity as the ELT3000 PLUS, the ELT Vmax can identify the smallest leaks down to a helium equivalent leak rate of 5∙10-7 mbar∙l/s, equivalent to a diameter in the range of 1-5 micrometers for common battery designs.

The vacuum pumps are provided by the integrator to achieve industrial quality assurance. The ELT Vmax is designed for installation in 19-inch racks, making it easy to integrate into a mass battery cell assembly operation.

With its multi-chamber mode in test stations, the ELT Vmax is designed to operate in near-constant measuring mode, eliminating the waiting time during evacuation and ventilation processes and optimizing the production line for maximum throughput.

“When developing the new ELT Vmax, INFICON focused on providing maximum flexibility and ease of integration into individually designed leak-testing systems,” said Thomas Parker, North American Automotive Sales Manager at INFICON. “Combined with the automation know-how of our integrators, the ELT Vmax enables individually designed leak test stations that provide consistent quality assurance on every single battery cell at the pace of production.”