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Friday, 3 June 2011

New thermal battery manufacturing method

Sandia National Laboratories
June 1, 2011

A new thin-film coating process for manufacturing thermal batteries used in nuclear weapons and other munitions that was invented at Sandia National Laboratories will be industrialized under a new corporate partnership with a Maryland company. The process could lead to create lighter batteries in a variety of shapes for future applications.

A thermal battery is a nonrechargeable, single-use energy source that can remain inert for years at room temperature before becoming activated at temperatures as high as 1,100 degrees (600 degrees Celsius). The thin-film coating process changes the way some thermal batteries have been made since the 1950s.

Sandia researchers also are looking into whether a patented binder used in the new thin-film coating process has commercial applications, for example in lithium-ion batteries in electric and hybrid vehicles and in batteries used in the petroleum industry when drilling deep underground in hot geothermal environments.
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