Headway Battery rust

Batteries, Chargers, and Battery Management Systems.
echas   1 µW

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Headway Battery rust

Post by echas » Feb 21 2010 10:08am

I just want to let everyone know about an issue I'm having with my Headway Batteries. After 6 months of storage here in my South Florida garage, most of the cells are showing an alarming amount of rust on the positive terminals. The cells still have a good charge and spot testing has shown them to meet discharge specifications, unfortunatley the rust is now making it's way to the contact area and will need to be remedied before they can be used in a vehical.

Any idea's for would be appreciated.

Here are some pictures:
http://vintage-voltage.com/240sx/

I'll post more if there is any interest.

Charlie

Velocipede   1 W

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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by Velocipede » Feb 21 2010 10:20am

Everything rusts in my garage too. Humidity is too high.
I try not to leave metal there. If I have too, I oil it. If you leave a thin film of oil on it, it does not rust.
I don't know if there would be a problem with oiling your terminal. I guess not.

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liveforphysics   100 GW

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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by liveforphysics » Feb 21 2010 10:25am

Whoa! That is a lot of rust!
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CamLight   10 kW

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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by CamLight » Feb 22 2010 2:07am

Wow, sorry to see that happen to your cells!

I've seen some manufacturer's storage requirements for large orders (pallet sized) and they absolve themselves of any responsibility for the cells once you open the inside shipping bag expose them to air. The oxidation of the terminals starts immediately and can get pretty bad in some environments. But, that's the worse I've ever seen though. :shock:

I wouldn't even consider storing those cells for another day in that location unless packed in doubled zip-lock bags to slow (it won't stop) the transfer of air/moisture. Indicating silica gel might be good too here. At least it tells you when the humidity has risen to 45%-55% inside the bag.

Did all of the cells rust like that?
How long did it take?

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Jay64   1 MW

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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by Jay64 » Feb 22 2010 9:41am

Wow, that is a lot of rust. When I first received my cells, so of them had already started to rust, but it was mainly just discoloration in spots. I have mine in my shop in florida too, and they haven't seemed to get noticably worse. Nothing like what you got, and I got my first set with Frodus' group buy. I was also trying to figure out a way to hinder the rusting process. But I think you have a major storage issue. Is there water dripping on them?
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Lock   10 GW

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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by Lock » Feb 22 2010 10:54am

See here also:
http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... 14&t=16420
:)

...I thought one comment about whether any chemical compounds eg fertilizer might also be stored in the garage interesting... Looks like the simple expedient for the future would be a light coating of vasoline or dielectric grease. Many Headway cell owners are reporting no rust even w/out these remedies.
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alangsam1@me.com   10 mW

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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by alangsam1@me.com » Feb 23 2010 10:52am

make sure you dont have any pool chemicals like cholorine or acid or fertilizer. these combine with the humidity and cause corrosion on everything. I too live in South Florida.

miro13car   1 MW

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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by miro13car » Feb 23 2010 2:48pm

Well, nobody says anything about material used for cell ends.
Chinese are notorius for bad metalurgy.
I know somehing about it.
I suspect it is actual metal used for end of cells or exactely composition ofthat metal.
Over many years I saw many metall =made things from China rusting faster than from other countries.
Imagine using those calls on EV for like 5 years?
MC

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BMI   100 W

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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by BMI » Feb 23 2010 8:03pm

miro13car wrote:Well, nobody says anything about material used for cell ends.
Chinese are notorius for bad metalurgy.
I know somehing about it.
I suspect it is actual metal used for end of cells or exactly composition ofthat metal.
Over many years I saw many metall =made things from China rusting faster than from other countries.
Imagine using those calls on EV for like 5 years?
MC
The positive terminal on the cells is steel which on Headway cells has a very thin anti-corrosion protective coating. If you see spots of rust appearing the coating has been removed or rubbed away which will accelerate rusting of the cell end.

LiFeTech XPS cells look exactly the same as Headway cells in their construction be we use a much more durable and thicker corrosion resistant coating compared to Headway.

Headway manufacture their cells to a price, not to a standard.

If you own Headway cells and live in a tropical/humid environment it is best to coat the end of the cell with Dow Corning 4 or similar before they start to corrode.

stanwoodman   1 µW

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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by stanwoodman » Feb 24 2010 2:46pm

What about a spray can coating of a urethane single component clear? I don't have my battery set yet but I will try something like that.
S

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JRP3   100 W

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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by JRP3 » Feb 25 2010 8:54am

As I've pointed out on other forums the fact that some cells didn't rust and others did suggests different materials used and poor quality control. I don't see how cells sitting in a garage are any different than cells mounted in an EV sitting in a garage. These cells are intended for automotive use and should be very corrosion resistant. If not they are not appropriate for EV's.
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BMI   100 W

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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by BMI » Feb 25 2010 9:15am

JRP3 wrote:As I've pointed out on other forums the fact that some cells didn't rust and others did suggests different materials used and poor quality control. I don't see how cells sitting in a garage are any different than cells mounted in an EV sitting in a garage. These cells are intended for automotive use and should be very corrosion resistant. If not they are not appropriate for EV's.
Headway uses the cheapest materials to manufacture their cells and they have very poor quality control standards. The cells rust since the steel end terminal is coated by only a very thin layer of anti-corrosion compound. Once this wears away or is scratched rust will soon appear.
Headway cells are cheap because of these reasons.
There are considerable variances in cell capacity and internal impedance as well which comes as a result of negligible QC testing (to keep the cells as cheap as possible and therefore appealing to the western market) but this is a another story.

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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by miro13car » Feb 25 2010 9:30am

As usual with Chinese quality it is hit and miss, if you are lucky you get better quality if not...
Do they really recommend cells for automotive use?
This ocean thing is a joke, maybe you shoud not use hEADWAYS CLOSER THAN 1 MILE FROM OCEAN SHORE??
wHY the cells are not capped with alloy or stainless stell caps?
MC

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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by frodus » Mar 01 2010 12:46am

So a guy with 3 posts comes on here complaining about rust, and then BMI quickly shows up to bash headway....... sounds a little suspicious......

This is the only person that I've EVER heard of having rust issues.....go to where you bought them and demand a refund..... Either its something about the way the pack was made (i.e. the plastic wrapping), or there was an issue with that batch.... because NONE of the 3500 we've sold in the last 6-8 months or so have had these issues (or at least no one has come back to myself or EVComponents concerning this issue.)


A few things that concern me:
- This Original Poster only has a few posts on here and DIYElectricCar, not enough to discount his claims, but suspicious
- BMI/Lifetech/whatever was very quick to jump in and criticize headway
which leads me to wonder:
Is this really true? Things just don't seem to add up.

While it may truly be a problem with his pack, we have no clue any other details about this situation.... And since I've never heard of it happening with other cells, I suspect this might be an isolated incident...... or its not entirely true.

I looked at Echas's website, and initially he used lead acid, and there was no mention of buying Headways anywhere before he posted the rust pictures..... but he insists he stored them for 6 months. Up until now, he hasn't updated his blog since January 2009, and his post from September, 2008 says he's using floodies because he can't afford lithium. But then 6-8 months later he decides he can, orders packs of Headways, and stores them for 6 months.
Travis

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BMI   100 W

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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by BMI » Mar 01 2010 4:06am

frodus wrote:So a guy with 3 posts comes on here complaining about rust, and then BMI quickly shows up to bash headway....... sounds a little suspicious......
I can honestly say I don't know the guy with the rusting Headway cells, have never emailed him, have never spoken with him on the phone, have no relationship with him whatsoever.

When it comes down to it, it shouldn't make any difference if the cells were stored for 6 months or 12 months. The same could be said if the cells were installed in his EV for 6 months or 12 months. If they were up to scratch they simply shouldn't rust no matter if they are stored or put to use.

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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by JRP3 » Mar 01 2010 8:11am

I can tell you that I was the one who originally suggested he post his story on DIYelecticar after seeing his original post on the EVDL, where BMIlifetech did not say anything. You're seeing a conspiracy where there is none. What do you think, BMIlifetech sponsored this guy to buy some cells, spray them with salt so they would rust? Makes no sense.
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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by JRP3 » Mar 01 2010 8:26am

Jay64 wrote:Wow, that is a lot of rust. When I first received my cells, so of them had already started to rust, but it was mainly just discoloration in spots.
Notice this post as well, so it's not a completely isolated problem.
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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by frodus » Mar 01 2010 12:07pm

I don't think its rust related to humidity as much as there's a catalyst somewhere (salt, PVC fumes, etc), We should spend more time focusing on finding out what that catalyst is, than bashing manufacturers for low quality cells...... The situations are fairly isolated.
Travis

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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by TylerDurden » Mar 01 2010 12:21pm

Fertilizers in the proximity can promote rapid corrosion.
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liveforphysics   100 GW

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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by liveforphysics » Mar 01 2010 1:29pm

Just as a point of reference, I just checked on my box of headways cells, which I've been keeping them stored in outside in a carport that has 2 open air sides. They've been in sitting in the box from about october until current. I live in Seattle, which definitely has rain and humidity, and the saltwater Puget Sound is about 5 miles away from my place. The cells have tiny little dots of rust that you kinda have to look hard to see, and if I remember correctly, they had those tiny little rust dots when I first bought them, and they don't seem to look any different now.
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Each mutagen vapor exposure includes a dice roll for reproductive genetic defects in your children.

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BMI   100 W

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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by BMI » Mar 02 2010 7:43am

liveforphysics wrote:Just as a point of reference, I just checked on my box of headways cells, which I've been keeping them stored in outside in a carport that has 2 open air sides. They've been in sitting in the box from about october until current. I live in Seattle, which definitely has rain and humidity, and the saltwater Puget Sound is about 5 miles away from my place. The cells have tiny little dots of rust that you kinda have to look hard to see, and if I remember correctly, they had those tiny little rust dots when I first bought them, and they don't seem to look any different now.
Tiny little rust spots can only grow into larger rust spots over time if nothing is done about them. Why are there any rust spots to begin with? I wouldn't be happy with any rust spots no matter how small they are and I am sure most other cell buyers would feel the same way.

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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by JRP3 » Mar 02 2010 8:49am

The Skyenergy cells sitting in my unfinished basement for 6 months had no rust, since the terminals are copper and aluminum. How much cost would it add to a cell to use a material incapable of rust in the first place? One end of the Headway cells seems rust proof, why not the other?
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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by dnmun » Mar 02 2010 1:39pm

have you stored lead acid batteries in this garage or used the cart they are stored on with SLA?

how can you be certain the inside of a non airconditioned garage in florida did not exceed 35C?

i have no rust on any of my cells even though they are stored under the kitchen sink and the humidity in my shed here is so high when the wood is drying out from being carried inside to bake next to the woodstove and the condensation on the windows is so heavy i have to squeegee the windows 3 or 4 times a day, over 100% for 5 months during the winter.

no rust, no rust even though black mold grows on the sheetrock.

there is just something really unusual going on, imo.

why is this even an issue if it is one case, uncontrolled and unknown inputs?

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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by JRP3 » Mar 02 2010 2:03pm

dnmun wrote:
how can you be certain the inside of a non airconditioned garage in florida did not exceed 35C?
Heat doesn't cause rust.
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Re: Headway Battery rust

Post by frodus » Mar 02 2010 2:54pm

no, but heat and moisture in the air can speed up the rusting process though.... heat is a catalyst to the chemical reaction.
Travis

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