Lithium ion batteries have a well-documented tendency to fail energetically under various abuse conditions. These conditions frequently result in decomposition of the electrochemical components within the battery resulting in gas generation and increased internal pressure which can lead to an explosive case rupture. The 18650 format cell incorporates a vent mechanism located within a crimped cap to relieve pressure and mitigate the risk of case rupture. Cell venting, however, introduces additional safety concerns associated with the flow of flammable gases and liquid electrolyte into the environment. Experiments to quantify key parameters are performed to elucidate the external dynamics of battery venting. A first experiment measures the vent burst pressure. Burst vent caps are then tested with a second experimental fixture to measure vent opening area and discharge coefficient during choked-flow venting, which occurs during battery failure. Vent opening area and discharge coefficient are calculated from stagnation temperature, stagnation pressure, and static pressure measurements along with compressible-isentropic flow equations and conservation of mass. Commercially sourced vent caps are used with repeated tests run to quantify repeatability and variability. Validation experiments confirmed accuracy of opening area and discharge coefficient measurement. Further, trials conducted on vent caps from two sources demonstrate the potential for variation between manufacturers.

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