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Why and How Do Lithium Ion Batteries Explode?

dangers of lithium ion batteries

For the first time, scientists have been able to take a deeper look into the problem of exploding lithium-ion batteries. According to a report on Newscientist.com, one reason these batteries are damage prone is because of their structure. Lithium-ion batteries are found in many of the devices we use from cell phones and laptops to e-cigarettes and hover boards. Recently, hundreds around the world have been injured in incidents involving exploding batteries. This has of course raised safety concerns when it comes to lithium-ion batteries.

Canadian scientists are now saying that the structure of lithium-ion batteries makes them prone to exploding. Lithium batteries usually contain electrode sheets wrapped in a spiraling “Swiss roll” or “jelly roll” configuration to fit in as many energy-producing layers as possible. However, this could become problematic if gas forms inside. Gas could build up inside these batteries if they become overheated or overcharged or are left drained of charge for too long.

Better Quality Control Will Help

Under such conditions, the liquid components in a battery could vaporize and produce gas. This causes the external casing to swell up resulting in a pillow-like appearance. This effect known as “pillowing” could cause a lithium battery to explode. Pillowing could be easily identified by the battery’s outer appearance. But until now, no one really knew what was going on inside these batteries.

Researchers used high-powered X-ray techniques to see the process. They found that subtle defects present in the battery caused the weaknesses. These defects were likely introduced in the assembly process, which means that better manufacturing processes and quality control could help prevent these battery explosions.

Injured by a Defective Battery?

If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective lithium-ion battery, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your losses by filing a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer and other potential parties. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Injured victims would be well advised to retain the services of a product defect law firm that has successfully handled similar cases in the past.

Product makers have the responsibility and a legal obligation to manufacture items that are safe and effective. When a product is found to be defective or dangerous, manufacturers are required under the law to warn consumers right away. However, this doesn’t always happen and consumers end up paying the price.


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