Everybody loves Google, though lithium-ion battery manufacturers probably aren’t thrilled about search results for their products these days. The world of batteries is vast and complex. There are many different types of battery chemistry, materials and applications and li-on is just one subset. For us, it is an area of particular interest in terms of battery packaging, protection and transportation. Because syntactic foams offer critical material properties such as low thermal conductivity and low heat transfer, they are being explored for use in combating dangerous thermal runaway conditions that occur when li-on batteries overheat and ignite.

Companies like SpectrumFX offer new ways to suppress fires once they have started; our approach is to contain the fire before it spreads. With epoxy- and phenolic-based matrices, our low FST materials have been recently tested according to ASTM standards for attributes such as time to ignition, average heat release and smoke release rates.

Next week we are attending the annual conference of the National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Batteries (“NaatBatt”) in California. We’ll be talking to research institutes, battery manufacturers, transportation officials and others about what can be done to address the current dangers associated with transporting li-on batteries as cargo on planes. We’ll report back after the event.

(Image from Google Images)