SBIR Phase II: Structural Multifunctional Composites with Energy Storage Properties
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project addresses the development of a multifunctional solid-state nanolaminate composite, which may function as a structural material while storing energy in the form of a rechargeable super-capacitor. A unique production process is used, where liquid monomer and aluminum wire are introduced into a process chamber that converts them into a multilayer composite with thousands of polymer and aluminum layers. Applications include storage devices for battery back-up and inverter circuits used in transportation and high energy density capacitors for extreme thermo-mechanical environments, such as aircraft, photovoltaics and aerospace. The Phase I development work demonstrated the production of large area (10sq.ft.) energy storage material. The nanolaminate material has mechanical properties that are close to a hard polymer laminate and energy densities which are an order of magnitude higher than conventional electrostatic capacitors and similar to those of electrochemical super-capacitors, with superior performance at temperatures below -20C and above +65C. The Phase II effort includes development work to optimize certain manufacturing methods, optimization of the polymer dielectric, packaging development, creation of specification sheets based on short and long term life tests and sampling potential customers that represent immediate and long term business opportunities. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is in the utilization of a new multifunctional material that can store energy. Such material may be integrated into a structure and save space and weight. It is a green product that requires no water or solvents to produce, it is recyclable and it does not involve the use or disposal of hazardous materials. Nanolaminate energy storage products will be based on mainly two materials, aluminum wire and acrylate monomers, which are commonly used to produce protective coatings for flooring, printing, furniture, window films, etc. Lightweight energy storage nanolaminates can replace double layer electrochemical super-capacitors that have severe temperature limitations and conventional electrostatic capacitors, in applications where volume, weight and thermomechanical constraints such as vibration and operating temperature are limiting factors. Capacitors produced using nanolaminate composites, are solid-state components that can electrically self-heal and have an open-circuit, or fuse-like safe failure mode, which is desirable in applications such as electric vehicles and aircraft, where safety of people in the proximity of a capacitor bank is of paramount importance. Multifunctional materials are expected to play a key role in the future in improving energy efficiencies and reducing dependency on fossil fuels.
Small Business Information at Submission:
10960 North Stallard Place TUCSON, AZ 85737-0000
Number of Employees: