S13 New Energy and Powder Calcination
S13 New Energy and Powder Calcination
With the limitations of conventional energy sources such as coal, oil, and natural gas and the outstanding environmental problems, new energy sources characterized by environmental protection and renewable energy have developed rapidly in recent years, especially the solar energy and lithium battery industries. Solar energy is clean and environmentally friendly, without any pollution, and has high use value, which has irreplaceable position in the process to change from conventional energy to new energy. The conversion of solar energy into electrical energy through photovoltaic panel components is the main option. In the production chain of solar photovoltaic panel components, quartz glass crucibles are used as containers for polysilicon melting. The sintering of quartz crucible generally uses tunnel kiln or shuttle kiln, the firing temperature is about 1150 ℃ in an oxidizing atmosphere, the firing cycle is about 50-60 hours, and all clean fuels such as natural gas and liquified petroleum gas are used. It is generally single-deck structure on tunnel kiln, and double-deck or three-deck structure on shuttle kiln. The main structure is built with cordierite-mullite extruded props and silicon carbide beams, cordierite – mullite extruded batts are used above the kiln car base. Due to the heavy single weight and the extremely long firing cycle of the quartz crucible, the kiln furniture used needs to have advantages of high-temperature flexural strength and creep resistance. The RON and DOA cordierite-mullite materials jointly developed by Trend and the British partner, IPS Ceramics Ltd, have become the popular materials for kiln furniture used in the photovoltaic industry in the world.
Cathode materials are the key materials for lithium batteries, mainly include ternary materials such as nickel cobalt lithium manganate (NCM) and nickel cobalt lithium aluminate (NCA), and binary cathode materials such as lithium iron phosphate, lithium cobalt oxide, lithium manganese oxide and lithium nickel oxide, etc. These positive electrode powder materials are usually calcined by high-temperature solid-state method, and the firing temperature varies from 800 to1300°C, most of them are between 750-1150°C, and the firing cycle is about 18-24 hours. The firing atmosphere depends on the technical requirements among a variety of protective gases, except for lithium iron phosphate, most of them are oxidizing atmospheres. Furnace types are mainly roller kilns and pusher kilns using resistance wire or silicon carbide rods as heating elements, and some plants also use electric bell/beehive furnaces to make small batches and multiple varieties of high-grade cathode materials. The lithium battery powder is put into the saggar, and the saggar is placed on the base batt or push batt to enter the roller kiln or pusher kiln for calcination. The Saggar is the most important kiln furniture used for calcination of lithium battery powder. The most commonly used square saggars are 320X320mm or 330X330mm in length and width, and 60-160mm in height. Since some lithium battery powders emit a large amount of water vapor during calcination, the firing cycle is short, and the inner surface of the saggar contacts with the powder with strong alkalinity directly, the main failure of the saggar are deteriorations due to erosions and cracks due to repeated thermal shocks. Trend has four special materials for lithium batteries: single-layer type ZLC, ultra-low silicon composite inner layer type ZLJ, lightweight composite outer layer type ZLN and high-strength composite outer layer type ZLM, to suit different lithium battery powders fired in different conditions.
In addition, Trend also provides relative kiln furniture such as saggars, crucibles, base batts and pusher batts for the calcination of various powders such as colour glazes, aluminum hydroxide powders, phosphor precursors of tri-colour energy-saving lamps, rare earths, etc. The materials include cordierite-mullite, mullite-corundum, zirconia-contained materials, spinel-contained materials, etc.
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