Testing of completed product is dependent on the proposed application, criticality of that application, safety of use, and reliability considerations. Knowledge of the battery application is extremely important to ensure proper test selection, adequate qualification and verification testing to enforce the performance requirements.
Performance testing falls into two general categories:
(1) standard battery testing and (2) special application testing.
(1) Standard battery testing is a part of the procurement but is
distributed over a large population. It is a part of the total historical
data base that is maintained by the controlling activity. The test design is
reviewed and revised to keep pace with any changes that take place in the
(2) When a battery is purchased for a special application or limited use,
the application then dictates establishing a Test and Evaluation (T&E)
Test and Evaluation (T&E)
Test and Evaluation (T&E) begins as early as possible and is conducted throughout the acquisition process. T&E is used to assess and reduce acquisition risks and to estimate operational effectiveness and operational suitability of the battery being developed. Critical issues, test objectives, and evaluation criteria related to the satisfaction of the mission are established before testing begins.
Successful accomplishment of T&E objectives will be a key requirement for decisions to commit significant additional resources to a program, or to advance it from one acquisition phase to another. Acquisition schedules, financial plans, and contractual arrangements are based on such T&E objectives.
The tests may be broken down into several broad categories: performance tests, life tests, environmental tests, safety tests, and reliability tests. Basic requirements for each type of test are given in the various military, Federal, and industrial specifications and standards to which the batteries are usually purchased. However, it is incumbent on the manufacturer to insure that the product is fit for the proposed application.
Test Procedures and Standards
There are many military, government, and industry standards which give methods for testing. Each of these general specifications contains the full test requirements and test methods for a particular type of battery being procured by the Government. They also provide a comprehensive guide to the type of testing which a manufacturer should perform for the qualification and production testing of a commercial product for Government service. These specialized tests are application oriented to a large extent, particularly in the areas of safety of use and environmental parameters.
Testing for Safety
Another area of concern in the qualification and verification testing of military batteries are those tests which impact the safety of the user. A battery that functions well in most applications may be disastrous under the wrong conditions. The manufacturer must ensure that the battery produced is safe for use in the application and will not injure either personnel or equipment.
A brief and not all inclusive listing of the
environmental tests which are frequently performed are:
Adhesion of coatings - corrosion
Altitude - pressure variation
Impact over a variety of temperatures
Operational shock - crash worthiness
Sand and dust
There are at least three broad classifications of battery testing: First Article, Lot Acceptance, and Periodic Conformance Inspection tests.
First Article Testing (FAT)
FATs are designed to verify that battery design and manufacturing methods yield a battery which meets all requirements of the specification. These tests are performed on a pre-production lot of batteries fabricated to a data package, using the same materials, tooling, and facilities as later production lots. This test sequence is performed once the design process and Critical Design Review are complete.
Lot Acceptance Testing
Lot acceptance tests are necessary to verify compliance of each production lot to specification requirements. To achieve this objective while simultaneously meeting cost and reliability standards, it is necessary to choose the appropriate types of tests, sampling methods, and lot size carefully.
Periodic Conformance Inspection
Periodic conformance inspection is used to verify the battery's capability to meet all system design parameters. Performance monitoring should include statistical analysis of battery performance groupings to check the spread of performance in time.