Deformation and Fracture Behaviors of Cylindrical Battery Shell During Thermal Runaway

Yikai Jia, John Darst, Amul Surelia, David Delafuente, Donal Finegan, Jun Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus Citations


Thermal runaway is one of the catastrophic failure modes of lithium-ion cells. During thermal runaway in cylindrical cells, sidewall shell rupture has been identified as a contributing factor for thermal runaway propagation in battery packs. Herein, the deformation and fracture behaviors of the battery shell during thermal runaway are investigated based on in-situ and ex-situ characterization as well as physics-based modeling. The deformation and fracture modes of the battery shell with/without Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) sleeves are identified. In the simulation, the strain introduced by thermal expansion of the system is considered, as well as the thermal and strain rate effects on the plastic stage. The final cell shell modeling is validated by cell thermal runaway tests. Results reveal the quantitative relation between shell deformation behaviors and the pressure and temperature distribution. Both the experiment and model demonstrate the effectiveness of adding a tight-fitting CFRP sleeve around the cell in limiting the side-wall rupture of the shell. The use of CFRP tubes introduces a novel phenomenon in the context of uneven temperature distribution. Results shed light on the mechanistic analysis of a cell side-wall rupture during thermal runaway and provide essential guidance for the next-generation safe battery design.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 231607
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Power Sources
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5700-83158


  • Battery casing
  • Experiment
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Modeling
  • Side-wall rupture
  • Thermal runaway


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