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Home   /   Thesis   /   Experimentation and numerical simulation for mechanical effects assessment of lithium batteries thermal runaway

Experimentation and numerical simulation for mechanical effects assessment of lithium batteries thermal runaway


Severe solicitations of Li battery can lead to a thermal runaway phenomenon, which can cause an outbreak of fire, even an explosive combustion of the cell or of the whole battery pack. The thesis objective is to develop a numerical modelling and simulation strategy to study the mechanical consequences of a thermal runaway, in order to take into account these effects in the dimensioning of the battery envelop, the enclosure or the facility (fluid structure interaction). This strategy relies on physical testing campaigns carried out as part of the thesis, and on numerical tools developed by CEA. The work will be organised into three main content areas:

1. Understand, master and model the different phases of the scenario, especially the combustion phase. The characterization of the mixture of emitted gas will be based on works from the recent literature and from another thesis on the subject. To characterize the combusion phase of the mixture (flame speed and acceleration, deflagration/detonation, ...), tests will be conducted in a shock tube.

2. Develop a numerical model representative of phenomena identified in the first part, on the basis of CEA numerical tools, in particular Cast3M and EUROPLEXUS. At first, the fluid structure interaction will not be considered. If necessary, new models or functionalities will be adapted, improved or developed, with verification and validation based on experimental results.

3. Introduce the fluid structure interaction in the modelling, in order to assess the deformation of the battery or pack envelop, the enclosure or the facility due to pressure increase generated by the thermal runaway. Coupling methods available in the codes (Cast3M, EUROPLEXUS) will be investigated and completed if necessary. The numerical model will be validated on the basis of tests results.

The results of this thesis should enable to evaluate the capabilities of the current tools and orientate the development of numerical methods and calculation codes in order to improve their predictivity to simulate the mechanical consequences of the Li battery thermal runaway.


Département de Modélisation des Systèmes et Structures
Service d’Etudes Mécaniques et Thermiques
Laboratoire d’études de DYNamique
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