Available Technology

Cast Thermal Battery Components using a Salt Binder

Thermal batteries, also known as molten salt batteries, are useful for powering applications that require high power density, a long shelf life, and little to no lifetime maintenance. Currently, thermal batteries are fabricated by forming solid pellets through the high-pressure processing of materials. This is not only labor-intensive, expensive, and time-consuming, but also restricts thermal batteries to a single, cylindrical shape.

Sandia researchers developed a novel method for fabricating cast thermal battery components, including cathodes and separators, using thick film advanced manufacturing techniques. This technique replaces the pellet electrode process with a casting process that uses a conductive salt binder and/or its constituent salts. Casting involves applying standard thermal battery materials in a film laydown process supported by roll-to-roll processing, tape-casting, and other forms of printing which enable prismatic, spiral wound, stacked, or z-fold shapes. The result is a rapid, flexible, and low-cost method of producing thermal battery components with greater uniformity and consistency over currently available pellet processing.

Patent Abstract: 

A rapid, flexible, and low-cost method of producing thermal battery components using thick film advanced manufacturing techniques to achieve greater uniformity and consistency

  • Improved consistency and uniformity
  • Reduced production time
  • Reduced cost- up a 30% reduction in production costs
  • Thinner cathode and separator films (~0.008") support smaller overall battery designs
  • Compatible with additive manufacturing, tape-casting, roll-to-roll coating, and gravure printing
  • Enables non-cylindrical shaped components

Extreme environments

Launch vehicles

Electric vehicles


Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
SD# 14159
Patent Status: 
Patent Pending
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