Deconstruction of UN38.3 into a Process Flowchart

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-1208

Published:
  • 2017-03-28
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Abstract:
This paper will discuss how Ford Motor Company meets the testing criteria of UN38.3, an international regulation which includes a series of tests that, when successfully met, ensure that lithium ion batteries can be safely transported. The battery safety regulations that we were familiar with, such as FMVSS and ECE, include post-crash criteria that is clearly defined. UN38.3 is unique in that the severity of the tests drove changes to battery design and function; the tests in this regulation are among the more stringent validation tests that we perform. Another unique aspect of UN38.3 is that the regulatory language can lead to different interpretations on how to run the tests and apply pass/fail criteria; there is enough ambiguity that the tests could be run very differently yet all meet the actual wording of the regulation. We created internal documents detailing exactly how to run the tests to improve consistency among our test engineers. As part of this exercise, we created a flowchart which pictorially shows how to perform the test sequence to comply with the regulation. The flowchart can be used to determine testing requirements at both the module (sub-assembly) and pack (end-item assembly) levels. This paper will describe the process used to develop the flowchart and how it can be used to assist with identifying appropriate UN38.3 test plans.
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