Global demand for lead–acid batteries is growing, with an increasingly varied range of technologically diverse energy-storage applications. In general, there is an ever increasing demand for better battery performance. Consequently, the focus is now on the production of lighter, lower cost (less lead), more durable (longer service-life) batteries that are manufactured from raw materials of optimum quality under consistent, reproducible and controlled conditions through the use of sophisticated and efficient production equipment and reliable process technology. To ensure a sustainable future for lead–acid batteries, it is necessary to optimize the grid–plate component by minimizing waste materials; improving productivity and quality; and increasing lead utilization. The push to modify and/or change lead and lead-alloy specifications to achieve lower impurity levels for all elements is often undertaken without appreciating their benefits. It is naive to believe that all elements are detrimental to the life and performance of the battery. This presentation reviews the importance of (i) correctly specifying ‘soft’ lead for the production of each ‘leady oxide’, (ii) selecting the appropriate manufacturing process used to make the oxide and (iii) utilizing the corresponding characteristics and benefits of different oxides in the paste for lead–acid cells/batteries.
WIRTZ Manufacturing Company
Vice President – Battery Technology
Doug Lambert joined Oldham Batteries (Denton, Manchester, UK) in February 1977 and has now over 40 years of experience in the lead–acid battery industry. He has worked for battery manufacturers, battery manufacturing equipment suppliers, and spent 12 years as a specialist lead–acid product and process consultant. Doug is currently Vice President – Battery Technology for WIRTZ Manufacturing Company Inc., Port Huron, Michigan, USA (having re-joined WIRTZ in August 2011 as Technology Manager, and accepting the VP role in October 2012).