South Korean battery copper foil companies are expected to place orders for equipment worth over 200 billion won this year, TheElec has learned.
SK Nexilis, Iljin Materials and KZAM have begun placing orders for equipment to suppliers.
They will procure titanium drums from mostly Japanese companies while placing orders for the rest from local suppliers.
SK Nexilis is preparing to build its first overseas factory in Malaysia, while KZAM, a subsidiary of Korea Zinc, is planning to produce copper foils for the first time at its factory in Onsan, South Korea.
Copper foils today are made by putting copper sulfate inside titanium drums then applying electricity to these drums. The copper is extracted from the copper sulfate in foil shapes as they are wrapped on the surface inside the drum as it spins during the process.
Ultra-thin copper foils that are 6 micrometers thin are in high demand as battery makers continue to increase the energy density of their products aimed at electric vehicles.
For example, a single Tesla Model 3 vehicle currently uses around 30kg of copper foils. Reducing the thickness of these foils can lighten the vehicle to travel longer distances per charge.