The US has introduced some new regulations that will impact lithium-based cell and battery manufacturers. The transportation regulation is related to shipping within the US. The telecommunications requirements apply to manufacturers that supply the cellular industry.

On October 1, 2009, the United States Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) changed the regulations for all sizes of lithium-based cells and batteries to include testing specified in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, Subsection 38.3.

Under the previous regulations, many standard sized cells and batteries, such as those used in laptops, were exempt from this testing. The change in regulations is as a result of the number of fires that have been caused by lithium-based cells and batteries shipped on aircraft and the difficulty in extinguishing them. UN 38.3 has been applicable to international transportation for a number of years. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG) currently has similar regulations in place.

The required tests expose the cells or batteries to conditions they may experience during transportation that could present a hazardous situation while in shipment.

The following tests are required:

  • T.1 Altitude Simulation
  • T.2 Thermal Test
  • T.3 Vibration
  • T.4 Shock
  • T.5 External Short Circuit
  • T.6 Impact (cells only)
  • T.7 Overcharge (batteries only)
  • T.8 Forced Discharge (cells only)

SGS offers UN 38.3 testing in multiple locations in addition to many other battery testing services such as UL 1642, UL 2054 and the ANSI C18 series of standards. SGS can provide you with more details about the new transportation rules and how they apply to your products.

Telecommunications At the October CTIA meeting, the cellular carriers announced that IEEE 1625, the Standard for Rechargeable Batteries for Portable Computing will be implemented as a requirement for CTIA Certification.

The documents are currently under development and so far an implementation date has not been set. However it is possible that the project will be completed during 2010. IEEE 1625 was added to the CTIA program to address net books, laptops and similar devices that are provided with internal cellular capability. Unlike IEEE 1725, IEEE 1625 includes series connected cells in its scope. IEEE 1625 looks at the system as a whole and considers the impact that each aspect of the system may have on other parts of the system.

The following items, defined as subsystems, make up the system:

  • Cell
  • Battery Pack
  • Host Device
  • Power Supply Accessories
  • User
  • Environment

SGS is participating in the development of these new requirements and can help you prepare to meet the upcoming CTIA program.

For more info on Cell and Battery Testing, please contact:

Jody Leber
Battery Test Certification Program

SGS USTC - Consumer Testing Services
t: +1 678 469 9835

About SGS

The SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark in quality and integrity. With more than 59,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,000 offices and laboratories around the world.