Meshfree Multiphysics Damage Modeling of Li-ion Battery Materials

Kristen Susuki, Jeff Allen, Jiun-Shyan Chen

Research output: NRELPoster


Through repeated charging and discharging cycles, the electrodes of a Li-ion battery experience significant swelling and contraction due to the movement of lithium, also known as intercalation. This research focuses specifically on the chemo-mechanical cracking in the cathode. Because cathode particles are comprised of many randomly-oriented grains, which have highly anisotropic material properties, the expansion and contraction is very non-uniform. As a result, stress concentrations tend to form between grains, which necessitates the modeling of crack propagation largely along grain boundaries and material interfaces. Chemo-mechanical damage models are generally simulated by one of two methods: the cohesive zone model (CZM) and the continuous damage model (CDM). The CZM is more accurate at capturing the sharp discontinuities of a crack but is very computationally expensive and intractable for large-scale models as a result. Conversely, the CDM is easily computed but not well-suited to easily allow for discontinuous field variables, which are inherent across a crack. This study aims to improve the CDM's ability to capture discontinuous cracks. Current versions of the CDM use the finite element method (FEM), which is one of the most widely used approaches for spatial discretization. This research investigates the use of the Reproducing Kernel Particle Method (RKPM), a meshfree method, for spatial discretization and aims to achieve a coupled chemo-mechanical crack propagation model that enhances accuracy while maintaining high computational efficiency. This model features a fully coupled, iterative electrochemistry solution, which informs the meshfree damage model of impending crack formation. To gain a better understanding of how the meshfree model compares to the current FEM model in capturing cathode crack propagation, further investigation is needed.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePresented at the UCSD Lab Expo, 27 January 2023, San Diego, California

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-2C00-85040


  • damage modeling
  • meshfree methods
  • multiphysics
  • reproducing kernel particle method


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