In Situ Chamber for Studying Battery Failure Using High-Speed Synchrotron Radiography

Jonas Pfaff, Matilda Fransson, Ludovic Broche, Mark Buckwell, Donal Finegan, Stefan Moser, Sebastian Schopferer, Siegfried Nau, Paul Shearing, Alexander Rack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus Citations


The investigation of lithium-ion battery failures is a major challenge for personnel and equipment due to the associated hazards (thermal reaction, toxic gases and explosions). To perform such experiments safely, a battery abuse-test chamber has been developed and installed at the microtomography beamline ID19 of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF). The chamber provides the capability to robustly perform in situ abuse tests through the heat-resistant and gas-tight design for flexible battery geometries and configurations, including single-cell and multi-cell assemblies. High-speed X-ray imaging can be complemented by supplementary equipment, including additional probes (voltage, pressure and temperature) and thermal imaging. Together with the test chamber, a synchronization graphical user interface was developed, which allows an initial interpretation by time-synchronous visualization of the acquired data. Enabled by this setup, new meaningful insights can be gained into the internal processes of a thermal runaway of current and future energy-storage devices such as lithium-ion cells.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)192-199
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Synchrotron Radiation
Issue numberPart 1
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Jonas Pfaff et al.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5700-82686


  • abuse tests
  • in situ studies
  • Li-ion batteries
  • propagation
  • safety
  • thermal runaway
  • X-ray imaging


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