Quantifying the influence of charge rate and cathode-particle architectures on degradation of Li-ion cells through 3D continuum-level damage models

Jeffery M.Allen, Peter J. Weddle, Ankit Verma, Anudeep Mallarapu, Francois Usseglio-Viretta, Donal P. Finegan, Andrew M. Colclasure, Weijie Mai, Volker Schmidt, Orkun Furat, David Diercks, Tanvir Tanim, Kandler Smith

September 2021 - In this article, we develop a 3D, continuum-level damage model implemented on statistically generated LiNi0.5Mn0.3Co0.2O (NMC 532) secondary cathode particles. The primary motivation of the particle-level model is to inform cathode-particle design through detailed exploration of the influence of secondary and primary particle sizes on the damage predicted during operation, and determine charging profiles that reduce cathode fracture. The model considers NMC 532 secondary particles containing an agglomeration of anisotropic, randomly oriented grains. These brittle, Ni-based cathodes are prone to mechanical degradation, which reduces overall battery cycle life. The model predicts that secondary-particle fracture is primarily due to non-ideal grain interactions and high-rate charge demands. The model predicts that small secondary-particles with large grains develop significantly less damage than larger secondary particles with small grains. The model predicts most of the chemo-mechanical damage accumulates in the first few cycles. The chemo-mechanical model predicts monotonically increasing capacity fade with cycling and rate. Comparing to experimental results, the model is well suited for capturing initial capacity fade mechanisms, but additional physics is required to capture long-term capacity fade effects.

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