Several indicators suggest that intensity of tin use in lead-acid batteries is increasing, both in continued transition from older flooded types to higher performance products and in increasing tin content of grid alloys.
Major supplier Exide previously published a grid alloy patent with ‘about 2%’ tin, up from the typical 0.7-1.5% tin. A 2016 patent from Panasonic had also specified higher levels of ‘2.3% tin or less’ to improve corrosion resistance particularly.
Now an expert from a leading battery recycling company has reported increasing customer specifications in the positive plate by 0.1-0.2% tin and a major lead-acid producer expected overall tin use in 2017 would increase by almost 30%.
This is likely to be at least partially in response to the increasing use of mild hybrid start-stop cars that require more advanced performance technology.