These Kevlar batteries could power tomorrow's slim superphones

These Kevlar batteries may power tomorrow's slim superphones
With a Kevlar battery, the next Galaxy handset could be slimmer still

Making super-slim phones with big batteries is tricky, but new Kevlar-armoured lithium cells could be the solution.

Kevlar batteries are currently being developed by the University of Michigan as a way to avoid battery fires in Boeing 787 planes, but the technology has obvious uses across consumer tech.

The material of these new cells allows them to be much thinner – potentially perfect for today's super-slim phones, which struggle to offer the sort of battery life we're after.

"The special feature of this material is we can make it very thin, so we can get more energy into the same battery cell size, or we can shrink the cell size," said Dan VanderLey, CIO, CEO and co-founder of Elegus Technologies, which has been founded to develop the new batteries. "We've seen a lot of interest from people looking to make thinner products."

Suit up with Kevlar

While the technology was funded by the National Science Foundation, it's already being prepped for commercial uses by Elegus Technologies, and while they might reach Boeing planes first, perhaps phones, tablets and wearables should also take note.

Samsung in particular has had plenty of issues with its phone batteries in the past, having to publicly admit that the Samsung Galaxy S4 was prone to a worrying expanding battery issue. It could be so severe as to push the back cover off.

Not only should Kevlar batteries be thinner than the current lithium cells, they should be stronger too. Kevlar is used where tensile strength is paramount, being five times as strong as steel.

Best of all, this isn't based on some far-off future tech, and could come to market within the next few years.

Andrew Williams

Andrew is a freelance journalist and has been writing and editing for some of the UK's top tech and lifestyle publications including TrustedReviews, Stuff, T3, TechRadar, Lifehacker and others.