2009

Installing a Test Tap on a Metal Battery Case

A mechanical fitting and relatively simple and safe method of installing it on the metal case of a battery have been devised to provide access to the interior of the battery to perform inspection and/or to measure such internal conditions as temperature and pressure. A metal boss or stud having an exterior thread is attached to the case by capacitor-discharge stud welding (CDSW), which takes only 3 to 6 milliseconds and in which the metallurgical bond (weld) and the heat-affected zone are limited to a depth of a few thousandths of an inch (a few hundredths of a millimeter).

These characteristics of CDSW prevent distortion of the case and localized internal heating that could damage the chemical components inside of the battery. An access hole is then drilled through the stud and case, into the interior of the battery. A mechanical fitting having a matching thread is installed on the stud and the interior end of the fitting is sealed with a pressure-sealing washer/gasket. The exterior end of the fitting is configured for attachment of whatever instrumentation is required for the selected inspection or measurement.

This work was done by Daniel R. Mayes of Johnson Space Center and Daniel J. Rybicki of Lockheed Martin Corp. MSC-23827-1

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