can be "forced" to change its polarity
But it will-not/can-not happen on its own ... the change would have to be forced.
One way for this to happen is ...
A fullly flat battery
... will have both plates coated with lead sulfate ....PbSO4 ... in a water solution. .. the battery
no longer has a polarity .
( just a + & - mark next to the terminals)
So if a charger is hooked up backwards ... the battery
can charge backwards. ( the plus and minus labels will be backwards.)
( modern batteries
are not formatted with neutral lead plates , able to switch polarities
without substantial penalty . )
So whatever charge you can force into a dead-battery
, if done backwards , will likely only be a light charge
In theory it is possible, in practice it can not.
The actual positive & negative plates are made from different alloys and even without any paste will retain polarity.
Next the paste is never ever fully spent.
The surface just gets passivated by the sulphate.
This is how all those "miracle battery
They drastically over charge causing the plates to gas and knock the passivated surface off the plates and the battery
is "good as new"
Well to be honest , if the sulpate blown off the plates that drops to the bottom does not end up shorting out the plates then you will have a goos as new battery
of about 10% to 30% of the original capacity.
Most chargers will either blow the output transistors ( cheap ones ) or trip a safety relay ( expensive one ), if hooked up backwards.
Grid alloys are under perpetual development .
The last time I was associated with battery
making was in the 80's but even then the alloy compositions changed almost with every batch.
We were experimenting with plating an overcoat over a Pb/Sb grid which looked very promising so the + & - plates could be cast from the same alloy then electroplated to turn them into + or - plates and the plating could be done simultaneously with the heat treatment.
The amount of over voltage required to force a battery
into reverse polarity, even is dead flat would be quite substantial and way over what either the alternator or most automative charges could put out.
FWIW using a Pb/Sb grid allows more scrap lead to be used in the casting alloy which was the aim of the exercise, it also allowed Pb of a higher Cu level ( Cu is an impurity is grid alloys ) to be used and removing excess copper is a very expensive & chemically dirty process.