Video: Battery Explosion from the Inside

Video: Battery Explosion from the Inside

9 years ago, PC Pitstop first sponsored research regarding the volatility of lithium ion batteries found in laptop batteries. Unfortunately, the need for this research continues in 2015 and Nature Communications has published a lengthy study including a fascinating look inside an exploding battery (see video below).

This is what a lithium ion battery looks like when it’s purposely heated to the point of explosion—for science. Sorry to dash any young pyromaniacs’ hopes, but it’s not something to try at home: Aside from the obvious dangers of exploding white-hot metal and chemicals, you’d need a synchrotron particle accelerator and a heat gun to pull off a vid like this.

For ​a new pap​er in Nature Communications, a group of UK and European researchers pushed two different commercial lithium ion batteries—which are commonly used in everything from smartphones to electric cars—to their breaking point, so they could observe what happens on the inside when they fatally overheat.

“Increasingly we’re pushing lithium ion batteries into a greater and greater range of applications,” said Paul Shearing, a chemical engineer at University College London and one of the paper’s authors, in a phone call. “But actually, the kind of underlying chemistry and the underlying engineering design of these things hasn’t changed enormously from when they were commercialised in the late 80s and early 90s.”

PC Pitstop Sponsored Battery Research – 2013

PC Pitstop Sponsored Battery Research – 2006

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6 thoughts on “Video: Battery Explosion from the Inside”

  1. if it was then there would be millions of fires around the world. Some power supplies and batteries run hot. I generally don't leave power supplies on anyhow. Use an extension cable that has an on/off switch for most stuff. Why not be sure?

    When new you should return them if that is happening within the first month or so. Don't leave it but it's a minority.

    Surges are probably more a problem – is your house's earth connection sound do you have protection incase of lightening perhaps (more for your tv really).

  2. Sandy Lanigan

    Hello…reading this article made me wonder what goes on with my HP lap top.(5 years old). When I go to certain web sites the unit gets so hot to the touch that it actually shuts down. Now if the computer is on and I am not on these certain sites…(news sites) the computer remains cooler. I became so worried about the heat I thought it was the battery…so I removed it. I keep the computer plugged in but shut down at night. This computer STILL gets so hot it shuts down when I go to these news sites. I am totally baffled by what is going on. I do NO surfing and basically use this for emails, paying bills and reading the news. That’s it! Guess I can’t read the sites of my choice. This is crazy. If anyone can explain this to me I will feel a lot better.

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