9.4 Manufacturing and Quality Assurance
For general quality control requirements
refer to Section 4.4
The manufacturer will use systems which assure the required
quality level of lithium batteries being supplied to the Navy. This may be
done by use of the following components of the manufacturing system.
Lithium and the internal components are strongly affected by
moisture. Manufacturing facilities will include equipment necessary to process
the lithium and internal components in a very low humidity and low ambient
Special equipment is available for measuring the
ambient moisture and relative humidity. The humidity level is expressed in terms
of "dew point." Moisture levels as low as a dew point of-40°C (less than 0.5%
relative humidity) may be necessary to assure the proper performance of the
lithium and other moisture sensitive components. Exact moisture levels
required are determined during the development phase of a lithium cell or
Areas which must have moisture control include manufacturing
areas where lithium or other sensitive components are exposed. Moisture
control is maintained by the use of driers. Equipment such as conveyor lines
which use shielding hoods, shrouded machines, or enclosed tunnels can be used
to assure that only very low humidity air is brought into contact with the
lithium or other moisture sensitive parts.
Metallic slivers may cause serious defects such as internal
short-circuiting in lithium batteries. Other foreign materials may seriously
affect the electrochemical performance or safety of the cell/battery. As a
result, the facility shall be maintained in a sufficiently clean state that
harmful foreign materials will be excluded during battery fabrication.
Construction of Cells and Batteries
The manufacturer will construct and fabricate cells and
batteries using equipment which is maintained in such a way as to make
products which conform to Navy requirements. The manufacturer will have a
formal system of regular or preventive maintenance for manufacturing equipment
to prevent break-down or the production of defective materials or
The manufacturer will have a system of drawings and
specifications which define the exact configuration of the product which has
been qualified for Navy use.
Systems will be in use by the manufacturer to assure that cells
and batteries are being consistently constructed and fabricated to the
requirements of the Navy procurement document.
Tests are required to meet the requirements
of Section 4.4 and
assure the following:
As a matter of good manufacturing practice, the manufacturer
should maintain a formal plant safety program. This should include the
training of personnel in safe practices, provision of a safe workplace
environment, and contingency plans for handling safety problems or
Each process specification or procedure should document
requirements for safety equipment in each area of the manufacturing plant.
These should include requirements for safety glasses, safety shoes, gloves,
chemical proof clothing, or aprons or any other special personal safety
equipment which must be used for any particular area of operation.
Other special safety equipment may be necessary when lithium
cells and batteries are manufactured. These include graphite powder type fire
extinguishers, "bomb cans," "bomb blankets," safety shields, special long
handled fixtures, and devices for picking up materials.
Safety considerations for manufacturers of lithium batteries and
cells may present some relatively unique requirements. Basic construction
materials such as lithium, electrolyte, and other active components may be
Special Consideration for Lithium
Lithium is a very reactive and flammable metal. It is received
and stored in hermetically sealed containers. Since lithium will oxidize
readily in the presence of moisture, containers should only be opened in the
dry environments described above.
When the containers are opened, lithium should then be
maintained in the dry environment, stored in a desiccator, or submerged in an
appropriate material such as hexane.
Excess lithium should be disposed of in an appropriate manner.
It should not be rolled into a ball or left in piles in the atmosphere where
moisture and oxygen are present because of the danger of spontaneous
Lithium presents special fire fighting
situations. See Section 9.7
for a discussion of these.
When lithium is confined in hermetically sealed cells and
batteries it presents very little hazard when used properly. However,
excessive heat may cause the cell or battery to swell, vent, or explode.
Therefore, consideration must be given to preventing lithium cells from being
exposed to excessive heat.
Other Ingredients of Lithium Cells
Toxic and flammable materials may also be used in the
manufacture of lithium cells. Therefore, consideration should be given for a
contingency plan in the event of a spill, fire, or other type of accident.
Procedures should be prepared for handling these types of situations. They
should include a range of problems from localized incidents through evacuation
of an area or facility.
All personnel should be indoctrinated with safety rules and regulations. In
addition, a trained Response Team should be formed for handling any chemical
spills, fires, or accidents. Because of the nature of the chemical
ingredients, it may be necessary under Federal, State and local regulations to
present the contingency plan and a list of hazardous materials to local,
Federal, or State health and safety