Automotive Engineering - April 2021 - 14

TECHNOLOGY REPORT

" There are various ways of introducing
our concept of 3D-electrode to the market, " he said. The easiest way to grow a
very thin layer of VACNT on a copper
substrate to compete with existing carbon-coated copper substrates already in

use in the battery industry. This method
will yield electrical performance and anchoring of the electrode material that is
superior to the incumbents and can be
ready in small volume production in 2021,
he said. Longer term, a real 3D and thickNAWA Technologies' founder Pascal
Boulanger is confident that the company's
advances will bring cost-effective solutions to
significantly boost EV practicality.
er UFCE  " could be on the market in low
volumes by early 2023 in 3D electrode
form, reaching mass production in 2025. "   
 Potential applications of NAWA's
UFCE technology extend into hydrogen
fuel cell systems. One uses NAWACap ultra-capacitors to harvest energy that
would otherwise be lost. The UFCE also
can serve as an electrode for the fuel cell
membrane  " because VACNT are known
to be able to reduce the loading of platinum, " thus saving cost, Boulanger said.
And materials developments by another
NAWA Group unit can reduce the weight
and improve the strength of the hydrogen carbon-composite storage tank. 
 NAWA America, based in Dayton, Ohio,
focuses on the commercialization of multifunctional, ultra-strong composites.
Its NAWAStitch concept comprises a thin
film containing the same trillions of VACNT
arranged perpendicularly to carbon fiber
layers. Acting as " nano-Velcro, " this reinforces the weakest part of a composite the interface between the layers - designed to greatly improveresistance to
shear and shock loading, stated Boulanger.  
 The 3D-UFCE and NAWAStitch are
complementary to another innovation: NAWAShell. A structural hybrid battery incorporating VACNT, it provides both
enhanced mechanical strength and electrical energy storage within the core of
the composite structure. In the future,
Boulanger sees " enormous potential in
combining NAWAStitch and NAWAShell
to create ultra-strong, multi-functional
lightweight materials that can also store
energy - for example, a solar roof panel
in a car that could generate energy stored
within the roof, with almost no additional
mass to the vehicle structure. "
Stuart Birch

14 April 2021

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Automotive Engineering - April 2021

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