Unveiling the environment-dependent mechanical properties of porous polypropylene separators

Shutian Yan, Xinran Xiao, Xiaosong Huang, Xiaodong Li, Yue Qi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 18 Citations

Abstract

Porous polypropylene (PP) is commonly used as separator materials for lithium ion batteries (LIB). Its mechanical properties, especially critical for abuse tolerance and durability of LIB, are subject to change in different environments. To capture the mechanical responses of a porous PP separator, its microstructure was mapped into separate atomistic models of bulk crystalline phases and oriented amorphous nanofibers. These structures were relaxed and stretched in vacuum, water, and dimethyl carbonate (DMC) using molecular dynamics (MD). The simulation results revealed DMC molecules penetrated into the amorphous PP nanofiber, and reduced the local density and the Young's modulus. In contrast, water increased the Young's modulus of the amorphous PP nanofiber. Furthermore, neither water nor DMC had any impact on the Young's modulus of the crystalline phase. These results suggest that the DMC induced separator softening was attributed to the strong attraction of the less-polar DMC solvent with the amorphous fibrous PP nanofibers.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages6282-6292
Number of pages11
JournalPolymer (United Kingdom)
Volume55
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 18 2014

Profile

Polypropylenes
Separators
Carbonates
Nanofibers
Mechanical properties
Elastic moduli
Water
Crystalline materials
Molecular dynamics
Durability
methyl carbonate
Vacuum
Microstructure
Molecules
Lithium-ion batteries

Keywords

  • Mechanical property
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Porous polypropylene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics

Cite this

Unveiling the environment-dependent mechanical properties of porous polypropylene separators. / Yan, Shutian; Xiao, Xinran; Huang, Xiaosong; Li, Xiaodong; Qi, Yue.

In: Polymer (United Kingdom), Vol. 55, No. 24, 18.11.2014, p. 6282-6292.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Yan, Shutian ; Xiao, Xinran ; Huang, Xiaosong ; Li, Xiaodong ; Qi, Yue. / Unveiling the environment-dependent mechanical properties of porous polypropylene separators. In: Polymer (United Kingdom). 2014 ; Vol. 55, No. 24. pp. 6282-6292
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AB - Porous polypropylene (PP) is commonly used as separator materials for lithium ion batteries (LIB). Its mechanical properties, especially critical for abuse tolerance and durability of LIB, are subject to change in different environments. To capture the mechanical responses of a porous PP separator, its microstructure was mapped into separate atomistic models of bulk crystalline phases and oriented amorphous nanofibers. These structures were relaxed and stretched in vacuum, water, and dimethyl carbonate (DMC) using molecular dynamics (MD). The simulation results revealed DMC molecules penetrated into the amorphous PP nanofiber, and reduced the local density and the Young's modulus. In contrast, water increased the Young's modulus of the amorphous PP nanofiber. Furthermore, neither water nor DMC had any impact on the Young's modulus of the crystalline phase. These results suggest that the DMC induced separator softening was attributed to the strong attraction of the less-polar DMC solvent with the amorphous fibrous PP nanofibers.

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