Conference Dates

March 10-15, 2019


The rechargeable sodium batteries, sodium sulphur (NaS) batteries and molten-salt sodium nickel chloride (Na-NiCl2) are proven commercially available systems, particularly for large-scale energy storage applications and electric vehicle applications respectively. They have attractive properties such as the use of abundant low-cost raw materials, high energy and power density, high faradaic efficiency of charge/discharge, zero self-discharge rate and proven long-term durability. Conventional manufacturing of the core component, the sodium beta”-alumina solid electrolyte, requires a high sintering temperatures, ~ 1600 °C to achieve high density and good ceramic quality, which contributes significantly to battery cost, energy and time consumption in production. Flash sintering, a novel low-cost electrical field-assisted sintering technology, has been investigated for sintering beta”-alumina samples in a collaboration between Lucideon Limited and Ionotec Limited. This work will describe the preliminary results on flash sintering equipment design and prototype sodium beta”-alumina ceramics with variation of the flash-sintering process parameters, i.e. current, frequency, times (incubation, development, holding), pulse experiments, current ramp rate, the on-set furnace temperature, sample geometry (discs versus open-ended tubes), electrode materials (Ag versus Pt paints), single versus double electrode and sample homogeneity. In particular, we will report a significant step towards scale up by showing results on homogeneously-sintered, highly dense more complex geometries such as tubes and closed end tubes using refined field sintering process.