How To Approach Battery Transportation

Battery transportation can be a tricky prospect. In fact, it can be downright dangerous. Fires can be caused if short-circuiting occurs on improperly packaged batteries. There are strict federal guidelines and regulations that apply to battery transportation to ensure safety.

Let’s take a look at various chemical components of various battery types. There are safety precautions and standard packaging required for every type of battery. As an example, for lithium batteries, packaging consists of the outside box, a divider, cushioning, and, of course, the battery pack.

Lead Acid Batteries

Frequently used in cars, lead acid batteries are a common type of battery and, therefore, transported on a regular basis. In the United States, they are classified as “class VIII corrosive hazardous materials”. Very specific labeling guidelines, markings, and packaging are required for the transportation of these batteries.

When it comes to moving lead acid batteries, some of the precautions and requirements are as follows:

  • At 131°F or 55°C, electrolyte must not flow from a cracked case or ruptured case.
  • The package and battery must be marked with “Nonspillable Battery” or “Nonspillable”.
  • The batteries must be subjected to vibration testing and pressure differential testing.
  • The batteries must have terminal protection in place.
  • All batteries must be separated from each other by a non-conductive divider and placed in an upright position.

Lithium-Based Batteries

Non-rechargeable or lithium metal batteries, and rechargeable or lithium ion batteries, provide high amounts of power by design. They have been known to cause fires because they occasionally produce high amounts of heat. In the United States, they are listed as “class IX miscellaneous hazardous batteries” for this very reason. To ensure that these batteries are safely transported, the following are required:

  • Specific labeling guidelines
  • Precise marking
  • Specific packaging

Above all else, the possibility for short-circuiting is the utmost concern and consideration when lithium-based batteries are being transported. Short-circuiting can be prevented in a couple of ways:

  • If the batteries come in blister packs, do not remove the batteries from that packaging. Before placing them in a box, in between the batteries, cushioning should be placed.
  • Nonconductive tape should be placed on the terminals and the batteries placed in a plastic bag, individually.

Though considered hazardous, lithium-based battery transportation regulations do have exceptions. These exceptions only apply, however, as long as the following limitations are not exceeded:

  • Batteries cannot have an “equivalent lithium content” exceeding 8 grams.
  • Where lithium metal battery content is concerned, it cannot exceed 2 grams.

Wet Batteries

A sample of the packaging involved for multiple wet batteries (flooded cell battery or wet battery uses a liquid electrolyte solution for operating means) would consist of the following items:

  • A strong outer package
  • An inner container
  • An insulating cap
  • A non-conductive divider
  • Terminal protection

Securing Your Load

In addition to specific battery related regulations, regulations concerning load securement is also a concern in the world of transportation. To adequately secure a load so that it is within all guidelines and requirements, the following can be used:

  • Blocking
  • Bracing
  • Dunnage
  • Airbags
  • Friction Mats
  • Load Straps
  • Load Bars

The use of the above can prevent load shifting, thereby providing a safer, more secure environment for cargo, the driver, and the safety of other drivers.

Mickey Genuine Parts carries numerous parts and systems having to do with transportation, cargo, trailers, and more. We supply shipping businesses with everything from shelving units to ratchet straps, and everything in between. If you would like to speak to someone about parts or service, contact us today.

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