Like anything made of metal, aircraft batteries are always in danger of corrosion. Altogether, harsh operating environments, exposure to moisture, and chemical reactions each pose a risk of corroding battery terminals and their surrounding components. Nevertheless, as a critical aspect of an aircraft's electrical system, it is essential that these batteries remain protected from corrosion to ensure optimal performance and reliability. In this blog, we will explore effective measures to safeguard aircraft batteries from damage, mitigating potential risks and extending their lifespan.
Understanding Corrosion in Aircraft Batteries
Corrosion is an electrochemical process that occurs when certain metals, such as those found in battery terminals, react with the surrounding environment. In such environments, the combination of moisture, heat, and other contaminants can lead to the formation of corrosive substances, compromising the integrity and functionality of the battery. More specifically, corrosion can impede electrical conductivity, weaken connections, and potentially lead to system failures.
Preventive Measures for Corrosion Protection
Regular Inspection: One of the most important things you can do to protect an aircraft battery is to conduct regular visual inspections of the battery terminals, cables, and connections to detect any signs of corrosion. Discoloration, powdery residue, or buildup on the terminals are all key signs of corrosion issues.
Proper Battery Ventilation: Aside from carrying out regular inspections, it is also crucial to ensure that the battery compartment is adequately ventilated to prevent the accumulation of corrosive gasses. When done properly, adequate ventilation allows for the dissipation of hydrogen gas, reducing the risk of corrosion formation.
Application of Corrosion Inhibitors: Applying a thin coating of corrosion inhibitors or protective sprays specifically designed for battery terminals would also be helpful. These inhibitors create a barrier that prevents moisture and corrosive substances from reaching the metal surfaces, thus reducing the likelihood of corrosion.
Regular Cleaning: On top of regular maintenance, it is also important to periodically clean battery terminals and connectors. One common method is to apply a mixture of baking soda and water and gently scrub the terminals with a soft brush to remove any corrosion or buildup. Once completed, the area should be rinsed with clean water and thoroughly dried to prevent moisture accumulation.
Tighten Connections: Loose connections are another major issue that can contribute to corrosion and poor electrical conductivity. Therefore, it is important to regularly inspect and tighten battery terminals and cable connections to ensure a secure and reliable electrical connection
Environmental Controls: Protecting the battery from extreme temperatures and excessive humidity will also help to keep it in optimal condition. As such, it is pertinent to always maintain suitable environmental conditions in the battery compartment. Consider using temperature and humidity control measures, as high humidity can lead to corrosion.
Proper Sealing: Another frequent technique for protecting the battery from excessive moisture and contaminants is to ensure that the battery enclosure is properly sealed. In particular, we recommend paying attention to gaskets, seals, and covers to maintain a watertight and dust-free environment for the battery.
Use of Dielectric Grease: Applying dielectric grease to the battery terminals and connectors after cleaning and before reconnection is another way to protect your aircraft batteries. This grease aids in repelling moisture and provides an additional layer of protection against corrosion.
Regular Battery Testing: Lastly, it can be useful to perform routine battery capacity and voltage testing to monitor the health and performance of the battery. Timely identification of any degradation or abnormalities allows for proactive measures to be taken to prevent potential issues, including corrosion.
As corrosion is a major issue, a proactive approach to corrosion protection is essential in aviation. By incorporating the preventive measures discussed above into maintenance practices, aircraft operators can safeguard their batteries and mitigate the risks associated with corrosion. Nevertheless, another major key way to protect your components is by sourcing durable parts from the outset.
Here on NSN Unlimited, we are proud to offer a diverse range of available products, all of which have been sourced from vetted manufacturers on our Approved Vendor List (AVL). If you are in search of quality aircraft batteries or other parts to support your operations, we encourage you to explore our catalog of available listings at your leisure. Employing a team of industry experts and a widespread supply-chain network, we are well equipped to find competitive sourcing solutions for your parts needs without delay!
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