A lightweight flywheel containment composed of a combination of layers of various material which absorb the energy of a flywheel structural failure. The various layers of material act as a vacuum barrier, momentum spreader, energy absorber, and reaction plate. The flywheel containment structure has been experimentally demonstrated to contain carbon fiber fragments with a velocity of 1,000 m/s and has an aerial density of less than 6.5 g/square centimeters. The flywheel containment, may for example, be composed of an inner high toughness structural layer, and energy absorbing layer, and an outer support layer. Optionally, a layer of impedance matching material may be utilized intermediate the flywheel rotor and the inner high toughness layer.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.