Author Topic: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1  (Read 4550 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« on: March 07, 2019, 03:04:18 am »
Will eventually be a full video when/if I get the results.
Comparing battery leakage on 7 different brands of alkaline aa batteries. Duracell, Energiser, Varta, Panasonic, Fujitsu and others.

 
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Offline gamalot

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2019, 03:09:37 am »
I don't even know that Coles has their own brand batteries.
 

Offline r3bers

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2019, 03:26:12 am »
I think on 47 Ohm will not work. Maybe something around 10 mA and maybe lower, 300 Ohm and higher. Because process of recharging will be short (maybe hours) on this load, all power will go into resister.
 

Offline Andrew McNamara

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2019, 03:29:01 am »
I don't even know that Coles has their own brand batteries.

Why not? They have their own brand everything else? Chinese manufacturers are more than happy to put your brand name on their product, rather than soil their own...  ::)
 

Offline Andrew McNamara

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2019, 03:36:39 am »
Will eventually be a full video when/if I get the results.
Comparing battery leakage on 7 different brands of alkaline aa batteries. Duracell, Energiser, Varta, Panasonic, Fujitsu and others.

One thing I've noticed is that they seem more prone to leaking when contained - a classic example being the old Maglite torches.

We used to know how to make batteries that didn't leak - 1980's RadioShack's helishly expensive premium series of batteries were nearly bulletproof. I wish I still had a choice between cheap shit and spending a bit more for batteries that don't destroy my gear.

I once contacted Eveready about their leak guarantee... they were more than happy to replace my device... provided I complied with a long list of absurd, impossible to comply with conditions...  :palm:
 

Offline Muttley Snickers

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2019, 03:37:35 am »
There was a discussion on leaking batteries recently and there are a few more threads on this topic around the forum as well, the thread is linked below. I recently bought some AA and AAA alkalines from Supercheap Auto but have no idea who the original manufacturer was and wondered if it was possible to determine the origin of different relabeled batteries.

If the same manufacturing process was used then there should be certain aspects which could help identify the maker, things such as physical dimensions, weight, initial voltage and other indicators such as the roll direction of the outer case. For example have a look at the negative end of any AA battery and compare the seam angle with another brand as they do differ.

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/leaking-aa-and-aaa-batteries/

Dick Smith owes me a Maglite.    >:( ::)


 
« Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 09:03:36 am by Muttley Snickers »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2019, 03:58:29 am »
I don't even know that Coles has their own brand batteries.

They don't make them of course, but an in-house rebadge.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2019, 04:00:49 am »
Dick Smith owes me a Maglite.    >:( ::)

He just called me twice today actually, really, if I'd seen this earlier I would have mentioned it. Oh, he hasn't owned Dick Smith since 1982, guess he can't do much  ;D
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2019, 04:02:16 am »
We used to know how to make batteries that didn't leak - 1980's RadioShack's helishly expensive premium series of batteries were nearly bulletproof. I wish I still had a choice between cheap shit and spending a bit more for batteries that don't destroy my gear.

That's why mercury was added to batteries, it was a leakage protection barrier, but of course now it's banned.
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2019, 04:04:32 am »
I think on 47 Ohm will not work. Maybe something around 10 mA and maybe lower, 300 Ohm and higher. Because process of recharging will be short (maybe hours) on this load, all power will go into resister.

If you are talking actual power, then no it won't. Even at the end of life the ESR of a AA alkaline is under half an ohm.

 
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Offline r3bers

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2019, 04:36:43 am »
One of battery must be dead to zero to start charging through closed circuit. And there is no data about resistance on this process.
Rd - resistance of dead battery
Rg - resistance of good battery
Rl - resistance of load.

Actually IRd must be higher than IRg+IRl to reverse voltage over dead battery. And it must be on low current to have a decent time to leaking.
 

Offline Cnoob

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2019, 09:39:35 am »
Is this another way of saying "bring back the 9V battery and clip"?

 

Offline David Hess

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2019, 05:29:25 pm »
We used to know how to make batteries that didn't leak - 1980's RadioShack's helishly expensive premium series of batteries were nearly bulletproof. I wish I still had a choice between cheap shit and spending a bit more for batteries that don't destroy my gear.

That's why mercury was added to batteries, it was a leakage protection barrier, but of course now it's banned.

That is what I was going to suggest but you beat me to it.  Before the tiny amount of mercury was removed from alkaline batteries, I do not remember them ever leaking.
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2019, 06:58:59 pm »
Asphalt seal was used before the green movement took over.  Not much else can withstand the strong alkaline for years. I'm curious what the seal looks like on these newer cells.

I think the new eco seals are cheap crap and are the problem.
P.S. I've had good cells leak, it's not the discharged state that affects it.

Duracell is King of the leaks, thanks Proctor and Gamble for killing the brand and quality, thanks Berkshire Hathaway for doing nothing at all other than reap profit.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 07:02:07 pm by floobydust »
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2019, 07:20:16 pm »
Asphalt seal was used before the green movement took over.  Not much else can withstand the strong alkaline for years. I'm curious what the seal looks like on these newer cells.

Carbon-zinc cells used asphalt.  I have never seen that on alkaline cells.  When I need a carbon rod for something, I pick up some cheap carbon-zinc cells, disassemble them, and boil the extracted carbon rod in water to clean it.

Many of the leaking alkaline cells I have encountered leaked at the bottom of the outer shell which has nothing to do with the seal at the positive end.
 
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Offline floobydust

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2019, 07:55:36 pm »
I got the information from the plethora of battery patents, where the chemicals, seals etc. are discussed, and taking apart old alkaline batteries that never leaked after 10 years.
It's common asphalt or tar pitch and now could be nylon, styrene hot glue, epoxy etc.
I find the leaks start at the -ve end and after a while include the +ve end.

"... The closure members, since they are usually exposed to the elements contained within the cell are required to be substantially inert to such elements. As a result it has been preferred to utilize plastic e.g. nylon, polyethylene, polysulfone, and other generally inert materials for such members. In many cases, however the aforementioned materials have shortcomings such as cold flow under temperature cycling and imperfections in the surface area thereof. The metallic surface areas in contact therewith generally have imperfections as well. Thus, a cell electrolyte such as the common alkaline KOH utilized in many commercial cells (an aggressive leaking material) may leak, over a period of time, through such imperfections. Such leakage is in fact exacerbated by the hydrogen gas evolution common in alkaline cells which tends to push the electrolyte through the path of least resistance, i.e. the seal."
"... The aliphatic or fatty polyamides are coated on sealing members such as grommets by means of a relatively expensive and complicated spraying procedure."

"alkaline electrolyte battery container, cover, etc. tends to crawl the wall by capillary action to wet the sealing piece has the property that oozes to the outside from the sealing part of the battery. This behavior metal surface is connected to the negative electrode, i.e. it appeared strongly to the negative terminal side of the sealing portion, prone to leakage. This is commonly known as liquid leakage due to electrical capillary action..."

US4618547A
US10008748B2
US20050271942A1
JP2870152B2
 
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Offline darik

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2019, 08:18:10 pm »
We used to know how to make batteries that didn't leak - 1980's RadioShack's helishly expensive premium series of batteries were nearly bulletproof. I wish I still had a choice between cheap shit and spending a bit more for batteries that don't destroy my gear.

That's why mercury was added to batteries, it was a leakage protection barrier, but of course now it's banned.


For years I've been wondering what the hell changed. I remember alkalines being practically leakproof, you only had to worry about those shitty cheap carbon batteries. Then suddenly they're going off like firecrackers and you can't trust them at all.

I knew it had to be something specific, thank you.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2019, 10:05:32 pm »
Is this another way of saying "bring back the 9V battery and clip"?

9V batteries just contain 6 x AAAA alkaline batteries
 
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Offline Cnoob

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2019, 10:17:29 pm »
In all Seriousness Dave and others  this topic has  made me go and check the batteries in my test equipment 10 items in total.

I have a digital pen which uses one AAAA .


edit: I forgot one too check my frequency counter so 11 items. 13 items now

PS it does explain why I had 4AAA batteries leak in an LED torch which I was surprised because they were not that old.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2019, 10:31:20 am by Cnoob »
 

Online Towger

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2019, 10:24:25 pm »

9V batteries just contain 6 x AAAA alkaline batteries

Some are (were) a pile of flat rectangular cells.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2019, 10:46:23 pm »

9V batteries just contain 6 x AAAA alkaline batteries

Some are (were) a pile of flat rectangular cells.

Yes, Coles and Varta at least.

But if they are the same Alkaline chemistry then I'm assuming there is no reason why they can't leak the same.
 

Offline r3bers

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2019, 01:50:08 pm »
There is more conditions to leak in 9V battery in long time. Because unbalanced current through 6 elements will be much possible.
 

Offline rrinker

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2019, 02:38:13 pm »
 Sidenote, I just watched a video where they unboxed a never-before opened pinball machine still sealed int he original shipping box, from 1993. For backup in the electronics there were 4x AA Panasonic cells. Not alkalines. Not only had they not leaked, they actually were STILL GOOD!

 In more than a few ways, it seems we've taken a step backwards when it comes to common removable batteries. There's even a fair percentage of DOA fresh out of the package and still not past the expiration date, not to mention the now almost guaranteed TO leak design.

 

Offline HKJ

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2019, 07:28:39 pm »

9V batteries just contain 6 x AAAA alkaline batteries

That is not correct, 9V batteries are made either with 6 AAAA cells or with  stacked blocks.

I disassembled a lot of 9V batteries here: https://lygte-info.dk/info/BatteryDisassembly9VAlkaline%20UK.html
 
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Offline floobydust

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2019, 08:01:45 pm »
Took apart a leaking Duracell AAA battery. The -ve end seal is a plastic disc with a copper pole going through the middle. Then a felt washer and cap over that to make the -ve terminal.
A hard crimp on a plastic washer is clearly a fail for a seal here. They can't use an o-ring? OMG shareholder profits would suffer  :palm:

Date marking (best before) MAR 2018, Made in USA.

edit: took it apart further. The seal is a plastic piston with a layer of tar applied to the outside ring.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2019, 08:27:35 pm by floobydust »
 
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Offline mancausoft

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2019, 08:32:58 pm »
Sidenote, I just watched a video where they unboxed a never-before opened pinball machine still sealed int he original shipping box, from 1993. For backup in the electronics there were 4x AA Panasonic cells. Not alkalines. Not only had they not leaked, they actually were STILL GOOD!

 In more than a few ways, it seems we've taken a step backwards when it comes to common removable batteries. There's even a fair percentage of DOA fresh out of the package and still not past the expiration date, not to mention the now almost guaranteed TO leak design.

I think is just a case, i see a lot of battery inside old computer, and the same brand/model of battery, similar age, but someone are leak other not leak at all... it's hard to judge with only a case

Offline floobydust

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2019, 08:55:34 pm »
We used to know how to make batteries that didn't leak - 1980's RadioShack's helishly expensive premium series of batteries were nearly bulletproof. I wish I still had a choice between cheap shit and spending a bit more for batteries that don't destroy my gear.

That's why mercury was added to batteries, it was a leakage protection barrier, but of course now it's banned.

That is what I was going to suggest but you beat me to it.  Before the tiny amount of mercury was removed from alkaline batteries, I do not remember them ever leaking.

Ahh so the added mercury stopped gas build-up.

"Gas can form in all of these [alkaline] batteries due to the corrosion of zinc.  Zinc in the battery gets corroded into the electrolyte as the battery is used. This corrosion can cause electrolysis and can cause the generation of hydrogen gas in the canister. Build-up of hydrogen gas can cause the battery to leak, limiting the ability of the battery to function.  Mercury suppresses this zinc corrosion, which is why it is added..."

I'd like to believe the mercury environmental bans made Duracell batteries crap, but other brands aren't leaking. I can still buy Dick Smith AA batteries, 12 year supply stockpiled... and years old already but not leaking lol.

You need a seal that can "burp" or permit gas to pass, but not electrolyte.
 

Online Towger

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #27 on: March 10, 2019, 09:13:09 am »
I have seen a Duracell still in date and in its original packaging leak.  I now buy Ikea batteries in bulk ever time the wife drags me there, don't think I have seen a problem with them, including kids toys left up in the attic for years.
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2019, 09:16:53 pm »
I took apart a pissing leaking Energizer AAA. It uses the same basic seal design as the Duracell.
A plastic piston with bitumen ring = fail. Made in USA 12-2027 date.

The battery sparked and started getting hot with tiny smoke while I took it apart. It wasn't dead.
 

Offline mzacharias

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #29 on: March 14, 2019, 05:10:10 pm »
Is this another way of saying "bring back the 9V battery and clip"?

9V batteries just contain 6 x AAAA alkaline batteries

Yes, but they have another enclosure around them all. This is why I often prefer 9V batteries in the Fluke 87's etc - less likely to leak within a reasonable time.

I do have a 189 and an 87IV, which of course use AA's, but I obsess about the battery terminals, and even spent $60.00 US on a spare set of terminals just in case.

Those models are battery hogs of course, and 9V batteries would not be appropriate for them.
 
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Online Fungus

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #30 on: March 14, 2019, 05:21:14 pm »
Is this another way of saying "bring back the 9V battery and clip"?
9V batteries just contain 6 x AAAA alkaline batteries
Yes, but they have another enclosure around them all. This is why I often prefer 9V batteries in the Fluke 87's etc - less likely to leak within a reasonable time.

A 9v Battery snap is also really easy to replace.

I don't have a problem with 9V batteries in things that don't need replacement batteries very often.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 05:35:07 pm by Fungus »
 

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #31 on: March 14, 2019, 07:29:31 pm »
Sidenote, I just watched a video where they unboxed a never-before opened pinball machine still sealed int he original shipping box, from 1993. For backup in the electronics there were 4x AA Panasonic cells. Not alkalines. Not only had they not leaked, they actually were STILL GOOD!
Quite impressive. I've had some ancient equipment with batteries still mechanically whole, although in my case their charge was long gone.

If I recall correctly, the discharge is what increases internal pressure due to gas development inside the battery's chamber. 

In more than a few ways, it seems we've taken a step backwards when it comes to common removable batteries. There's even a fair percentage of DOA fresh out of the package and still not past the expiration date, not to mention the now almost guaranteed TO leak design.
I would say that we've taken a step backwards when it comes to overall quality.
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Offline Synthtech

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #32 on: March 14, 2019, 08:30:02 pm »
I don’t allow those copper and black coloured Duracell batteries into my building.
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #33 on: March 15, 2019, 01:51:05 am »
My solution to the increasing unreliability of manganese-alkaline cells is to use low discharge NiMH cells instead.  They can still leak but only from the vent but to a much lower extent; none of my Eneloops has leaked at all before wearing out.
 

Offline Barny

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2019, 06:13:50 am »
Are there first results from the testing?
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #35 on: June 10, 2019, 06:33:49 am »
My solution to the increasing unreliability of manganese-alkaline cells is to use low discharge NiMH cells instead.  They can still leak but only from the vent but to a much lower extent; none of my Eneloops has leaked at all before wearing out.

Same here. Eneloop and I have some of the Amazon Basics ones, the made in Japan variety. I've been using Eneloop since shortly after they appeared on the market and I've never had one leak. Even for rather low drain applications I view it as cheap insurance, no reason to buy disposable batteries anymore.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #36 on: June 10, 2019, 12:59:04 pm »
Are there first results from the testing?

It's only been 3 months.  I wouldn't expect to see anything yet.  But it would be really bad if there was something to report.


Dave.... any surprises as yet - or are things looking unchanged?
 

Offline GromBeestje

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #37 on: June 23, 2019, 06:13:58 pm »
It has been a while indeed. I was wondering if the flooding of the office interfered with the experiment.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #38 on: June 23, 2019, 11:49:42 pm »
Are there first results from the testing?
It's only been 3 months.  I wouldn't expect to see anything yet.  But it would be really bad if there was something to report.
Dave.... any surprises as yet - or are things looking unchanged?

Nothing to report.
I suspect that the discharge rate was too high, should had lowered it drastically.
 

Offline wilfred

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #39 on: June 24, 2019, 12:13:51 am »
You have to leave the test setup undisturbed. Any physical  movement or variation in power drain rate will prevent leakage. All batteries I have ever had leak have been sitting undisturbed and any device unused. A control group in regular use have never leaked.
 

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #40 on: June 24, 2019, 12:21:42 am »
Many of the leaking alkaline cells I have encountered leaked at the bottom of the outer shell which has nothing to do with the seal at the positive end.
I think I read somewhere that alkaline cells are opposite polarity to carbon zinc ones. That is, alkalines have the outer case positive and the centre rod negative. The entire cell is inverted in the outer wrapper with a bump on its “base” at the top and the rod terminated at the bottom where the seal is. That would explain it leaking at the bottom.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #41 on: June 24, 2019, 12:29:36 am »
You have to leave the test setup undisturbed. Any physical  movement or variation in power drain rate will prevent leakage. All batteries I have ever had leak have been sitting undisturbed and any device unused. A control group in regular use have never leaked.

That's what I've done.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #42 on: June 24, 2019, 05:08:21 am »
I wonder if the position they sit in has an effect on leakage rates?

I'm not sure I buy the necessity to leave them undisturbed, I mean it's good for keeping the test consistent however I think the leakage statistics are skewed by the fact that a seldom used device can sit there until the batteries start leaking unnoticed while something you are using regularly is probably going to have the batteries changed on a more regular basis too.
 

Offline wilfred

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Re: Alkaline Battery Leakage Testing - Part 1
« Reply #43 on: June 24, 2019, 06:15:56 am »
I wonder if the position they sit in has an effect on leakage rates?

I'm not sure I buy the necessity to leave them undisturbed, I mean it's good for keeping the test consistent however I think the leakage statistics are skewed by the fact that a seldom used device can sit there until the batteries start leaking unnoticed while something you are using regularly is probably going to have the batteries changed on a more regular basis too.

I think that is what I was trying to say. Not quite facetious but almost.
 


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