3D-printed solid-state batteries: SK On cooperates with US developer Sakuu

The South Korean battery cell manufacturer SK On is cooperating with Sakuu, a Californian developer of 3D-printed solid-state batteries. The agreement focuses on the industrialisation of Sakuu's Kavian platform for the production of electrodes in a dry process.

Image: Sakuu

The development cooperation between SK On and Sakuu will focus on innovations in the manufacturing process of battery electrodes for electric vehicles. Beyond this fact, both sides are hardly disclosing any details. In a brief statement, Sakuu merely states that its own printing process “eliminates the need for solvents and enables new battery manufacturing processes that produce cost-effective, more powerful and environmentally friendly batteries”.

In an earlier report, however, Sakuu had already said more about its so-called Kavian platform solution. This is a 3D process for printing solid-state batteries. The manufacturing process should also be suitable for other industries, but the company sees the greatest leverage in battery production. According to the company, various additive manufacturing processes are combined. For example, “completely different materials” can be sprayed onto a powder bed in a single layer. In addition to ceramics and metals, the process also utilises a carrier material developed by Sakuu called PoraLyte. This carrier material is intended to enable the “simple and fast” 3D printing of components with cavities without brittle ceramic layers.

Robert Bagheri, founder and CEO of Sakuu, comments on the new cooperation as follows: “Together, SK On and Sakuu are ushering in a new era in battery manufacturing technology, advancing safety, sustainability, and innovation in battery technology. With Sakuu’s pioneering technology and SK On’s best-in-class EV battery manufacturing expertise, we’re addressing the core issues facing battery makers today”

Dr Rhee Jang-weon, Chief Technology Officer of SK On, is brief: “We look forward to working closely with Sakuu to accelerate innovations in the manufacturing processes for EV battery electrodes.”

In May 2023, Sakuu presented a market-ready lithium metal cell chemistry for the first time, which battery manufacturers have been able to licence since then. According to earlier statements, the company, which was founded in 2016, is planning annual production capacities of 200 GWh for lithium metal and solid-state batteries by 2030 – and has commissioned Porsche’s consulting subsidiary Porsche Consulting to plan its planned gigafactories. Porsche Consulting is to plan a reference large-scale factory for the US company with a sustainable setup and maximum production efficiency that “can be efficiently replicated at various locations around the globe”, as Sakuu put it at the beginning of 2023.

While the first plant will support the production of lithium metal batteries, Sakuu plans to use its Kavian platform solution to manufacture 3D-printed solid-state batteries in subsequent production facilities. Sakuu currently operates two facilities in Silicon Valley: a pilot line for solid-state batteries and an engineering centre. The latter centre will enable Sakuu to scale up its 3D printing battery platform. According to the company, it has been “successfully and continuously 3D printing fully functional and high-performance batteries in customised shapes and sizes” on the pilot line since December 2022.


1 Comment

about „3D-printed solid-state batteries: SK On cooperates with US developer Sakuu“
10.07.2024 um 11:53
Why was the SPAC deal between SAKUU and Plum Acquisition Corp canceled in the summer of 2023?

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