Compression-recovery model of absorptive glass mat (AGM) separator guided by X-ray micro-computed tomography analysis
Absorptive glass mat (AGM) separators play a key role in enhancing the cycle life of the valve regulated lead acid (VRLA) batteries by maintaining the elastic characteristics under a defined level of compression force with the plates of the electrodes. Inevitably, there are inherent challenges to maintain the required level of compression characteristics of AGM separators during the charge and discharge of the battery. Herein, we report a three-dimensional (3D) analytical model for predicting the compression-recovery behavior of AGM separators by formulating a direct relationship with the constituent fiber and structural parameters. The analytical model of compression-recovery behavior of AGM separators has successfully included the fiber slippage criterion and internal friction losses. The presented work uses, for the first time, 3D data of fiber orientation from X-ray micro-computed tomography, for predicting the compression-recovery behavior of AGM separators. A comparison has been made between the theoretical and experimental results of compression-recovery behavior of AGM samples with defined fiber orientation characteristics. In general, the theory agreed reasonably well with the experimental results of AGM samples in both dry and wet states. Through theoretical modeling, fiber volume fraction was established as one of the key structural parameters that modulates the compression hysteresis of an AGM separator.