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Analysis of Battery Explosion

We often hear some news that the battery explodes or spontaneously ignites, which sounds terrifying. In real life, sometimes the battery you use explodes. Then you must have a question, is it dangerous for a battery to explode? How to prevent it? If you are fortunate enough to read this article today, it must be beneficial and helpful to you.

The principle of the battery explosion is that the internal pressure of the object is too high, which makes the container unable to be contained and is punctured, resulting in an explosion when the pressure is released instantaneously.

#1 – Analysis of the lithium battery explosion.

Lithium batteries exploded because of thermal runaway or diaphragm damage.

Thermal runaway means overheating, and overheating will cause fire and explosion. Thermal runaway is generally caused by overcharging. Overcharge means that the battery is fully charged during the charging process and continues to be charged for too long. The battery will heat up and may cause an explosion. Therefore, when choosing a charger, choose a charger with protective measures. Once the battery is full, it will automatically disconnect and stop charging.

There is a separator inside the lithium battery. If the separator is damaged, the positive and negative electrodes are in direct contact, which will form a short circuit. At the same time, the positive and negative poles are directly connected due to external reasons, which will form an external short circuit. A short circuit will cause the battery to explode. In a normal short time, the heat generated by a short circuit in a small area is actually very small, and it will not cause thermal runaway. An explosion-proof valve is used in the design of the cell itself, which means that when the internal pressure of the cell exceeds a certain value, the explosion-proof valve will be opened and the heat will quickly dissipate.

Lithium batteries have the risk of explosion. Do not recharge, disassemble, squeeze, heat over 212°F, or embarrass them in the fire.

#2 – Analysis of the Ni-MH battery explosion.

When nickel-metal hydride batteries are overcharged, the positive electrode of the battery produces oxygen and the negative electrode produces hydrogen. After the positive electrode oxygen migrates to the negative electrode, the hydrogen-oxygen recombination reaction occurs with hydrogen or MH (the negative electrode adsorbs hydrogen), causing a large amount of heat. At this time, the heat reaches the corresponding level, which causes the possibility of explosion.

In fact, no matter what kind of reason, the essence is that the excessive heat of the battery causes the electrolyte to vaporize and the excessive gas is caused, and the battery container cannot carry the excessive gas, so that the capacity of the nickel-metal hydride will cause an explosion.

– The large internal resistance of the battery

According to the equation Q=I2R, the greater the resistance when the current is constant, the greater the heat generation of the battery. At this time, it is easy to cause the electrolyte in the battery to vaporize to form excess gas. If there is too much gas, there is a danger of explosion. This situation is generally caused by a short circuit inside the battery.

– Electrochemical reaction

The chemical reaction of the Ni-MH battery during the charging process is an exothermic reaction, and the discharge is an endothermic reaction. The larger the battery capacity, the greater the total reaction heat of the battery. If the thermal reaction is not handled properly, it is extremely easy to cause excessive heat in the battery, which will cause the electrolyte to vaporize and eventually cause an explosion.

– Overcharge heat release

When nickel-metal hydride batteries are overcharged, oxygen is evolved from the positive electrode and hydrogen from the negative electrode. After the oxygen from the positive electrode migrates to the negative electrode, the hydrogen-oxygen recombination reaction occurs with hydrogen or MH (the negative electrode adsorbs hydrogen) and generates a lot of heat. At this time, when the heat reaches a certain level, it may explode.

In fact, no matter what the reason, the essence is that the excessive heat of the battery causes the electrolyte to vaporize to produce excessive gas, and the battery container cannot carry the excessive gas, so the nickel-hydrogen capacity will explode.

#3 – Analysis of the disposable alkaline battery and carbon zinc battery explosion. 

Compared with lithium batteries and nickel-metal hydride batteries, disposable alkaline batteries, and carbon batteries have much less explosive power. First, let’s analyze the alkaline battery.

Alkaline batteries can explode, mainly due to internal or external short circuits. When the battery is short-circuited, a strong chemical reaction occurs between the positive and negative electrodes in a short period of time, resulting in a sharp increase in gas. When the pressure of the gas exceeds the pressure on the bottom of the battery, the bottom negative component will rush out and form an explosion. But now the sealing rings of alkaline batteries are all equipped with explosion-proof holes to relieve pressure. As long as we buy qualified products, the probability of explosion is generally very low.

Carbon zinc batteries will explode, but the probability of explosion is very low, because the internal voids of carbon-zinc batteries are large, and the gas generated by a short circuit can generally withstand. Carbon batteries have low power, and the amount of gas generated in a short period of time due to a short circuit will not be much. At the same time, due to the structure of the carbon battery, the outside is a zinc can. As the negative electrode of the battery, zinc has a certain degree of toughness. If the amount of gas is large, it may cause swelling and the possibility of explosion is very small.

No matter what kind of battery, because an important cause of the explosion is short circuits, we must avoid external short circuits when transporting, storing, and using the battery. When buying batteries at the same time, purchase qualified products through formal channels. Alkaline batteries produced by our company are equipped with explosion-proof holes.

Welcome to choose MICROPOWER batteries.

Carl Zhang

Carl Zhang

I am a senior sales with 15 years in the battery industry and a bachelor's degree in economics.
I will be sharing some of my expertise on batteries and my insights into the battery industry in my blog, which should help you with your purchases in China.

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