General lead-acid battery chemistry:
A battery can be described by the Chemistry of the alloys used in the production of the batteries' grids or plates:
- Lead Calcium alloys – primarily used in maintenance-free starting batteries
- Lead Calcium/Antimony hybrid alloys – mainly used for commercial vehicles starting
- Lead High Antimony and/or Lead Low Antimony alloys – mainly used for general-purpose Deep Cycle batteries to support motor controllers or inverters
Amongst other things, the alloy (chemistry) used in the production of the battery grid, paste and final plates will dictate how well the battery will cycle, how long it will live when properly maintained, how much it will gas when being discharged and charged and how much water it will use as it works. Typically, calcium alloys will use less water and will live better in heat. Batteries made with Semi-Traction Industrial Type calcium plates will have the advantage of long life in Deep Cycle applications and eliminated maintenance requirements. Batteries with higher Antimony alloys will generally deliver good to excellent cycle life but will use more water in the process requiring rigorous maintenance schedules to realize actual design life. Hybrid alloys will perform somewhere in between, closer to the calcium alloy spectrum.