Advanced science.  Applied technology.


Battery Safety & Abuse Testing

New technologies are advancing the energy storage capacity of batteries, cells and packs that power handheld devices, electric vehicles and grid-scale energy storage systems. The Energy Storage Technology Center® (ESTC) at Southwest Research Institute is an internationally recognized laboratory for battery research, development and testing in accordance with government and industry standards. In addition to battery safety and abuse testing, SwRI’s ESTC features technology experts from diverse scientific fields to support R&D and evaluation of energy storage systems.

Contact Ian Smith or call +1 210 522 2041 to inquire about testing services.

The turnkey advantage of testing batteries at SwRI

We offer turnkey battery safety testing and research services for battery cell, module and pack levels. SwRI can perform all battery mechanical, electrical, thermal and performance testing in-house at a single location. Analysis and testing include, among other services:

  • Gaseous and particulate emissions measurement and characterization
  • Nondestructive and destructive post-test analysis
  • Teardown analysis
  • Lithium-Ion battery testing

Battery safety testing is performed under an ISO 9001-certified quality management system, with most tests covered under an ISO 17025 testing laboratory accreditation. Disposal of any hazardous waste follows ISO 14001.

Battery Abuse Testing

Mechanical Safety Validation graph

The ESTC performs rigorous battery abuse testing and analyzes how batteries, cells and packs respond. This allows manufacturers and consumers to better understand how, when and why failure can occur.

Mechanical Testing

  • Crush
  • Nail penetration
  • Vibration
  • Shock
  • Drop
  • Impact
  • Rotation

Battery Safety Testing

Environmental Safety graph

We have dedicated engineering staff capable of designing custom battery safety testing plans, enclosures and stands. In addition to standardized battery safety testing, we commonly create custom testing plans and testing rigs.

Environmental Testing

  • Extreme conditions: –70°C to +175°C
  • Altitude simulation up to 32,000 m
  • Fire resistance and flammability
  • Corrosive salt fog and dust
  • Thermal runaway prevention

Battery Fire Testing

Electrical Safety Validation graph

We help clients characterize thermal properties of batteries through electrical safety validation and battery fire testing.

Electrical Testing

  • External short circuit
  • Overcharge and over-discharge up to 1200 V and 1333 amps
  • Imbalance
  • Dielectric voltage withstand
  • Isolation resistance
  • Continuity


Learn more from our Automotive Webinar Series

Visit the SwRI Automotive Webinar Series to learn more about battery safety and abuse testing.

Mechanical Abuse Model
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Mechanical Abuse Model
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Mechanical Abuse Model
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Visit Fuel Tank & Battery Testing to learn more about battery fire testing in accordance with ECE 100 Annex 8E and GB/T 31467 3-2015, Section 7.10 and other standards.

Battery Testing Standards

SwRI can conduct testing to a variety of custom or modified battery testing standards and procedures, including, but not limited to:

  • UN ECE100-02
  • UN 38.3
  • SAE J2464
  • SAE J2929
  • NAVSEA S9310
  • ISO-12405-3
  • IEC-62660
  • DO-311
  • MIL-STD-810G
  • ATPD-2404
  • GB/T 31467.3
  • Flight Readiness
  • UL 1642
  • UL 1973
  • UL 2580
  • UL 9540
  • CAN/ULC-S2271-13
  • NASA CMC-EP-WI-033
  • NASA EP-WI-032
  • AAR S-9401