Qualification testing is designed to determine whether a cell or battery is fit for the purpose for which it was intended before it is approved for use in the product. This is particularly important if the cell is to be used in a “mission critical” application. These are comprehensive tests carried out initially on a small number of cells including testing some of them to destruction if necessary. As a second stage, qualification also includes testing finished battery packs before the product is approved for release to the customer. The tests are usually carried out to verify that the cells meet the manufacturer’s specification but they could also be used to test the cells to arbitrary limits set by the applications engineer to determine how long the cells survive under adverse conditions or unusual loads, to determine failure modes or safety factors. The battery packs should also be tested with the charger recommended for the application to ensure compatibility. In particular the potential user patterns must be evaluated to ensure that the batteries do not become inadvertently overcharged. See also the section on Chargers. Shake and Bake
- Mechanical Testing
Typical tests are included in the safety standards below. They include simple tests for dimensional accuracy to dynamic testing to verify that the product can survive any static and dynamic mechanical stresses to which it may be subject.
- Environmental Testing
Typical tests are included in the safety standards below. They are designed to exercise the product through all the environmental conditions likely to be encountered by the product during its lifetime.
Abuse TestingThe purpose of abuse testing is to verify that the battery is not a danger to the user or to itself either by accidental or deliberate abuse under any conceivable conditions of use. Designing foolproof batteries is ever more difficult because as we know, fools are so ingenious.Abuse testing (always interesting to witness) is usually specified as part of the Safety Testing (below). Recent accidents with Lithium cells have highlighted the potential dangers and stricter battery design rules and a wider range of tests are being applied as well as stricter Transport Regulations for shipping the products.