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Title: New composite separator pellet to increase power density and reduce size of thermal batteries.

We show that it is possible to manufacture strong macroporous ceramic films that can be backfilled with electrolyte to form rigid separator pellets suitable for use in thermal batteries. Several new ceramic manufacturing processes are developed to produce sintered magnesium oxide foams with connected porosities of over 80% by volume and with sufficient strength to withstand the battery manufacturing steps. The effects of processing parameters are quantified, and methods to imbibe electrolyte into the ceramic scaffold demonstrated. Preliminary single cell battery testing show that some of our first generation pellets exhibit longer voltage life with comparable resistance at the critical early times to that exhibited by a traditional pressed pellets. Although more development work is needed to optimize the processes to create these rigid separator pellets, the results indicate the potential of such ceramic separator pellets to be equal, if not superior to, current pressed pellets. Furthermore, they could be a replacement for critical material that is no longer available, as well as improving battery separator strength, decreasing production costs, and leading to shorter battery stacks for long-life batteries.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States