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Why do smartphone batteries explode and how to prevent it?

So far, the biggest case around smartphone batteries exploded in 2016 and 2017 was Samsung South Korea, who had to completely withdraw its Note 7 notebook from the market. The reason was the inappropriate battery design with high capacity and small size. It did not take long, and the media reported another explosive battery report - from the Apple iPhone smartphone, which has never touched on battery problems.

Why are explosions happening with smartphone batteries and how to avoid explosion risks?
The explosion of the battery in the iPhone, which took place late this year at a Chinese store, had a very curious cause: a customer who bought a spare battery into his iPhone, bite him in front of the shocked operator. "The bizarre accident, which fortunately had no health implications for any of the participants, clearly demonstrates what happens if the lithium-polymer battery and the short-circuit of the electrodes break. Powerful, relaxed energy can not end up with explosion or battery charging, " explains Radim Tlapák (

Battery manufacturers are trying to put more and more energy into smaller battery sizes. As in the case of exploding batteries in Samsung smartphones, there may be a situation where battery components are so shifted to each other that even a minor flaw in the production process can cause problems. If there is a slight pressure on the battery or its bending, its electrodes are shortened, the voltage increases enormously and the high reactive lithium is ignited.

Batteries are an integral part of an increasing number of devices that we use at home or we carry with them. Inappropriate manipulation with them may result in the destruction of the entire device and even the burning of its user. "Smartphone batteries are not extremely delicate, but that does not mean we should not treat them gently. Above all, mechanical damage to the batteries should be avoided. Definitely we should not use batteries that are, for example, inflated or otherwise deformed, " says Radim Tlapák.

How to avoid battery explosion?

For batteries, risk factors include mechanical damage and high temperature. Observe simple rules to keep yourself and your devices unnecessarily at risk:
- Always use the same type of battery as in the original package for devices where battery usage can be changed.
- Purchase batteries from trusted sources, from manufacturers and retailers who have full responsibility for and warranty for their products.
- Never use bulky, deformed or otherwise mechanically damaged batteries.
- Do not expose your equipment to extreme temperatures, and if it is undercooling - for example, when moving outdoors in frosts - do not heat it with heat sources (for heaters, hearths, etc.).
- Do not attempt to charge disposable batteries or repair damaged batteries in any way.
- Put the used batteries in the electrical waste containers, never throw them into the fire or mechanically destroy them.

Modern technology will increase battery safety

Unreliable or even exploding batteries are a huge problem for mobile manufacturers - just because they are constantly increasing the demands of users on running and light weight. Of course, development has not stopped and scientists are working hard to reduce the risk of battery fire. "The best solution would be to produce batteries with a non-flammable electrolyte, which currently does not allow for similar performance to existing lithium-ion batteries. Therefore, batteries with the admixture of flame-retardant chemicals are tested, which show significantly higher resistance to high temperatures, " concluded Radim Tlapák.

Source: tz, edited editorially

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