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BATTERY CHARGING PRECAUTIONS
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TRUCK SERVICE MANUAL TM 5-4210-230-14&P-1 Fig.  2  Maintenance Free Type Battery Batteries  are  provided  with  side,  top  stud  and  top  post  type terminals (Figure 3) for various vehicle applications. LOW MAINTENANCE BATTERIES These  are  conventional  lead-acid  batteries  requiring  normal periodic battery maintenance. A  small  amount  of  antimony  has  been  added  to  the  lead  to improve grid strength.  The antimony tends to cause "gassing" (breaking  down  of  water  into  hydrogen  and  oxygen  gases) during battery operation, thereby lowering the electrolyte level. Hence,   periodic   addition   of   water   to   the   battery   cells   is required. "Fleetrite" and "International" batteries are provided with easily accessible cell filler caps. MAINTENANCE FREE BATTERIES Maintenance free batteries do not require the addition of water during   normal   service   life.      This   is   due   to   the   fact   that maintenance     free     batteries     utilize     calcium     rather     than antimony to improve grid strength.  The advantage of calcium is that it greatly reduces the tendency for the battery to gas at normal  charging  voltages.    Consequently,  very  little  water  is used. Maintenance   free   batteries   are   not   sealed.      All   batteries (including maintenance-free) generate gases, especially during  charge.    While  the  volume  of  gases  produced  by  the maintenance free battery is reduced by more than 75%, there are small vent openings to allow this gas to Fig.  3  Types of Battery Terminals escape.  The corrosive sulfuric acid mixture will escape if the battery is turned upside down or placed on its side. "Fleetrite" and "International" maintenance free batteries have concealed  cell  caps  which  can  be  removed  to  permit  battery testing and addition of water if required. ELECTROLYTE AND SPECIFIC GRAVITY The   electrolyte   in   a   lead-acid   storage   battery   is   a   dilute sulfuric  acid  solution.    The  sulfuric  acid  in  the  electrolyte  is one   of   the   necessary   ingredients   in   the   chemical   actions taking  place  inside  the  battery.    It  supplies  the  sulfate  which combines with the active material of the plates.  It is also the carrier for the electric current as it passes from plate to plate. When the battery terminals are connected to an external load, the sulfate combine's with the active materials of the positive and    negative    plates    forming    lead    sulfate    and    releasing electrical energy.  Electrons flow from the negative terminal to the   load   (such   as   headlamps),   and   back   to   the   positive terminal. SPECIFIC GRAVITY Specific gravity is a unit of measurement for determining the sulfuric  acid  content  of,  the  electrolyte.    The  recommended fully charged specific gravity of most 12-volt batteries today is 1.265  corrected  to  26.7°   C  (80°   F).    A  battery  with  a  fully charged  specific  gravity  of  1.265  contains  an  electrolyte  with approximately 36% sulfuric acid by weight or 25% by volume. The remainder of the electrolyte is water.  Pure (concentrated) sulfuric acid has CTS-2771  Page 5 PRINTED IN UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

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