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ENTEK Lead-Acid Battery SeparatorThere are four major requirements for a separator in a flooded lead-acid battery:

  1. prevent shorting between electrodes
  2. stable in sulfuric acid
  3. allow ionic conduction without dendrite growth
  4. provide mechanical spacing between electrodes

Historically, lead acid battery separators have included cellulose, polyvinyl chloride, organic rubber, and polyolefins. Today, most flooded lead acid batteries utilize “polyethylene separators” — a misnomer because these microporous separators require large amounts of precipitated silica to be acid-wettable. Silica is responsible for the separator’s electrical properties; polyethylene is responsible for the separator’s mechanical properties. The porosity range for polyethylene separators is 50-65%.