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Lightweight and Thermally Resistant Battery Containment System

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8649-21-P-0153
Agency Tracking Number: FX20D-TCSO1-0152
Amount: $149,995.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AFX20D-TCSO1
Solicitation Number: X20.D
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-11-25
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-05-24
Small Business Information
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810-1111
United States
DUNS: 073800062
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Karin Karg
 (978) 738-8233
Business Contact
 B. David Green
Phone: (978) 689-0003
Research Institution
 Wichita State University
 Waruna Seneviratne
1845 Fairmount Street
Wichita, KS 67260-0093
United States

 (316) 978-5221
 Nonprofit College or University

Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) and Wichita State University (WSU) are proposing a lightweight fire resistant composite containment system to improve aircraft safety for electronic Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) platforms.  High voltage Lithium-ion batteries increase power system efficiencies to meet eVTOL emerging demands; however, these battery systems are high risk for thermal runaway and propagation to neighboring cells, modules, and aircraft structures.  Recent high profile Li-ion battery fires/explosion incidents have driven new containment system designs.  These designs rely on the use of steel alloys that still do not withstand all possible peak fire and peak temperature battery cook-off scenarios.  The proposed PSI solution is based on a refractory composite material that is 4X lighter than steel, and capable of withstanding prolonged exposure to over 2000 ºF.  In the Phase I program, thermal & structural modeling, based on temperature and pressure data associated with actual Li-ion thermal runaway failure scenarios, will be used to guide test specimen design and testing protocol. Composite prototypes will then be fabricated and burner rig tested to demonstrate the thermal capability of the system to contain an event to improve battery system survivability and prevent aircraft damage.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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