Damage Tolerance and Durability of Structural Power Composites
Research Project, 2017 – 2020


This joint proposal between Imperial College London, Chalmers and KTH Universities to investigate truly multifunctional materials: structural power composites in which the constituents both carry structural load and store/deliver electrical power. The overarching goal is to understand the mechanical damage, degradation and rapid discharge processes in these materials, and hence develop strategies to mitigate any critical failure modes. Despite considerable success in developing proof-of-concepts and advancing electrical performance, here we will focus on the fundamental mechanical damage or failure mechanisms in these materials, particularly as a function of electrochemical charge state. Understanding these interactions will generate new routes to ameliorate the necessary compromises between mechanical and electrical characteristics of the multifunctional composites. Moreover, the intrinsically hierarchical character of the multifunctional architectures may offer opportunities to introduce new toughening, durability and charge dissipation mechanisms.

The proposal is partitioned into three Tasks. The first Task will entail mechanical and fractographic characterization of the constituent and laminate level mechanical properties and the associated damage/failure processes for the current state of the art devices. For structural supercapacitors, this will culminate in deducing the critical damage processes during impact and associated residual strength. The second Task will consider the influence of electrical charging of the materials on the mechanical behaviour, in particular during damaging impact and penetration. For structural batteries, the expansion of the fibres during charge/discharge cycling may influence the mechanical durability and performance of the devices. The program will culminate in the final Task in which strategies to mitigate the deficiencies in mechanical properties, promote benign discharge in structural supercapacitors during impact and enhance durability of structural batteries will be investigated.


Leif Asp (contact)

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Material and Computational Mechanics

Duan Shanghong

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Material and Computational Mechanics


US Air Force Office of Strategic Research (AFOSR)

Project ID: FA9550-17-1-0338
Funding Chalmers participation during 2017–2020

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure

Sustainable development

Driving Forces


Areas of Advance

Materials Science

Areas of Advance


More information

Latest update