During recent decades, AGM separators have been progressively developed for VRLA batteries and are used increasingly in Automotive, Telecom/UPS and other Industrial applications. Hollingsworth & Vose Company (HV) is well recognized as a market leader for AGM separators. One challenge many customers encounter during AGM battery assembly is slow filling of acid electrolyte into the batteries. This problem not only slows down the battery assembly speed, but also results in an uneven acid distribution in the plates that potentially causes dry spots on plates and dendrite formation during battery formation. This presentation shows that a key factor in affecting the acid filling speed is the gas pocket trapped toward the central area of the plate + AGM. The gaseous species in the pocket are the air and possibly CO2 generated by the reaction of the acid with carbonate species in the plates. Unless these gases are exited out from the battery, they tend to hinder the flow of the acid into the central area. HV has recently developed the PowerFillTM AGM separator to solve the above issue by modifying its surface to create open channels. With these channels, the gaseous species in the pocket can escape more easily from the battery during the acid filling process, thereby allowing acid to flow quickly into the central area and enabling even acid distribution within the plates and AGM. The PowerFillTM technology can be applied to various types of AGM, and the resultant separators still retain the same strength and compression retention behaviour of the base AGM. These and other properties of the PowerFillTM AGM separator, as well as its potential applications, will be discussed in detail.
Zhiping Jiang holds a Ph.D in Chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1990) and MBA from University of Massachusetts at Lowell (2005). He undertook a two-year’s post-doctoral study at Massachusetts Institute of Technology that involved product and technology development in various areas such as batteries, battery materials and separators, separation materials for Liquid Chromatography. In 2012, Zhiping joined Hollingsworth & Vose Company as the Chief Scientist in the Battery Division.