Dimensional Quality Control of Repeated Molded Polymer Battery Cell Housings in Automotive Energy Systems
Current manufacture of alternative energy sources for automobiles, such as fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries, uses repeating energy modules to achieve targeted balances of power and weight for varying types of vehicles. Specifically for lithium-ion batteries, tens to hundreds of identical plastic parts are assembled in a repeating fashion; this assembly of parts requires complex dimensional planning and high degrees of quality control. This paper will address the aspects of dimensional quality for repeated, injection molded thermoplastic battery components and will include the following: First, dimensional variation associated with thermoplastic components is considered. Sources of variation include the injection molding process, tooling or mold, lot-to-lot material differences, and varying types of environmental exposure. Second, mold tuning and cavity matching between molds for multi-cavity production will be analyzed.