Browse Publications Technical Papers 2020-01-0042
2020-03-10

Validation Testing of Lithium Battery Performance-Based Packaging for Use in Air Transportation (SAE G-27) 2020-01-0042

The SAE G-27 committee was tasked by ICAO to develop a performance-based packaging standard for lithium batteries transported as cargo on aircraft. The standard details test criteria to qualify packages of lithium batteries & cells for transportation as cargo on-board passenger aircraft. Lithium batteries and cells have been prohibited from shipment as cargo on passenger aircraft since 2016.
This paper summarizes the results of the tests conducted by Transport Canada and National Research Council Canada to support the development of this standard with evidence-based recommendations. It includes a description of the test specimens, the test set up, instrumentation used, and test procedures following the standard as drafted to date.
The study considered several lithium-ion battery and cell chemistries that were tested under various proposed testing scenarios in the draft standard. The aim was to assess the feasibility of proposed tests, and to determine whether the tests are able to accurately capture hazards which may arise from a catastrophic battery or a cell failure within the package. Laboratory results were also simulated with Computational Fluid Dynamics software for confirmation.
A comprehensive study involved validating several areas of the draft standard: i) the baseline test method consisting of a package of lithium cells; ii) an oversized battery (i.e. electric vehicle battery) to large to be tested within the proposed test chamber; iii) stratification of evolved gases within the test chamber; iv) control thermocouple placement location on the test cell for compliant measurement; and, v) test chamber leak rate effect on vented gas ignition.
The main findings of the experiments are presented in this paper for each test scenario as prescribed in the draft standard; results for proposed recommendations to improve the standard to identify a hazard with higher accuracy are presented. A discussion on each of the recommendations is included.

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