Industrial batteries often fail due to corrosion of the positive plate. As the battery ages, the grid/spine corrodes and thereby gives rise to a reduction in battery capacity. In some cases, a low-antimony alloy is required to minimize the production of stibine. The alloy is suited for deep discharge, but there are many newer alloys that have better corrosion resistance, but are yet to see long-term usage in service. These new alloys do not have antimony, an element that lowers the hydrogen overpotential and produces stibine. Among the many candidate alloying elements are calcium, tin, silver, bismuth, and barium. Some elements may improve corrosion resistance but may compromise other aspects of the battery, e.g., material hardness, safety, or price. This presentation highlights the strategy taken towards choosing an appropriate alloy and how it is assessed for suitability.
Senior Research Metallurgist
Rosalie Louey has been involved with lead–acid battery research since 2003. She was a member of the CSIRO team that developed the UltraBatteryTM. For the past 3.5 years, Rosalie has been the Senior Research Metallurgist at PMB Defence. Her research interests include all aspects of lead–acid battery manufacturing, in particular alloy development and active-material improvement.