Multifunctional Structural-energy Storage Nanocomposites for Ultra Lightweight Micro Autonomous Vehicles
Final rept. Oct 2011-Sep 2012
ARMY RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD VEHICLE TECHNOLOGY DIRECTORATE
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A key concern in the design of micro autonomous vehicles is an onboard energy supply that is able to satisfy system power requirements while also limiting the massvolume burden to the platform. The conventional solution is to increase the energy density of the power supply, typically a commercial battery. Another approach is to replace single-function structural components with multifunctional structural energy storage materials to supplement the main power supply. Here we report on the use of flexible carbon nanotube CNT-based composites for multifunctional structural energy storage applications. Supercapacitors were fabricated from aligned and non-aligned CNT-based polymer composites and were subject to electrical and mechanical characterization. In addition, an electromechanical characterization technique was used to explore the multifunctional behavior of the solid-state flexible supercapacitors. Initial tests showed that the specific capacitance of the composite materials increased by approximately 10 as the structure was subject to a 2 mechanical strain. These preliminary results indicate that these multifunctional solid-state composites could potentially replace micro vehicle flexible structural components, supplement system power requirements, and ultimately increase platform endurance.
- Energy Storage