UN38.3 Transport Test covers testing of cells, modules, packs and products with installed lithium ion batteries.
UN/DOT 38.3 is a self-certify standard. However, because of potential liability issues, it is best to use a third party test laboratory.
UN 38.3 is a combination of environment tests, mechanical, thermal and electrical stresses. With T1 to T5 being run in sequence:
- T1 – Altitude Simulation
- T2 – Thermal Test
- T3 – Vibration
- T4 – Shock
- T5 – External Short Circuit
- T6 – Impact
- T7 – Overcharge
- T8 – Forced Discharge
The T1 altitude test is the easiest to pass. The vibration test is intense and long-running. The T1 to T5 sequence typically has a negative cumulative effect.
At cell level T5, T6 and T7 are the most challenging tests.
These tests can be tougher at pack level, both to perform and to pass. T1, T3 and T4 play a bigger part when testing packs/ modules. T5 is also very important here.
Please note that we have not copied the test procedures into this document as it is important to ensure that you are testing to the latest requirements. Reference 1 links to Revision 7 of the UNECE document. Here you can then read the document or scan down to page 424 for section 38.3
Reference 2 gives advice for the shipping service, checking documents and ensuring that the documents match the parts being shipped.
TUV SUD have written a white paper on testing to UN38.3, see page link in Reference 3.
Note: we would like feedback on this post and if possible more data and notes on your experience.