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What Happens If You Light a Battery on Fire- Safety and Protection
Many accidents have been reported as a result of exploding batteries. If you have a smartphone, you need to understand that the battery inside is a potential threat.
Even the latest devices from top brands require special attention. As a mobile device user, one needs to be careful around batteries, especially under high temperatures.
We are not saying that you should avoid using lithium-ion batteries. They are good and very useful.
However, millions are using them. And that means failures are bound to occur.
In 2006, for instance, one in 200,000 issues cause a recall for more than six million li-ion packs. According to Sony, one of the biggest manufactures, rare contact between parts of the cell can lead to a short circuit.
Batteries are designed to operate under a certain temperature. When the hit grows too much, they swell due to the reaction in internal elements. This can cause serious damage to the battery and anything else around it.
Hence, a user must learn battery safety and user tips. It can save you a lot of trouble.
Can batteries explode in fire?
Yes. Fire is one of the main causes of explosions in most batteries. Heat does affect a battery’s chemistry and cause the internal metals to react.
Let us look at what a battery is made up of; then, we can understand how it explodes.
Battery material. All batteries are made from a material that can catch fire. The cover itself is mostly plastic. The liquid inside lithium-ion batteries is highly flammable. That means an increase in heat can cause a reaction that would lead to an explosion.
Chemical reaction. There is a chemical reaction inside the heated areas, which begins to generate its own heat. This heat spread to other areas, as well, affecting the battery. That is electrolyte overheat. A battery is well covered and insulated because of the reactive nature of the electrolyte. Any contact with the outside world leads to bad reactions, which would cause an explosion.
Swelling. When a chemical reaction happens inside a battery, it causes a release of oxygen. This gas is trapped inside the casing, causing the batteries to swell. Increased high temperatures force the gases to escape by exploding.
Batteries, especially the older versions, have a higher risk of exploding in fires. Many reports have been made of such cases, and the results are always catastrophic.
However, manufactures are changing their tactics to improve battery chemistry. Most of them are now using non-flammable material, like polymer, to reduce heat effects.
Fire causes a current surge, which can lead to explosions. Manufacturers are using built-ins that prevent such things from happening.
Also, some batteries are now made with vents that release gases when a battery is under too much pressure. That means the battery will not explode since there are not gasses.
Nevertheless, you should avoid exposing batteries to too much heat. If there any batteries you don’t use, make sure they are properly disposed of.
What happens when you crush a battery?
Batteries are a standard and portable source of energy that has become very useful today. However, these devices can be dangerous if they are not handled properly.
Whenever you buy a battery, be sure to study safety concerns. Many times, misplaced batteries have caused fires because too much pressure was applied on them accidentally.
Batteries contain a cathode and an anode, which are chemically active. A separator is used to keep them from contacting each other.
If this separator is broken, a chemical reaction takes place inside the battery. Such a situation can lead to serious consequences.
Crushing a battery can cut this separator. Here is what will happen:
Short-circuiting. The battery goes through a short-circuit, which causes a serious chemical reaction. The electrolyte is heated, spreading the effect to another part of the battery.
Gasses are produced. When the electrode and the electrolyte react, they produce oxygen and hydron. These gases have nowhere to go because the battery is well sealed. And hence, the battery begins to swell. The more the damage is done, the great the swelling.
Explosion. Swollen batteries are a potential hazard and should not be used in any device. As the gases begin to pile and heat increases inside the battery, an explosion will occur, forcing them out.
Fire. Some internal components of a battery are made from highly flammable materials. Any little spark from the explosion will cause a fire. Oxygen supports combustion. That means the fire will only get worse if it’s no well-handled.
It is not advisable to crush a battery or drop it. And if you notice any swelling on your battery, do not continue using. That would only mean you are exposing yourself to a potential hazard.
What happens when you open a battery?
This depends on the type of battery you are using. There are many different types of batteries designed with various chemicals. Each of them reacts differently to the environment.
Consider the traditional alkaline batteries, for instance. The liquid inside with squirt when you open the case. You will only be left with a powdery substance around and insulated carbon.
The electrolyte from alkaline batteries can leak. It is a hazard to the skin and the eye. The biggest problem is that the batteries can explode when you crush them.
Lead-acid batteries, on the other hand, are something else. You wouldn’t want to cut them open. The batteries are made with sulfuric acid, which will burn through cloths, flesh, concrete, and metal. This process may not be fast, but it will eventually happen.
Another type of battery that is dangerous is lithium-ion. Crushing them cuts the connection between the electrode and the electrolyte, which could cause a reaction.
The batteries begin to swell due to gasses building up inside. And since the internal material is flammable, any spark will lead to an explosion.
Whatever battery you are using, it is not wise to crash them. The last thing you want is having to deal with fires that you could have avoided. Keep safe.