Filtration and separation firm Porvair Filtration Group is aiming to drive lead-acid battery innovation with its sintered Polyethylene and Polypropylene Vyon® vents.
The firm believes its Vyon vents will become the industry standard and take over from ceramic for releasing gas during a battery’s operating cycle.
The vent can be secured into the battery using ultrasonic and heat welding techniques, which offer flexibility in the automated battery assembly‑ something ceramic has historically not offered.
The vents, as well as Porvair’s flame arrestors, can be made in a variety of formats, shapes and sizes, including 3D shapes, moulded or rotary-cut discs or plugs, moulded or seam-welded cylinders.
Porvair’s general manager Roy Rigby said its materials could separate airborne acid droplets, preventing both corrosion and depletion of the battery’s electrolyte.
Rigby said: “Matching those features and benefits is a deep understanding of the applications and a fundamental belief that bespoke solutions are best, helping to prevent dangerous circumstances before they are allowed to arise.”
Vents prevent the build-up of explosive gases and stop dangerous sparks propagating back inside the battery.
The potential for explosion within a lead-acid battery occurs when hydrogen gas created during normal operation reaches a specific Hydrogen/Oxygen concentration.
Porvair Filtration Group manufactures in both the US and UK.
Rigby answered some key questions about the vents.
BBB: Is there another product that uses a material other than ceramic for vents— are you an industry innovator in this respect?
Rigby: We are not the only supplier of porous plastics battery vents. However, we can supply a super hydrophobic porous plastic flame arrestor where performance is considered more critical than cost.
BBB: What makes your technology superior to ceramic variants, other than cost and poor assembly characteristics?
Rigby: The porous plastic disc is naturally hydrophobic, which reduces the risk of acid spillage.
BBB: What makes your product easier to assemble?
Rigby: It is more malleable and less likely to crack during insertion. They can also be welded (Friction etc).
BBB: Can your vents be used in all types of Pb-A battery?
Rigby: Porous plastic vent or ceramic “stones” are used as flame arrestors and vents in deep discharge flooded cell lead acid batteries and starting lighting and Ignition (SLIG) only. These batteries are typically those that are used in automotive or traction applications such as golf carts or forklift trucks.
Vents are not used in what are called sealed lead acid (SLA) or maintenance free batteries. In those cases venting is not allowed and would shorten the life of the battery. Venting is also not allowed because SLA batteries are used in confined spaces.