How Your Car Battery Was Made
When most people think about a battery they think about a car battery. The batteries used in cars are starter batteries. These batteries will give a short burst of strong electric power to start the car engine.
Most car batteries have five main components. A strong plastic casing, these can be made in any colour, but due to re-cycling the most popular colour is now black. Positive and negative plates that were always made of lead, but due to the advent of maintenance free sealed batteries can be made of lead- alloys. Plate separators are usually made of a synthetic product. Battery acid is a mixture of sulphuric acid and water in a diluted form, this is also better known as Electrolyte. The connection point between the cells that form the positive and negative terminals, are usually made of lead or lead alloys the same as the plates are made of.
Batteries are usually made the following way. The first part of the process is to produce a plastic container, these are usually made of polypropelene, the manufacturers also mix in a large amount of recycled materials, this process produces a black casing, if a coloured casing is required the ingredients have to pure. The most typical type of casings are made for 12 volt batteries. These casings are split into six compartments to make six two volt cells. These cells look like a row of large ice cubes. When the battery is finished a lid is made of the same material and is fitted to the casing and sealed.
The next items to be made are Grids. Grids are made of lead or lead alloys depending on the type of battery that is been made. The plates will be used as positive and negetive plates, this is important to enable the battery to conduct an electric charge. Next a mixture of different lead and lead oxides are mixed into a paste and coated onto the plates. Negetive plates are coated with sulphates, this process produces negative plates. The positive and negative plates must be separated inside the battery to prevent short circuits, next thin sheets of porous material called separators are placed between the positive and negative plates. The separators are porous to allow electric current to flow through them, this prevents them from short circuiting.
The next step is a negative and a positive cell is paired up with a separater, this then becomes an Element, there is one element per battery cell,or one cell per container. The cells are connected by metal strips that conducts electricity. The positive and negative terminals are then welded to the metal strips. The battery at this stage is then filled with battery acid or is sometimes known as electrolite, this is a mixture of sulphuric acid and water.
The lid is then fitted and welded on using a special thermal heat process, The battery is then tested for leaks and placed in a bank of other batteries connected onto a charging system. When the battery is fully charged it is cleaned and labelled up.The final destination of the battery is usually to a distributor, and is then fitted to the customers vehicle.
The system has changed in recent years with the advent of re-cycling, indeed whole scrap batteries are now re-cycled on one production line. Scrap batteries enter the line at one end and are completely torn apart. The different parts are split up.and separated, they are then mixed with a certain amount of new materials, then the manufacturing process begins as explained in the earlier paragraphs.I have tried make my explanation as simple as possible, in order to help people understand how batteries are made.
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