Bullet penetration test for military 6T battery

Bullet penetration test for military 6T battery

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By Nick Flaherty

Epsilor in Israel has tested its lithium NATO military 6T battery line in a series of bullet penetration tests, meeting US Army requirements and Israeli Defense Forces combat scenarios.

A n LFP (lithium iron phosphate) military 6T battery pack in a metal container did not disintegrate or explode, and did not release particles after being penetrated by a 7.62mm armor-piercing incendiary bullet. In addition, a scaled-down 6T LFP battery that was exposed to an external temperature of 500°C entered a thermal runaway. The battery did not disintegrate and did not release particles containing the thermal runaway effect.

Lithium-ion NCA ( nickel cobalt aluminium oxide) and LFP 6T batteries installed in external fireproof cases within a vehicle battery compartment were not damaged and continued operating after an adjacent battery was penetrated by a 7.62mm armour-piercing incendiary bullet.

The tests were performed to address the operational requirements of the US army Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) MIL-PRF-32565B and the IDF demand for operational continuity of a combat vehicle when the battery compartment experiences a direct hit.

“The outstanding results demonstrate that 6T lithium batteries can be safely used onboard military vehicles in battle, ensuring crew safety and mission continuity,” said Ronen Badichi, president of Epsilor, a subsidiary of Arotech in the US. “This series of tests has been addressing the main cause for hesitation among military and industry users, prior to wide-scale implementation of lithium batteries in armored vehicles.”

Two main configurations are offered for a military 6T battery, with the first for packs in crew compartments. This uses a lithium LFP 6T battery assembled in a metal container, incorporating directional pressure relief. This battery is designed to relieve the pressure generated inside a burning battery, while ensuring no articles are released from the battery and that no heat or gas is directed or released towards the crew. When installed on armored vehicles, such pressure relief is directed towards external parts of the vehicle or a manifold, enabling safe release of pressure and gas to the open air outside the vehicle. This 6T battery design proved to be sufficient withstanding a 7.62mm bullet penetration or exposure to external temperature of 500°C.

THe second configuration is for batteries installed outside crew compartments. When higher energy is required on-board and the vehicle has an external battery compartment that is not directly exposed to the crew, the higher energy density Lithium NCA 6T batteries can be used. In addition, the use of fireproof composite cases can contain both thermal and kinetic impacts of a thermal runaway of this high energy battery, preventing propagation of heat and fire to adjacent batteries. This has also been tested for bullet penetration.

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