Lithium-ion battery safety 101

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Jack Kellar
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SawMaster’s story actually disturbs me a mite. I had similar circumstances in my car until recently, only the ride itself has never presented a fire hazard (I check with the mechanic often); the fire hazard came from a loaded 18650 light and a loose cell I had on the glovebox. We are talking about a cheapo “Police” next-mode-memory reverse clicky garbage… with these puppies:

I’d forgotten those things even existed, as I had them since mid-2013, before I even had the car and a good while before I went fully knowledgeable flashaholic.

No kidding, these were sitting in there for at least a year, thankfully in a nook with no chance of moving or jostling around. I pulled them out of there this week, and tested the voltage on both. To my surprise, the blue one was at 3.9v; the yellow one with the absurd capacity, to no surprise, had drained to 3.3 volts. I carefully set them to charge on my Thrunite MCC-2 (the only charger I have that shows the voltage), and they took charge normally until they topped at 4.19v (yellow one got there a good bit faster, though).

I’m definitely gonna toss the yellow one, but the other I’m not quite as sure what to do with. I’m too impressed with its durability to go just one route. Any insight from my pals here?

The Miller
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Check this topic!
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/47092
Kind or a relief he did not manage to get them to vent too easy.

Jack Kellar
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The Miller wrote:
Check this topic!
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/47092
Kind or a relief he did not manage to get them to vent too easy.

I see nothing relevant to what I can/should do with the blue cell, Miller. Could you please make it a bit clearer?

The Miller
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No the relevance is to the part before your question.

But to answer just use it if it has enough mAh Wink (I use some non good brands with low mAh in some lights I rarely if ever use but want to have ready anyway)
If you feel not 100% sure if it is safe, just dispose of it Wink

Jack Kellar
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The Miller wrote:
No the relevance is to the part before your question.

But to answer just use it if it has enough mAh Wink (I use some non good brands with low mAh in some lights I rarely if ever use but want to have ready anyway)
If you feel not 100% sure if it is safe, just dispose of it Wink


Oh yeah, that’s just my case. I have a somewhat defective Olight S30 (high and turbo flicker wildly, but moonlight, low and medium all work fine) that I’m leaving at home for general utility, mostly for my mother’s convenience. It doesn’t need a burly battery, just one that won’t go BOOM.

Jack Kellar
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basic lil’ bump

SawMaster
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That cell seems OK for low-drain applications. But IMHO, muggles should not be given LiIon’s simply because they will not understand ALL the safety protocols- to them, a battery is a battery and it can’t really hurt you. Techies and enthusiasts can understand why these are different and must be treated differently. I have just one family member who I’d trust with LiIon- I know the rest too well to chance harming them through their own, er, “lack of sensibility” Wink

Phil

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A really good post!

Use "Sep Sale" to save 10% on www.vaporsolo.com

Jerommel
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This though:
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?141137-Inhaled-vapors...
is not about rechargeable Li-ion cells.
Li-ion cells don’t have hydrofluoric acid in them.
That ancient CPF thread is about a C123 primary cell.

lightx
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Is it dangerous to use magnet for connecting flat top batteries in series?

hank
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for Jerommel:
https://www.google.com/search?q=lithium-ion+fire+fluorine

The concern is that the fluorine compounds produced in the flame of a li-ion fire are inhalation and skin hazards.

Quote:
. The production of toxic emissions was measured in real-time. Hydrogen fluoride (HF) was quantitatively detectable

http://publications.lib.chalmers.se/records/fulltext/202184/202184.pdf

Interestingly, a while back, some tests done in an argon atmosphere (no external oxygen available) showed no HF produced.
This confused some people; no HF was produced because there was no combustion, no flame occurred, just venting, in the absence of any external oxygen at all.

hank
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Lightx … Is it dangerous to use magnet for connecting flat top batteries in series?

If the magnet slips to the side and contacts the battery tube while staying in contact with the battery, you have a short circuit of the full capacity of one or more cells.

If the magnet is secured — fastened so it can’t slip sideways — as glued in the middle of a disk or ring of nonconductive material, that’s avoidable.

Here’s one for example: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/46821

lightx
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Thanks hank. Looks like jaxman connector is the best option atm.

Jerommel
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hank wrote:
for Jerommel:
https://www.google.com/search?q=lithium-ion+fire+fluorine

The concern is that the fluorine compounds produced in the flame of a li-ion fire are inhalation and skin hazards.

Quote:
. The production of toxic emissions was measured in real-time. Hydrogen fluoride (HF) was quantitatively detectable

http://publications.lib.chalmers.se/records/fulltext/202184/202184.pdf

Interestingly, a while back, some tests done in an argon atmosphere (no external oxygen available) showed no HF produced.
This confused some people; no HF was produced because there was no combustion, no flame occurred, just venting, in the absence of any external oxygen at all.


Okay, thanks for addressing it.
The Miller
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lightx wrote:
Thanks hank. Looks like jaxman connector is the best option atm.

it also depends on the INSIDE of the tube
my L6 and S70 have an anodized inside of the tube, so even if the magnet slides to the side there is no short (so I do not have any securing measures taken and use the fact that whey are loose in swapping the cells top/bottom at every charging, when removing the cells I plac the magnet from the bottom to the top and then in the charger so when inserting them I have onl ye swapping way to put them in.
hank
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http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-electronic-cigarette...

Pictures? Follow the links in the original to see them and the source article.

Quote:
… Unfortunately, his wasn’t an isolated case. More victims of exploding vaping devices followed, until Brownson and her colleagues at the University of Washington Medicine Regional Burn Center in Seattle saw about two such patients each month.

Fifteen of those cases are described in Thursday’s edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. All of the patients were injured using electronic cigarettes or personal vaporizers, which rely on a lithium-ion battery to heat a liquid that is inhaled in an aerosol form.

Though lithium-ion batteries are generally safe, some can overheat. When that happens, they can explode. (The technical term is “thermal runaway.”) That’s what happened to the 15 patients who were seen in the UW burn center between October 2015 and June 2016.

Among these patients, 80% suffered flame burns and 33% received chemical burns from the alkali elements in the exploding batteries. In addition to burns, 27% of the victims suffered a blast injury.

These “flame” burns, on the hand and thigh, are typical of the injuries seen after a device with a lithium-ion battery explodes in a patient’s pocket. (The New England Journal of Medicine 2016)

The most common site of injury was the groin or thigh (53% of cases), followed by the hands (33% of cases) and the face (20% of cases), according to the report.

Some of the injuries have been disfiguring, and some have affected victims’ physical function. In addition to losing teeth, patients have lost portions of their soft tissue (a category that includes skin, ligaments, fat and tendons). Some have been left with “traumatic tattoos.”

Many of the patients treated at the UW burn center are eager to warn others of the risk that vaping devices could explode. To that end, they have allowed Brownson and her colleagues to share photos of their injuries.

The patient on the left suffered a flame burn and blast injury to the face after an e-cigarette exploded during use. The patient on the right, also wounded in an e-cigarette explosion, has a wound characteristic of an alkali chemical burn. (The New England Journal of Medicine 2016)

“People who use e-cigarettes must be aware of the danger of explosion,” said Brownson, who now works at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recognized e-cigarettes and other vaping devices as tobacco products that fall under its jurisdiction. However, it’s not clear whether the agency intends to regulate the batteries in the devices, the study authors noted.

“E-cigarettes are a public safety concern that demands increased regulation as well as design changes to improve safety,” they wrote.

To minimize their risk, e-cigarette users “should not alter the device and should keep batteries safely stored when not in use,” Brownson said. “However, even with these precautions, we have seen explosions occur.”

Odds are, other doctors will too.

“We suspect that with the growing use of [personal vaporizers], many hospitals around the country will see an increase in injuries related to e-cigarette explosions,” the study authors wrote.

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Thought this thread is a worthy spot to put this article in

Quality reporting I know as details are a bit lacking – it’s unclear the brand of headphone or cells used…however it may serve as a reminder to people to be careful even with battery powered headphones

Headphone batteries explode

We should get sushi Carol
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Mikeadoo
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Lightgecko wrote:
This should absolutely be a sticky.

Hello Lightgecko. New guy here and I’m not sure what “sticky” means. Can you help me out please? Or anybody?

Thanks

Mike

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Mikeadoo wrote:
Lightgecko wrote:
This should absolutely be a sticky
Hello Lightgecko. New guy here and I’m not sure what “sticky” means. Can you help me out please? Or anybody?

Thanks

It means the thread will always be at the top of the page where it can be easily found. Welcome to BLF! Smile

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Mikeadoo
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Oh ok. That makes sense. Thanks and thank you teacher!

Mike

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My pleasure. Thumbs Up

You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load./"Bear" Bryant 

 .................................. "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast" ...................................

       Texas Lumens Flashlights / M4D M4X Deals : sign up - save $$$$  

         Rudeness Level _ mΩ _ {width:70%} _ LightWiki _ LED Tint Chart  

      Xlamp size chart _ BatteryU _ Flashaholic? Need Professional Help???            TheOriginal _ TAB _ LightSearch _ BatterySearch _ 14500's _ DiCal 

 

                                             

dekozn
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What is it with batteries and airplanes? Seems like most of the incidents happen in the air or is it just that they get more attention?

Idiot proofing something only creates improved idiots.

Mikeadoo
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I actually have that same question about airplanes. I’m going to Florida April 9th and I have a rather large ANKER power bank which looks like it uses multiple 18650 batteries. I’m wondering/hoping I can take it on the airplane…
I’d use it just to charge my tablet and my other familys phones or whatever they have

Mike

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all fire-related problems that happen on airplanes will show up in the news, and the sources discussed.
That’s because aircraft fires are taken quite seriously.
LMGTFY

Problems elsewhere, well, if someone happens to put it on YouTube we’ll know about it, otherwise maybe not.

For example, a while back, there were a lot of reports of vehicle fires in China attributed to li-ion batteries.
Then China cracked down on handling them and the stories disappeared from the news.

Checking today: https://www.google.com/search?q=china+lithium+battery+fire%3F

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Mikeadoo wrote:
I actually have that same question about airplanes. I'm going to Florida April 9th and I have a rather large ANKER power bank which looks like it uses multiple 18650 batteries. I'm wondering/hoping I can take it on the airplane... I'd use it just to charge my tablet and my other familys phones or whatever they have

In the US:

  • Spare (uninstalled) lithium ion batteries must be carried in carry-on baggage only.
    • They can not be in your checked bags.
    • If your carry-on bag is checked plane side you must remove the li-ion batteries.
  • Spare batteries must be protected from damage and short circuit.
  • Lithium ion batteries are limited to a rating of 100 watt hours (Wh) per battery.  (I want a 100 Wh 18650 battery!)
  • Lithium ion installed in a device are allowed in checked baggage.
    • Electronic cigarettes and vaporizers are prohibited in checked baggage.
    • External chargers are considered to be a battery so they can not be in checked baggage.

References:

https://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/hazmat_safety/more_info/?hazmat=7

https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ash/ash_programs/hazmat/passenger_info/media/Airline_passengers_and_batteries.pdf

 

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Thanks. I have the ANKER Powercore+ 26800 charger. I’m not sure how many Wh that is. Amazon answers said it can be brought on an airplane but I just wanted to double check

Mike

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Mikeadoo wrote:
Thanks. I have the ANKER Powercore+ 26800 charger. I'm not sure how many Wh that is. Amazon answers said it can be brought on an airplane but I just wanted to double check

 

You should be good on the Wh.    

     FYI:    Wh = V x Ah.

 

The charger is considered a battery so it should not be checked.

When I fly with batteries I always print out the FAA Battery FAQ and carry it with the batteries, just in case there are any questions.

Mikeadoo
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Wow nice! Thank you very much! I would’ve never been able to figure that out. The thing is heavy.

Mike

Mikeadoo
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Mr.Scott wrote:

Mikeadoo wrote:
Thanks. I have the ANKER Powercore+ 26800 charger. I’m not sure how many Wh that is. Amazon answers said it can be brought on an airplane but I just wanted to double check

 


You should be good on the Wh.    


     FYI:    Wh = V x Ah.


 


The charger is considered a battery so it should not be checked.


When I fly with batteries I always print out the FAA Battery FAQ and carry it with the batteries, just in case there are any questions.


Thanks, I will print that out tomorrow when the stepdad isn’t home. Florida is a surprise to him. He thinks it’s just 4 people going, so I’ll do it while he is at work

Mike

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Printed and put in with the battery. So I should be good to go. Thank you all for the help. I appreciate it

Mike

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