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Development Trend of Ternary Cathode Materials: NCM or NCA?
Globally, China, Japan and S.Korea as top 3 LIB production bases, the development states of ternary cathode materials are various: Japanese & Korean producers are as leaders of high-end materials manufacturing and technology updates, Chinese rivals in hot pursuit are involved in middle and low-end application popularization. When we talk about ternary cathode materials, we’re familiar with lithium nickel cobalt manganese oxide (NCM) materials, product models are from 111 type (N:C:M=1:1:1) to 433, 532, 622 and 811. Energy density get improved as the content of nickel increasing. For example, the energy density of 111 type of NCM 18650 battery is about 2.0KWh/L, it comes to 2.3KWh/L when up to 622 type，Lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (LiNi0.8Co0.15Al0.05O2, NCA for short) material is similar with 811 NCM of high gram volume, close to compaction density of 532 NCM and sensitive to moisture，NCA is typically used for cylindrical battery, small capacity of cell enables to guarantee its safety， High-end 18650 cells of Japan & Korea mostly use NCA as cathode materials, the highest capacity of current Japanese-made 18650 has achieved 3.5Ah. Compared with NCA, NCM based battery has good prospects in both 3C products and transportation fields (refer to power battery) according to different models and market demands. UMICORE’s 2012Q2 public information shows that by 2020, NCM will become the main LIB cathode materials globally.