We recently welcomed Professor Dan Zenkert to the University of Bristol where he delivered a fantastic seminar on Multifunctional Carbon Fibre Composites to the CerTest team and to the wider Bristol Composites Institute as well as partners from the National Composites Centre.
Dan Zenkert is, since, 2001 a professor in Lightweight Structures at the department of Engineering Mechanics at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.
Dan’s early research work was mainly focused on sandwich structures and sandwich core materials. He has also worked with cost optimisation methods for composite structures and recyclable composite materials. His current research interest is the area of so called structural batteries aiming at developing structurally load carrying materials that simultaneously store electrical energy like a battery. This research is now extended to include more functionalities to carbon fibre composites, such as sensing, morphing and energy harvesting, all properties intrinsically built into the load carrying material itself.
The presentation, on the 3rd Feb 2023, gave a brief introduction to so called structural batteries which in short are carbon fibre composite laminates that store electrical energy just like a lithium-ion battery. But more functions can be integrated using the coupling between mechanics and electrochemistry:, strain sensing, shape-morphing and energy harvesting – all built in to the material itself.