Multifunctional Structural Composite Batteries

Report No. ARL-RP-192
Authors: J. F. Snyder, R.H. Carter, E.L. Wong, P. A. Nguyen, K. Xu, E. H. Ngo, and E. D. Wetzel
Date/Pages: September 2007; 18 pages
Abstract: This report is a reprint of a paper from the Proceedings of SAMPE 2006 Fall Technical Conference held in Dallas, Texas on 6-9 November 2006. We are developing structural polymeric composites that both carry structural loads and store electrochemical energy. These multifunctional batteries could replace inert structural components while providing supplementary power for light load applications. If designed with sufficient structural and energy efficiency, these materials could also enable significant system-level weight reductions. To enable this concept, load-bearing properties must be engineered into the battery packaging, electrolyte, and/or electrodes. Previous examples of structural batteries have primarily utilized structural packaging. However, in this study, structural properties are designed directly into the electrolyte and electrode materials such that each component is itself multifunctional. Novel electrode and electrolyte materials are being synthesized to optimize both electrochemical and load-bearing capacity. One focus of our research is the development of solvent-free structural polymer electrolytes based on vinyl ester resins that exhibit a desirable combination of mechanical strength and ion conductivity. Using these resin electrolytes the components are being integrated using moldable, scalable, cost-effective composite processing techniques.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2007