Menu
Scary video highlights danger of damaged Lithium Ion batteries

Scary video highlights danger of damaged Lithium Ion batteries

A battery explosion serves as a reminder to replace damaged Lithium Ion batteries

This still image from a video released by Japan's National Institute for Technology and Evaluation shows sparks erupting from a damaged Lithium Ion battery

This still image from a video released by Japan's National Institute for Technology and Evaluation shows sparks erupting from a damaged Lithium Ion battery

A Japanese safety institute has released a video that serves as a graphic reminder of the danger posed by damaged Lithium Ion batteries.

The batteries are extremely common in portable consumer electronics, providing power for smartphones, laptop computers, smartwatches and many other devices, and are typically safe. But if a battery is damaged, the results can quite literally be explosive.

As part of its work testing electronic components, the Japanese National Institute for Technology and Evaluation (NITE) tested batteries about the size of those used in cellphones. They were struck with a hammer then left on a work bench, unconnected from any apparatus.

Later -- the period of time is unclear from the edited footage -- one of the batteries ruptures with a bang, flying across the laboratory. A second clip shows a similar battery erupting in a shower of sparks.

The hammer blow to the battery caused deformations in the internal structure of the battery, which led to an internal short circuit. That created heat which sped up the reaction leading to more heat. It's a vicious circle called a "thermal runaway" that results in fire or explosion.

Thankfully, such explosions are rare. Some are due to manufacturing problems, like those that affected millions of Sony laptop batteries in 2008, while others are due to damaged batteries. The recent fire of a Tesla car, which packs hundreds of Lithium Ion cells, was blamed on damage caused by road debris.

The advice from all battery manufacturers is the same. If your battery sustains any kind of damage, replace it.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Batteries / fuel cellsNational Institute of Technology and EvaluationComponents

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP honoured leading partners across the channel at the Partner Awards 2017 in New Zealand, recognising excellence across the entire print and personal systems portfolio.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30

Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30

Leading figures within the technology industry across New Zealand came together to celebrate 30 years of success for Lexel Systems, at a milestone birthday occasion at St Matthews in the City.​

Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30
HP re-imagines education through Auckland event launch

HP re-imagines education through Auckland event launch

HP New Zealand held an inaugural Evolve Education event at Aotea Centre in Auckland, welcoming over 70 principals, teachers and education experts to explore ways of shaping and enhancing learning using technology.

HP re-imagines education through Auckland event launch
Show Comments