Characterisation of separator papers for use in valve regulated lead/acid batteries

Richard J Ball, R Evans, R Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (SciVal)


Separator papers are an essential component of a valve regulated lead/acid (VRLA) battery. In addition to separating the positive and negative electrodes, they provide a constant pressure on the active materials thereby reducing the rate of degradation during cycling. Dendrites formed from the negative active material are also less likely to cause short circuits in batteries where a separator is employed. The level to which a separator will influence the performance of a VRLA battery it strongly dependent on its properties. This paper describes the results from a series of tests used to characterise the properties of separators most influential to battery performance. These properties include, the macroscopic structure, permittivity and wicking rates. During the operational life of a VRLA battery the volume of electrolyte will decrease, due mainly to the electrolysis of water during overcharging. The consequence of this process is a variation of acid saturation during the life of the battery, which will have a direct influence on the compressive and diffusive properties of the separator. Compressive and diffusive characteristics were therefore measured over a range of saturation levels. Characterisation was conducted on three separator types. Types A and B were 100% glass but had slightly different structures and type C contained 8% polyester fibres mixed with glass.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-220
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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