PRIMARY AND RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES
AETC celebrates its multi-year experience with battery electrochemistry. We make and test a variety of batteries and cells representing at least 15 commercially-viable cell chemistries. Most of our products are customized and are designed to fit form-factored applications which are often proprietary to our customers.
AETC introduces its capabilities in battery design and assembly. We take pride in our in-house production of a range of battery types, including alkaline, lithium primary, zinc air, and lithium ion batteries and their respective chemistries.
We produce two types of alkaline batteries in our labs, including those with the renowned AA configurations, and we apply our own solutions for increased conductivity using new forms of graphite and carbon products. We are also able to test and optimize our batteries in-house.
Zinc/Manganese Dioxide (Zinc-MnO2)
Our Zinc-MnO2 batteries are assembled in AA housings with nickel-plated mild steel can cells and are sprayed with an electrically conductive can coating that we create in our labs. The scope of our optimizations with these battery cells ranges from new and improved cathodes to separators and additives for hydrogen evolution suppression on the anode side. For the battery cell can coating, we mill graphite and carbon, of both natural and synthetic origin, and use the material extensively in cathodes as conductivity-enhancing additives.
Lithium Primary cells and batteries.
We manufacture a variety of lithium batteries, including several types of lithium primary types. Our lithium primary batteries are used for a range of applications, from commercial uses to the specialty needs of high-profile customers.
In addition to the alkaline cells described below, we also make dry carbon-zinc cells, or Leclanché batteries. We have developed these in both AA and D-size formats.
We use the BR2016 format for our coin cell design, which we specifically prefer to other formats. BR2016 is a robust cell format, recognized by the industry and easy to manufacture, and we use it for all preliminary investigations of properties of newly-developed active materials for our clients. Our cells are equipped with advanced tools which allow us to open the cells after testing in order to perform cell autopsies. This allows us to understand and uncover the mechanisms which cause the batteries to degrade. One of our most notable developments with the BR2016 cell technology is a commercial product developed for specialty uses called the BR2016 Increased Calendar Life Formula, making our products more reliable and sturdy.
We also make zinc-air batteries in cylindrical and button cell configurations, both in AA and 312 cell sizes. For the assembly of these batteries, we make our own gas diffusion electrode which incorporates new forms of activated carbon, electrically conductive graphite paints, and composites of MnO2 mixed with carbon using novel mechano-chemical principles.
We are thoroughly familiar with the enhancement and evaluation of alkaline batteries. If you have a new active material, such as an enhanced form of MnO2, and feel the need to test it for use in alkaline batteries before committing to it, we can offer you the services of preliminary investigation of your battery materials; as part of a project with AETC, we will give you technical data to support or reinforce your decision to introduce these new materials to the alkaline battery industry behemoths.
BR2450 Lithium/ Carbon Monofluoride (Li/CFx)
Another cell size we produce from the grouping of lithium primary batteries is BR2450 Li/CFx, which operates at low currents for low-drain electronics. This is the first conventional chemical battery on the market with an impressive unprecedented 20-year calendar life, and can work from -40ºF to 185ºF. This battery’s specifications make it suitable for extensive use in multiple specialty applications where operation at extremely low temperatures is important. It also allows us to drastically reduce the repair and maintenance costs on behalf of our Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) customers. Seeing as though a typical battery has to be replaced every 5 years, some lithium primary batteries on the market have a calendar life of 10-15 years; but, our battery has a calendar life expectancy of a whopping 20 years. Our technology is providing a form-factored power source that does not require replacement during specialty asset life.
The 32650LR is a revolutionary cylindrical cell format for the lithium primary battery industry. This cell is ultra-high-energy, to be used for applications from medium to low current densities. Instead of winding electrodes into a jelly roll package, we use compression to mold the cathode rings and pack them tightly around the interior circumference of the battery’s cylindrical casings. For this cell, we also use a pore-forming additive for the cathode mix. The cell cases, outfitted with cathodes, are put in a vacuum oven prior to cell assembly, and the pore-forming additive then sublimes, whilst the existing sponge-like electrode structure of the cell is formed. The latter is highly porous and readily accessible by electrolyte. After this process, we insert a separator bag filled with powdered high-surface area lithium into the cell, and fill it with electrolyte and crimp it, forming an airtight seal. We were able to produce cells with a capacity of 18 ampere hours out of a 32650 (close to D-size) cell format, which is significantly higher than most of the cells available in this format.
The 32650LJ cell is a high-power format outfitted with spirally-wound electrode packaging, incorporating lithium foil as the anode and high-energy, high-power cathode with active materials such as carbon monofluoride (CFx), or a hybrid of CFx and MnO2. This cell format is very close to that of D-size cells, which are used by the lithium primary battery industry, and can therefore be used as a test vehicle for the qualification of a variety of new active battery materials for a host of established as well as emerging specialty applications (e.g. aerospace, NASA missions, Department of Defense, telecommunications).
Among such new battery materials is expanded graphite. AETC is on the market with its own battery-grade expanded graphite. Our plant is operating a calcining process which produces expanded graphite continuously. Expanded graphite is a new product for the battery industry, but has been used successfully for conductivity-enhancement purposes in advanced battery systems, providing them with higher electrical conductivity in electrode matrices than any other graphite material and rendering the batteries employing this graphite particularly useful in high-powered devices.
AETC is proud to have developed a form-factored lithium primary cell capable of high energy and high power for specialized applications. These cells are of true prismatic design. We have been able to successfully combine individual cells into batteries and provide them to interested parties. The manufacture of this cell depends on a large assembly line within our plant, consisting of machines and instruments that have been developed and are being operated in-house. Our assembly line consists of producing cell cases made of sheet metal, end caps made out of shim stock, and electrically-insulating parts using advanced molding technologies with proprietary types of plastic materials. This cell format represents a newly-developed technology which could be used interchangeably with lithium primary and lithium ion battery systems for the qualification of new materials.
Lithium-Ion cells and batteries
AETC does extensive work with the qualification of graphites and carbons for use in the anodes of rechargeable lithium ion batteries. Often, we test new generation cathode active materials and separators using our lithium-ion cell formats. We have developed multiple designs for various clients in this market, which may provide various functions.
The CR2016 coin cell is our workhorse. It is of the same exterior configuration as the lithium primary BR2016 battery, but has an entirely different interior configuration. Fabrication of this cell is supported by a vast infrastructure of our pilot and production areas, where we run continuous roll-to-roll coaters, employ sophisticated punching equipment, conduct research into new electrolytes and separators, and operate high-tech microscopic welders. All of this production ultimately fits into a tiny battery cell. This battery allows us to screen initial formation properties of different graphites, carbons, and active cathode materials, functioning as a test vehicle for the qualification of these substances for use in other lithium ion batteries. We actively work with commercial clients to make and use this test vehicle to assess their own new materials for usability in the lithium ion market, and encourage you to reach out to us if you have a product or material you would like to assess.
Magnesium Manganese Dioxide (Mg/ MnO2) Mechanically Rechargeable Batteries
We are proud to introduce our joint developments with a trusted client and partner of AETC, Irving A. Backman and Associates, The DATT Group of Massachusetts. The partnership has focused on creating a mechanically rechargeable magnesium manganese dioxide (Mg/ MnO2) battery. This battery is composed of a dimensionally-stabilized cathode which incorporates new forms of MnO2 and carbon in its composition. The cathode is three-dimensional in that it is formed around a highly porous mesh. Besides the cathode, the battery consists of a separator as well as magnesium beads, which serve as a consumable anode.
This battery can produce on-demand power as soon as it is activated by electrolyte. The latter is kept out of the battery when no power is needed. The electrolyte is added into the cell just prior to battery use, and it starts producing power instantaneously. Then, when the magnesium load is depleted, the user can simply pull out spent anode cartridge and replace it with a loaded cartridge. Then, the battery resumes the production of electricity, and the used cartridges are sent to an IABA team for recycling and refueling with active material. This concept of rechargeability can be used in a range of applications where emergency on-demand backup power is required, such as in the case of natural disasters and other FEMA needs. Currently, planes are flown into emergency zones with diesel fuel for generators; we propose a better concept. Our magnesium-filled cartridges would have higher packing density than diesel fuel, so more of them can be sent to areas in need at a time, and this advantage, in tandem with the overall concept of mechanically rechargeable batteries, makes a lot of economic sense. If you are interested in discussing this development for emergency power generation, we encourage you to reach out to us.
Other Power Sources
Between the Mg/ MnO2 and CR2016 batteries, we also produce prismatic and pouch battery cells for the lithium ion market. Concurrently, we supply individual cell parts, manufactured in-house, to national labs, universities, and companies to produce their own cells. We offer a comprehensive line of parts to interested buyers: please refer to the Battery Parts page.