KULR Technology Group, Inc. announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has awarded it a patent on its Thermal Runaway Shield (TRS) – a technology designed and successfully tested to reduce the fire, explosion and other risks associated with thermal runaway in lithium-ion battery packs.
“The awarding of this patent is a big leap forward in our ongoing work to research and develop products that make batteries safer,” said Dr. Timothy Knowles, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of KULR, and first named inventor of the patent. “We believe that designers, engineers and customers in a variety of markets, both current and new, will benefit from our innovative technology.”
Lithium-ion batteries are the industry and consumer standard for portable power; billions of individual battery cells exist and billions more are planned for production. But lithium-ion batteries fail, sometimes with catastrophic results.
Among the most dangerous types of cell failures are latent manufacturing defects or stress-related failures related to fatigue, damage, over-cycling or rapid charging and discharging. In many cases, when a single cell in a multi-cell pack fails, for any reason, the fire and heat trigger neighboring cells to also fail in a chain reaction known as thermal runaway propagation.
The company’s TRS is a sleeve-like shield that surrounds and separates individual cells in multi-cell packs and contains KULR’s proprietary carbon fiber fabric and a liquid. The unique combination and configuration of the shield passively draws intense heat of cell failures away from nearby cells while dousing the failed area in a cooling and fire-prevention liquid.
In tests conducted by NASA, prototypes of the KULR TRS were shown to keep the temperature of neighboring cells well below their failure temperature of 130 Celsius, while a failed cell surpassed 1,000°C.
“With protection guaranteed for our intellectual property, we can more aggressively enter commercial markets,” said Michael Mo, CEO of KULR Technology. “Battery safety is a global concern across many very large and rapidly growing markets such as E-mobility, aerospace, defense, and consumer electronics.”
KULR’s core technology is a space-used, vertically-aligned carbon fiber material that is lighter, more flexible, and more efficient than traditional thermal management products. As pure carbon, KULR fiber is perfectly heat efficient and because it behaves like a flexible fabric it can fit with just about any power or electronic configuration in extremely demanding spaces with minimal contact pressure.
The patent, awarded as No. 10147921, was originally applied for in July 2016 and awarded December 4, 2018.