As U.S. Army systems and vehicles become more dependent on electronic devices and subsystems, there is an increasing
need for improving the mass- and volume-efficiency of energy storage components. The conventional approach for
saving mass and volume is to increase component energy density. Alternatively, overall system weight can be reduced
by replacing purely structural components, such as armor or frame members, with structures that also store energy.
Specifically, we are developing capacitors that can also carry structural loads by intercalating glass fiber reinforced
polymer dielectric layers with metallized polymer film electrodes.
In previous work, we developed a metric, the multifunctional efficiency (MFE), for comparing various structural
capacitor preparations and guiding multifunctional design. Modeling and characterization of fiber composite-based
structural capacitors has shown that the MFE is sensitive to fiber shape, orientation, volume fraction, and dielectric
constant. In this work, various dielectric materials are studied against this MFE metric and the effect of fiber properties
and volume fraction on MFE is explored experimentally.