With the proliferation of battery-powered solutions and especially the electrification of transport, the demand for batteries has increased significantly in recent years and the trend is upward. For example, the number of electric vehicles worldwide is predicted to multiply in the coming years. As a result of this growth, battery treatment facilities are also increasing at an accelerating pace, which will contribute to a more efficient reuse of battery materials.
On the other hand, the explosive growth of the sector can also be noticed as a delay in the standardisation of various activities and practices. Although the correct handling of battery materials is of great importance for the environment, sustainable development, and occupational safety, no standards have yet been established. For the time being, practices in use are mainly borrowed from other industries.
While standards in this field are still evolving, Tamtron, together with its customers, has already been able to improve occupational safety in the handling of battery materials and has identified many ways to improve it further.
Safe handling of battery materials poses challenges
The more the handling of battery materials develops on a large scale, the more the production process will involve occupational safety risks similar to other industries. At the same time, the sector is becoming increasingly subject to industrial standards, and the hazards of big bags used in battery handling, for example, can already be effectively addressed through compliance with the EU Machinery Directive.
However, the handling of battery materials also has its own specific characteristics in terms of occupational safety, one of the most important of which is the hazardous substances constantly handled. The heavy metals contained in battery materials are toxic to inhale and should be avoided in contact with the skin. Safe working practices therefore require the use of a full-body protective suit and a breathing mask.
Tamtron supports safety in the battery industry
Dust generated during handling processes increases the danger of battery materials and is easily dispersed into the environment through shoes and clothing. The disperse of fine dust is extremely difficult to avoid, so the key is to limit its generation as effectively as possible.
To solve the problem Tamtron has carried out extensive research and development work and has succeeded in providing solutions to prevent dust, especially when emptying big bags. Now the bags can be lifted against a special blade that breaks the bottom of the bag and allows it to be emptied in a controlled manner into a closed container. In another method developed by Tamtron, a flap, that is attachable to a counterpiece, is placed at the bottom of the bag, which then seals the bag hermetically.
Despite these excellent results, Tamtron is continuously working to enable even safer handling of battery materials and to meet other needs of the battery industry. In this development work, it is essential to realise that in a rapidly growing and evolving industry, ready-made solutions are often not available off the shelf. This is where Tamtron’s distinctive approach, which always aims to deliver the most practical and cost-effective end result for the customer, comes into its own.