© BMW Group

In Germany the competent authority for the testing, licensing and quality assurance of dangerous goods packaging is the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM). This also includes lithium batteries for electric cars. © BMW Group

Shipping of dangerous goods: reliable transport protection for lithium batteries

Fire hazard of lithium batteries

Since 1 January 2015 new regulations have been in place for the shipping of lithium batteries in international air transport. Such batteries are considered to be dangerous goods because, due to the large amount of energy within them, a short circuit can lead to the release of uncontrolled heat. Moreover, any damage can set fire to the chemical ingredients they contain. The transport packaging that is used for such sensitive cargo must therefore provide reliable protection and must also be recognised on an international scale.

Versatile packaging material: corrugated board

The packaging specialists DS Smith recently designed a UN-certified pallet packaging for lithium-ion batteries used in BMW electric cars. Thanks to corrugated board in the packaging, the electric vehicle batteries can be lowered into transport boxes both quickly and easily, using a hoist, and can then be automatically secured. The net weight of the batteries automatically presses the side walls into the target positions required for protection and stacking purposes. At the same time the pads position themselves above the mounting bases of the batteries, thus firmly securing the sensitive freight inside the packaging. This eliminates the need for additional filler material or folding operations – a clear advantage over conventional solutions, saving both time and money.
The shipping of dangerous goods requires the highest standards in packaging. © DS Smith

The shipping of dangerous goods requires the highest standards in packaging. © DS Smith

 © DS Smith

Conventional solutions for the shipping of lithium batteries often meet the important enhanced safety requirements by adding packaging and filling material made from metal, wood and plastic foil. © DS Smith

Unloading is equally convenient. The recipient can remove the batteries and their pads from the transport and storage packaging or send the packaged batteries on to third parties, e.g. as spare parts. The packaging also has benefits in terms of waste disposal. Compared with conventional packaging, which involves compound materials, corrugated board can easily be recycled throughout the world.

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