(19)
(11)EP 2 933 858 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
14.08.2019 Bulletin 2019/33

(21)Application number: 13838064.7

(22)Date of filing:  17.12.2013
(51)Int. Cl.: 
H01M 2/04  (2006.01)
H01M 10/04  (2006.01)
H01M 10/058  (2010.01)
H01M 2/06  (2006.01)
H01M 10/052  (2010.01)
H01M 10/0587  (2010.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/KR2013/011725
(87)International publication number:
WO 2014/112723 (24.07.2014 Gazette  2014/30)

(54)

STRUCTURE OF SECONDARY BATTERY

STRUKTUR EINER SEKUNDÄRBATTERIE

STRUCTURE D'ACCUMULATEUR


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 18.01.2013 KR 20130006033

(43)Date of publication of application:
21.10.2015 Bulletin 2015/43

(73)Proprietor: LG Chem, Ltd.
Seoul 150-721 (KR)

(72)Inventors:
  • WOO, Sang Jin
    Daejeon 305-380 (KR)
  • YOON, Hang Seob
    Daejeon 305-380 (KR)
  • KANG, Tae Won
    Daejeon 305-380 (KR)
  • KIM, Jeoung Soo
    Daejeon 305-380 (KR)
  • PARK, Sin Young
    Daejeon 305-380 (KR)
  • NAM, Sang Bong
    Daejeon 305-380 (KR)
  • LEE, Hyang Mok
    Daejeon 305-380 (KR)

(74)Representative: Cabinet Plasseraud 
66, rue de la Chaussée d'Antin
75440 Paris Cedex 09
75440 Paris Cedex 09 (FR)


(56)References cited: : 
JP-A- 2001 210 384
KR-A- 20090 130 657
KR-B1- 100 867 929
US-A1- 2006 115 726
JP-A- 2001 273 932
KR-B1- 100 816 218
US-A1- 2006 073 382
US-A1- 2008 274 402
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD



    [0001] The present invention relates to a secondary battery structure, and more particularly, to a secondary battery structure in which an upper insulator applied to a secondary battery is improved in structure to improve bending resistance and assemblability.

    BACKGROUND ART



    [0002] In general, unlike primary batteries that are not chargeable, secondary batteries denote batteries that are chargeable and dischargeable. Secondary batteries are being widely used in high-tech electronic devices such as cellular phones, notebook, computers, camcorders, and the like. Particularly, lithium secondary batteries, which have an operating voltage of 3.6 V, are being actively developed. This is because the operating voltage of the lithium secondary batteries is approximately three times higher than that of nickel-cadmium batteries or nickel-hydride batteries, which are widely used power sources for electronic devices and because the lithium secondary batteries have excellent energy density per unit weight.

    [0003] Such a lithium secondary battery generally employs a lithium-based oxide as a cathode active material and a carbon material as an anode active material. In general, the lithium secondary batteries are classified into liquid electrolyte batteries and polymer electrolyte batteries. Batteries using a liquid electrolyte are referred to as lithium-ion batteries, and batteries using a polymer electrolyte are referred to as lithium-polymer batteries. Also, the lithium secondary batteries are manufactured in various shapes such as cylindrical, prismatic, and pouch shapes. A prismatic battery is disclosed in US 2006/073382 and in US2008/274402.

    [0004] FIGS. 1 to 4 are views of an upper insulator of a secondary battery according to the related art.

    [0005] As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, a secondary battery according to a first embodiment of the related art includes a can, an electrode assembly accommodated in the can and constituted by a cathode tab, a separator, and an anode tab, a cap plate coupled to an opened upper end of the can to seal the upper end of the can, and an upper insulator 10 disposed under the cap plate and having a hole passing through the cathode tab and the anode tab.

    [0006] Here, the upper insulator 10 has a prismatic shape. Also, the upper insulator 10 has an anode tab hole 11 for the anode tab, an injection/impregnation hole 12 for injecting and impregnating, and a cathode tab hole 13 for the cathode tab in an upper portion thereof.

    [0007] However, in the upper insulator 10 of the secondary battery according to the first embodiment of the related art, the anode tab hole 11, the cathode tab hole 13, and the injection/impregnation hole 12 are eccentrically formed. Thus, stress may be concentrated into a portion having relatively low resistance against the external force to cause defects in the upper insulator. Furthermore, if the upper insulator 10 is misaligned in front and rear or left and right directions, it may be difficult to assemble the upper insulator 10. As a result, it is cumbersome to assembly the upper insulator 10 in a state where the upper insulator 10 is aligned in the same direction.

    [0008] Thus, as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, an upper insulator 10 of a secondary battery according to a second embodiment of the related art has an injection/impregnation hole 12 and an anode tab hole 11, which have the same size, to improve assemblability and bending resistance. However, since the injection/impregnation hole 12 is narrow in space and deteriorated in workability, and also, the cathode tab hole 13 is eccentrically formed, the assemblability may be deteriorated, like the first embodiment.

    DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION


    TECHNICAL PROBLEM



    [0009] The technical solution of the present invention for solving the above-described problems is to provide a secondary battery structure in which an upper insulator is improved in structure to increase strength against bending stress and is assemble, regardless of front and rear or left and right directions.

    TECHNICAL SOLUTION



    [0010] To solve the above technical problems, the present invention provides a secondary battery structure according to claim 1 and including: a can; an electrode assembly accommodated in the can, the electrode assembly including a cathode tab and an anode tab; a cap plate sealing an opened upper end of the can; and an upper insulator disposed between the can and the cap plate, the upper insulator having a cathode tab hole for the cathode tab, an anode tab hole for the anode tab, and an injection/impregnation hole for injecting and impregnating, wherein each of the cathode tab hole, the anode tab hole, and the injection/impregnation hole extends in a length or width direction of the upper insulator and is symmetrical with respect to at least one of a line (a) that equally divides the upper insulator in a width direction and a line (b) that equally divides the upper insulator in a length direction.

    [0011] Each of the cathode tab hole, the anode tab hole, and the injection/impregnation hole may extend in the length or width direction of the upper insulator and is symmetrical with respect to a line (c) that equally divides the upper insulator in a thickness direction.

    [0012] The anode tab hole may be defined in a center of a top surface of the upper insulator, and the injection/impregnation hole may be provided in plurality on both sides of the upper insulator in the length direction with the anode tab hole therebetween, and the cathode tab hole may be provided in at least one on both sides of the upper insulator in the width direction with the injection/impregnation hole therebetween.

    [0013] A reinforcing piece is disposed along a circumference of each of top and bottom surfaces of the upper insulator.

    [0014] The reinforcing piece extends in the length or width direction of the upper insulator and is symmetrical with respect to the line (c) that equally divides the upper insulator in the thickness direction.

    [0015] The cathode tab hole is opened in the width direction of the upper insulator.

    [0016] A cutoff member for finishing the cathode tab hole may be disposed on the cathode tab hole, and a portion of the cutoff member may be separably connected to the cathode tab hole.

    [0017] The cutoff member may be integrally manufactured with the upper insulator when the upper insulator is manufactured.

    [0018] The anode tab hole may have a prismatic shape, and the injection/impregnation hole may have a circular or oval shape.

    ADVANTAGEOUS EFFECTS



    [0019] According to the present invention, since the improved upper insulator having the symmetrical structure is applied to the secondary battery, convenience in assembly may be improved, and the bending resistance and the supporting reaction force may be maximized to improve the merchantable quality of the upper insulator.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0020] 

    FIG. 1 is a view of an upper insulator of a secondary battery according to a first embodiment of a related art.

    FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of FIG. 1.

    FIG, 3 is a view of an upper insulator of a secondary battery according to a second embodiment of the related art.

    FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of FIG. 3.

    FIG. 5 is a plan view of an upper insulator of a secondary battery according to a first embodiment of the present invention.

    FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the upper insulator of the secondary battery according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

    FIG. 7 is a plan view of an upper insulator of a secondary battery according to a second embodiment of the present invention.

    FIG. 8 is a plan view of an upper insulator of a secondary battery according to a third embodiment of the present invention.


    MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION



    [0021] An upper insulator of a secondary battery according to the present invention has a symmetrical structure in width, length, and thickness with respect to a central line thereof to improve manufacturability, assemblability, and compatibility.

    [0022] Hereinafter, embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings so that those skilled in the art can easily work with the embodiments. The present invention may, however, be embodied in different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein. In the drawings, anything unnecessary for describing the present invention will be omitted for clarity, and also like reference numerals in the drawings denote like elements.

    [0023] Although not shown, a secondary battery structure according to the first embodiment of the present invention includes a can having an opened upper portion, an electrode assembly accommodated in the can and including a cathode tab and an anode tab, a cap plate for sealing the opened portion end of the can, and an upper insulator 100 disposed between the can and the cap plate and having a cathode tab hole 130 for the cathode tab, an anode tab hole 110 for the anode tab, and an injection/impregnation hole 120 for injecting and impregnating.

    [0024] Here, as illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6, the upper insulator 100 has a structure in which the anode tab hole 110, the injection/impregnation hole 120, and the cathode tab hole 130 are symmetrical with respect to a central line of the upper insulator 100 in width, length, and thickness directions.

    [0025] For example, each of the anode tab hole 110, the injection/impregnation hole 120, and the cathode tab hole 130 extends in the length or width direction of the upper insulator 100 to provide a symmetrical structure with respect to at least one of a line a that equally divides the upper insulator 100 in the width direction and a line b that equally divides the upper insulator 100 in the length direction (see FIG. 5).

    [0026] That is, the anode tab hole 110 is formed in a center of a top surface of the upper insulator 100 and is symmetrical with respect to the line a or b which is illustrated in FIG. 5.

    [0027] The anode tab hole 110 has a prismatic shape that extends in the length direction of the upper insulator 100. Thus, a space having more wide area may be secured in the upper insulator 100.

    [0028] The injection/impregnation hole 120 may be provided in plurality at both sides of the upper insulator 100 in the length direction with the anode tab hole 110 therebetween and is symmetrical with respect to the line a or b which is illustrated in FIG. 5.

    [0029] The injection/impregnation hole 120 may have a circular or oval shape. That is, if the injection/impregnation hole 120 has the circular shape, a symmetrical property may be improved. Also, if the injection/impregnation hole 120 has the oval shape, more wide width may be secured to improve workability. Furthermore, when the injection/impregnation holes 120 are arranged in an oval shape in comparison with a circular shape, the number of injection/impregnation holes 120 may be reduced to obtain easy manufacture.

    [0030] The cathode tab hole 130 is provided in at least one on both sides of the upper insulator 100 in the width direction with the injection/impregnation hole 120 therebetween and is symmetrical with respect to the line a or b which is illustrated in FIG. 5.

    [0031] Here, as illustrated in FIG. 5, the cathode tab hole 130 is provided in two on each of both sides of the upper insulator 100, i.e., provided in four on both sides of the upper insulator 100 in the width direction with the injection/impregnation hole 120 therebetween to improve convenience in use and increase strength against bending stress.

    [0032] Also, the cathode tab hole 130 is opened in the width direction of the upper insulator 100 to improve efficiency when the cathode tab passes therethrough.

    [0033] Thus, the anode tab holes 110, the injection/impregnation holes 120, and the cathode tab holes 130 are symmetrical with respect to the line a or b which is expressed on the upper insulator 100, and thus, the upper insulator 100 may be assemble in any direction.

    [0034] Also, each of the anode tab holes 110, the injection/impregnation holes 120, and the cathode tab holes 130 extend in the length or width direction of the upper insulator 100 and thus are symmetrical with respect to a line c that equally divides the upper insulator 100 in the thickness direction (see FIG. 6).

    [0035] That is, front and rear surfaces of the upper insulator 100 are symmetrical with each other. Thus, the upper insulator 100 may be utilized regardless of the front and rear surface thereof. That is, since it is unnecessary to consider overturning of the upper insulator 100, the number of assembly processes may be reduced, and yield may be improved.

    [0036] A reinforcing piece 140 is disposed along a circumference of each of top and bottom surfaces of the upper insulator 100 to increase strength of the upper insulator 100.

    [0037] Here, the reinforcing piece 140 extends in the length or width of the upper insulator 100 and thus is symmetrical with respect to the line c that equally divides the upper insulator 100 in the thickness direction. Thus, when the upper insulator 100 is assembled, it may prevent the upper insulator 100 from being changed in left and right sides or overturned.

    [0038] As described above, the anode tab holes 110, the injection/impregnation holes 120, and the cathode tab holes 130 of the upper insulator 100 are symmetrical with respect to at least one line of the lines a, b, and c, which are illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6, to prevent the upper insulator 100 from being changed in left and right sides or overturned, thereby improving assemblability. In addition, since four surfaces of the upper insulator 100 have the same bending stress, the bending of the upper insulator 100 may be prevented.

    [0039] Hereinafter, in description of a secondary battery structure according to another embodiment of the present invention, components which are equal or similar to those of the first embodiment are indicated by the same numeral references, and thus duplicate description thereof will be omitted.

    [0040] FIG. 7 is a view of a secondary battery structure according to a second embodiment of the present invention.

    [0041] As illustrated in FIG. 7, in the secondary battery structure according to the second embodiment, a cathode tab hole 130' is provided in each of both sides of an upper insulator 100' in a width direction with an injection/impregnation hole 120' therebetween, like the first embodiment. Thus, the upper insulator 100' may be easily manufactured, and more wide area may be secured in the upper insulator 100' to improve workability and compatibility when a cathode tab passes therethrough.

    [0042] FIG. 8 is a view of a secondary battery structure according to a third embodiment of the present invention.

    [0043] As illustrated in FIG. 8, the secondary battery structure according to the third embodiment may be a modified example of the cathode tab hole according to the first embodiment. A cutoff member 150 for finishing a cathode tab hole 130" may be further provided on the cathode tab hole 130" formed in an upper insulator 100". A portion of the cutoff member 150 is formed as a cutoff part 151 connected to the cathode tab hole 130". Thus, as the cutoff part 151 is cut, the cutoff member 150 may be separated from the cathode tab hole 130".

    [0044] That is, in the secondary battery structure according to the third embodiment, the cutoff member 150 may be provided on the cathode tab hole 130" to increase strength against bending resistance. In addition, when a cathode tab passes through the cathode tab hole 130", only the cutoff member 150 disposed on the corresponding cathode tab hole 130" may be cut to minimize the reduction in strength against the bending resistance.

    [0045] Here, the cutoff member 150 may be integrally manufactured with the upper insulator 100" when the upper insulator 110" is manufactured to ensure ease of manufacture.


    Claims

    1. A secondary battery structure comprising:

    a can;

    an electrode assembly accommodated in the can, the electrode assembly comprising a cathode tab and an anode tab;

    a cap plate sealing an opened upper end of the can; and

    an upper insulator (100) disposed between the can and the cap plate, the upper insulator (100) having one or more than one cathode tab holes (130) for the cathode tab, one or more than one anode tab holes (110) for the anode tab, and one or more than one injection/impregnation holes (120) for injecting and impregnating,

    wherein each of the one or more than one cathode tab holes (130), the one or more than one anode tab holes (110), and the one or more than one injection/impregnation holes (120) extends in a length or width direction of the upper insulator (100) and is symmetrical with respect to at least one of a line (a) that equally divides the upper insulator (100) in a width direction and a line (b) that equally divides the upper insulator (100) in a length direction, and

    characterized in that
    a reinforcing piece (140) is disposed along a circumference of each of top and bottom surfaces of the upper insulator (100) and the reinforcing piece (140) extends in the length or width direction of the upper insulator (100) and is symmetrical with respect to the line (c) that equally divides the upper insulator (100) in the thickness direction, and
    the one or more than one cathode tab holes (130) are opened in the width direction of the upper insulator (100), and
    the one or more than one cathode tab holes (130) are provided in two on each of both sides of the upper insulator (100).
     
    2. The secondary battery structure of claim 1, wherein each of the one or more than one cathode tab holes (130), the one or more than one anode tab holes (110), and the one or more than one injection/impregnation holes (120) extends in the length or width direction of the upper insulator (100) and is symmetrical with respect to a line (c) that equally divides the upper insulator (100) in a thickness direction.
     
    3. The secondary battery structure of claim 2, wherein the one or more than one anode tab holes (110) are defined in a center of the upper insulator (100), and the one or more than one injection/impregnation holes (120) are provided in plurality on both sides of the upper insulator (100) in the length direction with the one or more than one anode tab holes (110) therebetween, and the one or more than one cathode tab holes (130) are provided in at least one on both sides of the upper insulator (100) in the width direction with the injection/impregnation hole (120) therebetween.
     
    4. The secondary battery structure of claim 1, wherein the one or more than one anode tab holes (110) have a prismatic shape, and
    the one or more than one injection/impregnation holes (120) have a circular or oval shape.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Sekundärbatterie-Struktur, umfassend:

    eine Dose;

    eine Elektrodenanordnung, welche in der Dose aufgenommen ist, wobei die Elektrodenanordnung einen Kathodenstreifen und einen Anodenstreifen umfasst;

    eine Kappenplatte, welche ein geöffnetes oberes Ende der Dose abdichtet; und

    einen oberen Isolator (100), welcher zwischen der Dose und der Kappenplatte angeordnet ist, wobei der obere Isolator (100) ein oder mehr als ein Kathodenstreifen-Loch (130) für den Kathodenstreifen, ein oder mehr als ein Anodenstreifen-Loch (110) für den Anodenstreifen und ein oder mehr als ein Injektions-/Imprägnierungsloch (120) zum Injizieren und Imprägnieren aufweist,

    wobei sich jedes aus dem einen oder den mehr als einem Kathodenstreifen-Loch (130), dem einen oder den mehr als einem Anodenstreifen-Loch (110) und dem einen oder den mehr als einem Injektions-/Imprägnierungsloch (120) in einer Längen- oder Breitenrichtung des oberen Isolators (100) erstreckt und in Bezug auf wenigstens eine aus einer Linie (a), welche den oberen Isolator (100) in einer Breitenrichtung gleichmäßig teilt, und einer Linie (b), welche den oberen Isolator (100) in einer Längenrichtung gleichmäßig teilt, symmetrisch ist, und

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

    ein Verstärkungsstück (140) entlang eines Umfangs von jeder aus oberen und unteren Flächen des oberen Isolators (100) angeordnet ist und sich das Verstärkungsstück (140) in der Längen- oder Breitenrichtung des oberen Isolators (100) erstreckt und in Bezug auf eine Linie (c) symmetrisch ist, welche den oberen Isolator (100) in der Dickenrichtung gleichmäßig teilt, und

    das eine oder die mehr als ein Kathodenstreifen-Loch (130) in der Breitenrichtung des oberen Isolators (100) geöffnet sind, und

    das eine oder die mehr als ein Kathodenstreifen-Loch (130) in zwei an jeder von beiden Seiten des oberen Isolators (100) bereitgestellt sind.


     
    2. Sekundärbatterie-Struktur nach Anspruch 1, wobei sich jedes aus dem einen oder den mehr als einem Kathodenstreifen-Loch (130), dem einen oder den mehr als einem Anodenstreifen-Loch (110) und dem einen oder den mehr als einem Injektions-/Imprägnierungsloch (120) in der Längen- oder Breitenrichtung des oberen Isolators (100) erstreckt und in Bezug auf eine Linie (c) symmetrisch ist, welche den oberen Isolator (100) in einer Dickenrichtung gleichmäßig teilt.
     
    3. Sekundärbatterie-Struktur nach Anspruch 2, wobei das eine oder die mehr als ein Anodenstreifen-Loch (110) in einem Zentrum des oberen Isolators (100) definiert sind und das eine oder die mehr als ein Injektions-/Imprägnierungsloch (120) in einer Mehrzahl an beiden Seiten des oberen Isolators (100) in der Längenrichtung mit dem einen oder den mehr als einem Anodenstreifen-Loch (110) dazwischen bereitgestellt sind und das eine oder die mehr als ein Kathodenstreifen-Loch (130) in wenigstens einer an beiden Seiten des oberen Isolators (100) in der Breitenrichtung mit dem Injektions-/Imprägnierungsloch (120) dazwischen bereitgestellt sind.
     
    4. Sekundärbatterie-Struktur nach Anspruch 1, wobei das eine oder die mehr als ein Anodenstreifen-Loch (110) eine prismatische Form aufweisen, und
    das eine oder die mehr als ein Injektions-/Imprägnierungsloch (120) eine kreisförmige oder ovale Form aufweisen.
     


    Revendications

    1. Structure de batterie secondaire comprenant :

    un bac ;

    un ensemble d'électrodes logé dans le bac, l'ensemble d'électrodes comprenant une patte de cathode et une patte d'anode ;

    une plaque couvercle obturant une extrémité supérieure ouverte du bac ; et

    un isolant supérieur (100) disposé entre le bac et la plaque couvercle, l'isolant supérieur (100) ayant un ou plus d'un trou de patte de cathode (130) pour la patte de cathode, un ou plus d'un trou de patte d'anode (110) pour la patte d'anode, et un ou plus d'un trou d'injection/imprégnation (120) pour l'injection et l'imprégnation,

    dans laquelle chacun des un ou plus d'un trou de patte de cathode (130), des un ou plus d'un trou de patte d'anode (110), et des un ou plus d'un trou d'injection/imprégnation (120) s'étend dans un sens de la longueur ou de la largeur de l'isolant supérieur (100) et est symétrique par rapport à au moins l'une d'une ligne (a) qui divise de façon égale l'isolant supérieur (100) dans un sens de la largeur et d'une ligne (b) qui divise de façon égale l'isolant supérieur (100) dans un sens de la longueur, et

    caractérisée en ce que

    une pièce de renforcement (140) est disposée le long d'une circonférence de chacune de surfaces de dessus et de dessous de l'isolant supérieur (100) et la pièce de renforcement (140) s'étend dans le sens de la longueur ou de la largeur de l'isolant supérieur (100) et est symétrique par rapport à la ligne (c) qui divise de façon égale l'isolant supérieur (100) dans le sens de l'épaisseur, et

    les un ou plus d'un trou de patte de cathode (130) sont ouverts dans le sens de la largeur de l'isolant supérieur (100), et

    les un ou plus d'un trou de patte de cathode (130) sont prévus par deux sur chacun des deux côtés de l'isolant supérieur (100).


     
    2. Structure de batterie secondaire selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle chacun des un ou plus d'un trou de patte de cathode (130), des un ou plus d'un trou de patte d'anode (110), et des un ou plus d'un trou d'injection/imprégnation (120) s'étend dans le sens de la longueur ou de la largeur de l'isolant supérieur (100) et est symétrique par rapport à une ligne (c) qui divise de façon égale l'isolant supérieur (100) dans un sens de l'épaisseur.
     
    3. Structure de batterie secondaire selon la revendication 2, dans laquelle les un ou plus d'un trou de patte d'anode (110) sont définis au centre de l'isolant supérieur (100), et les un ou plus d'un trou d'injection/imprégnation (120) sont prévus en une pluralité sur les deux côtés de l'isolant supérieur (100) dans le sens de la longueur avec les un ou plus d'un trou de patte d'anode (110) entre eux, et les un ou plus d'un trou de patte de cathode (130) sont prévus en au moins un exemplaire sur les deux côtés de l'isolant supérieur (100) dans le sens de la largeur avec le trou d'injection/imprégnation (120) entre eux.
     
    4. Structure de batterie secondaire selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle les un ou plus d'un trou de patte d'anode (110) ont une forme prismatique, et
    les un ou plus d'un trou d'injection/imprégnation (120) ont une forme circulaire ou ovale.
     




    Drawing















    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description