Essay on Using Polymers to Replace Absorption Glass Mats

Essay on Using Polymers to Replace Absorption Glass Mats

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This report outlines the evaluation for replacing an absorption glass mat (AGM) with a polymer mat to be used in a valve regulated lead acid (VRLA) battery. AGMs are expensive and exhibit low tensile strength, so polymers were investigated to both decrease cost and improve the properties of the mat. Initially the important properties of the mat were assumed to be chemical inertness in aqueous acid, stability towards oxidation and heat, wettability and contact angle, porosity, and tensile strength. The processes of making the various polymers were then considered to determine any additional complexities that could arise during manufacturing. The best material was found to be a hydrophobic polymer exhibiting the physical properties of the AGM, but containing a hydrophilic material to induce wettability. Through this analysis the final recommendation is to replace the AGM with a composite polymer mat composing of 95% polypropylene (PP) and 5% polytetrahydrofuran (PTHF) which has a cost of $1.3/lb of polymer composite and an annual profit upper bound (PUB) of $2,000,000. This is based...

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