Innovative Manufacturing Processes
Agency / Branch:
DOD / MDA
Application of a unique separator material, ceramic fiber separator (CFS), developed by Inventek, can serve as the foundation for advanced thermal batteries to triple EKV battery capacity at high power. A new rapid method of thin-cell production would use the fiber separator CFS as a carrier for tapecast cell assembly and reduce unit cost by 25%. In this method, a tunnel kiln process can produce pellets 40 times faster and free up hydraulic presses for other component production. This approach overcomes the slow production time, expensive equipment, and limited handling characteristics of conventional thermal battery production using uniaxial-pressed powder parts. A major improvement is a 20 times increase in pellet strength with the CFS; both thinner and larger diameter separator can be handled. Phase I SBIR provided a proof of concept demonstration of the CFS in a pyro-initiated 12-cell thermal battery. Forty laminated cell components were produced to conduct more than 20 single cell and 12-cell battery tests. The Phase I SBIR also developed baseline processing for 15 mil thick tapecast FeS2 electrode, which was laminated with the CFS. These achievements provide a basis to pursue a pilot plant for tapecast thin-cells, in addition to a continuous thin-cell production envisioned by Inventek. Both advanced production methods are carried out in collaboration with thermal battery manufacturer ENSER to be ready for phase III production. The benefit is improved national defense at reduced cost with greater reliability.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Thmas D. Kaun
320 Willow Street New Lenox, IL 60451
Number of Employees: