Unifrax in the US is to build its first large-scale silicon fibre (SiFAB) anode material manufacturing line with production by the end of 2022.
SiFAB is a proprietary silicon anode battery technology which enables significantly greater energy density in lithium-ion battery systems than prevailing technologies and can be used in existing manufacturing lines.
SiFAB is currently in advanced testing and has shown promising performance in multiple battery systems. The anode technology has successfully been tested with incremental Si loadings of greater than 40 percent. Along with greater energy density, SiFAB is expected to provide faster charging and longer battery life for applications including electric vehicles, portable electronics, power tools, energy grid storage and aerospace.
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Unifrax, headquartered in Buffalo, New York, has been making fibres for 75 years and has 37 manufacutinrg plants around the world. This is its first step into developing silicon fibre for the lithium-ion battery manufacturing market with a new manufacturing plant and infrastructure in New Carlisle in Indiana. The plant in Indiana will be the first to begin building SiFAB long-term manufacturing capacity by the end of 2022 with additional growth anticipated by the end of 2023. The investment is reported to be up to $13m.
“SiFAB is the latest development using fiber-based technology to create step change value for customers. This transformational material represents another addition to our robust electric vehicle and battery solutions portfolio,” said John Dandolph, Unifrax President and CEO.
“Unifrax is a large, global manufacturing company introducing game changing advanced silicon anode materials that can be used in existing manufacturing processes. Our track record and proven ability to develop new and unique technologies will help transform the battery industry with SiFAB. The ability to leverage our existing facility and add new infrastructure to support SiFAB manufacturing in New Carlisle will significantly accelerate the timeline for supplying this critical material to our partners. We are appreciative of the ongoing partnership between the State of Indiana and St. Joseph County as we leverage the footprint of our existing facility to bring new jobs and opportunities to the region.”
“We designed SiFAB from its inception to be manufactured at large scale so that we could supply all market segments (EV’s, consumer electronics, power tools, and renewable storage), utilize our existing global manufacturing footprint, and deliver a product that has a high degree of quality and consistency,” said Chad Cannan, Senior Vice President R&D.
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