Mahoney, B., Marshall, J., Black, T., and Moxley, D., "Lightweight Carbon Composite Chassis for Engine Start Lithium Batteries," SAE Int. J. Mater. Manf. 11(1):2018.
The supersession of metallic alloys with lightweight, high-strength composites is popular in the aircraft industry. However, aviation electronic enclosures for large format batteries and high power conversion electronics are still primarily made of aluminum alloys. These aluminum enclosures have attractive properties regrading structural integrity for the heavy internal parts, electromagnetic interference (EMI) suppression, electrical bonding for the internal cells, and/or electronics and failure containment.This paper details a lightweight carbon fiber composite chassis developed at Meggitt Sensing Systems (MSS) Securaplane, with a copper metallic mesh co-cured onto the internal surfaces resulting in a 50% reduction in weight when compared to its aluminum counterpart. In addition to significant weight reduction, it provides equal or improved performance with respect to EMI, structural and flammability performance. This application of the technology outlined in this paper pertains to an engine-start battery chassis. However, strategically embedding metallic mesh within composite materials may be utilized in numerous other applications of aviation electronics enclosures. Figure 1Composite chassis with embedded Copper mesh