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Old Oct 15, 2005, 10:12 PM
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Ammo Box Lipo Storage Question

I have a military surplus air/water-tight Ammo Box and I want to know if it's okay to leave the lid locked and sealed with lipos inside when being stored. Assume they will be fully charged. Thoughts or suggestions?
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Old Oct 15, 2005, 10:28 PM
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I drilled a hole for the wires in mine to charge. Don't know the science but it seems the Lipo explosions are more of a flare burning than an explosion. Vent good or bad?
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Old Oct 15, 2005, 10:33 PM
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I won't be charging them in it, but I'm worried about the results of being in a airtight environment. No Oxygen is a good thing but any gas build up to worry about? Don't want any suprises when I open the lid after a week.
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Old Oct 15, 2005, 11:48 PM
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A tightly sealed and locked ammo box may or may not be effective as
a means to confine the outgassing or explosion of a large LiPoly pack.
By confining the batteries that way, you have the makings of a bomb
whose potential explosive force depends on how many packs are in it.

I use a Brinks mini-safe and always leave the lid unlocked, so if one of
the batteries should self-destruct, gas pressure can escape by lifting
the lid, without bursting the box.
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Old Oct 15, 2005, 11:53 PM
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In the unlikely event that you should have a vent with flame event in a sealed ammo box, the event will probably blow the box open rather forcefully. RD Blakeslee did some comprehensive testing of vented ammo boxes and the result can be reviewed in the thread Experimental Ignition of a Large LiPo Pack in a Vented Ammo Box.

He also performed the same test in a Brinks Box and reported the results in the thread Experimental Ignition of a LiPo in a Brinks Box

Bottom line: These boxes proved no match for a LiPo vent with flame event.

Pete
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Old Oct 16, 2005, 07:59 PM
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Although I don't know all the details, I read another post on here about Ammo Box strength, the person claimed they had 500 rounds of .45 caliber ammo in a ammo box stored in a garage or house and when a fire destroyed the building(s) the Ammo box was found albeit charred still intact, when opening the box it was noticed that all the shells exploded but the box never lost integrity.

I read the threads on the testing, the one on the Ammo box was for a 4S3P 6000 mah, I only have a couple 3 cell 640 mah packs for now. And I won't be charging them in it, only for storage.
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Old Oct 16, 2005, 08:33 PM
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I have a smallish ammo box of the type described here (forget what caliber ammo it's for--7.62 IIRC) that I keep my LiPos (about 10-12 packs of various sizes) in. I've noticed a couple times, when I've opened it up after a road trip (lid sealed), there was a faint, but noticeable sweet smell inside when I opened it. Having never vented a LiPo, I presume this is the characteristic electrolyte smell.

None of my packs are leaking that I can see, none have ever been crashed, and none are charging/discharging abnormally. Maybe it's just the nature of the plastic battery cell bags to 'breathe' a little?

Rick
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Old Oct 16, 2005, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mode101
...when opening the box it was noticed that all the shells exploded but the box never lost integrity.
And you believe that?

The trap house at the trap and skeet club I used to belong to burned to the ground several years ago when the oil heater malfunctioned. In that trap house was a .50 cal. ammo box with about half a box (500 or so) of primers in it. No powder, no loaded rounds .. Just primers. I know because it was my ammo box and my primers.

They went off and opened that ammo box up like it was made of cardboard. The idea that 500 rounds loaded .45 ammo could go off in a like-&-kind box and not blow it apart is absurd.

Pete
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Old Oct 16, 2005, 09:30 PM
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So what about some small holes in the box to let the gasses escape or the use of a small engine muffler to let the gases escape and try and contain any flames?
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Old Oct 16, 2005, 09:47 PM
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I think the most sensible approach to LiPo storage that I've seen is in my friend's basement. It has a cement floor, cinderblock walls, and double-thick 5/8 sheet rock ceiling. He cleared a corner of this basement of combustable materials and layed a half-dozen cinder blocks on their side so the openings were facing up. This makes 12 individual concrete chambers with open tops. Into each of these chambers he put an inch of sand to keep any flame from migrating from chamber to chamber under the block. On top of each individual chamber he put a piece of 12 gauge sheetmetal which just lays there.

Into each chamber goes one battery pack. Should he ever have a vent with flame event, it will be confined to a single pack in a single chamber. By design, the event will displace the piece of sheetmetal over the chamber but the sheetmetal over the surrounding chambers will keep out most if not all burning debris.

He's never had an event and doesn't expect to but the above approach gives him piece of mind. From an engineering standpoint, I think that peace of mind is well deserved.

Me? I just keep my LiPos in my flight box.

Pete
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Old Oct 16, 2005, 10:24 PM
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I'm with PGR on that ammo box that supposedly contained the blast of
500 live .45 caliber shells. Fragments of brass shell casings flying in all
directions with the sudden release of burning "smokeless" powder would
enough to turn any ammo box into a monster grenade.

An ammo box with a vented lid fitted with a lawn mower muffler would
allow combustion products to escape without destroying the container.
Make sure that, whatever kind of storage box you use, it's kept away
from flammable materials, like glow fuel - or your plane hangar!
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Old Oct 17, 2005, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbatch
An ammo box with a vented lid fitted with a lawn mower muffler would allow combustion products to escape without destroying the container.
The ammo box in RD Blakeslee's test was vented with a 3" flex pipe but the event still blew the lid open and released a substantial ball of fire. Yeah, it was a big LiPo pack but I suspect a smaller pack would produce the same results in a box vented with a mower muffler.

Pete
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Old Oct 17, 2005, 02:24 AM
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I have an ammo box. I don't charge in it. I store in it. When storing I do not lock the lid down. I just push it down. In the event of a fire/smoke release the lid would easily lift up to release the smoke/fire.

The only purpose for the ammo box is to provide a carry case and possibly direct the fire ball upwards through the lid that would fly open. In the car, should smoke start while driving I can reach the box and throw it out the window. At the field I keep the ammo box outside the car.

I suspect that the purpose of the rubber seal on the ammo box is to protect ammo from the outside world rather than to protect the world from the ammo. Protecting ammo from water keeps it good and protecting it a bit from fire reduces the chance of an explosion. Lipos of less need for protection from the outside world than ammo does.

I did not drill a hole in my ammo box. I just don't lock the lid down.

Eric.
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Old Oct 17, 2005, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PGR
And you believe that?

Pete
No not really, the claim seemed impossible with all the variables. I was hoping the original poster would answer my post.
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Last edited by mode101; Oct 17, 2005 at 08:41 AM.
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Old Oct 17, 2005, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricSoar
I suspect that the purpose of the rubber seal on the ammo box is to protect ammo from the outside world rather than to protect the world from the ammo.
And there you have it, people!

Pete
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