Multifunctional Structural Composite Batteries for U.S. Army Applications
ARMY RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD WEAPONS AND MATERIALS RESEARCH DIRECTORATE
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We are developing structural polymeric composites with battery functionality. These devices carry structural loads while simultaneously storing electrochemical energy. If designed with sufficient structural and energy efficiency, these materials could enable significant system-level weight reductions by replacing inert structural components while providing supplementary power for light load applications. To enable this concept, we have designed mechanical load-bearing properties directly into the battery electrodes and electrolyte such that each component is itself multifunctional. Carbon fiber fabric anodes, structural cathodes, and solvent-free structural polymer electrolytes are each being developed to exhibit a desirable combination of mechanical strength and electrochemical performance. These components are being integrated using moldable, scalable, cost-effective composite processing techniques. A case study using a real system is reviewed to demonstrate potential benefit.
- Electrochemical Energy Storage