Why batteries explode and how to protect themselves

Why batteries explode and how to protect themselves

A first smartphone Samsung exploded Duba, two others caught fire in Switzerland (Samsung was justified in this case) and Abu Dhabi and finally it was the turn of a Hong Kong resident to see his Galaxy S4 catch fire and thus causing the fire of his apartment. While Samsung launches investigations, here are some tips to prevent your smartphone from turning into a smartbomb.

Better to prevent than to heal! / ANDROIDPIT

Let's be clear: for a battery to explode, regardless of the device it feeds, smartphone, tablet, radio, it must have a serious manufacturing defect, see a hypottic defect design. In fact, even when an explosion or a blaze occurs, the battery is obviously not the only culprit. Fault a combination of unfortunate circumstances, a battery or a replacement charger.

Lithium batteries, which equip our smartphones suffer from an inherent fault their technology called "thermal runaway". If the battery knows an excess of temperature, it leads itself to an increase in temperature, it is a vicious circle. To overcome this unfortunate state of affairs, there is a protection system that prevents the chemicals in question from causing unexpected reactions. It can often be read that generic batteries produced by third-party manufacturers are just as reliable as the original ones. This is partly true, but we must qualify.

Smartphones are becoming thinner, the batteries too. There is less and less room to keep loose the positive and negative plates inside the batteries, so we reduce the thickness of the separator. If some intruder is between these two plates, it can cause damage. If the manufacturer does not comply with the safety standards, an overload for example can only put oil on the fire …

s4 esploso
Samsung devices have had a bad press lately, because of incidents related to their batteries or chargers. / Sammy Hub

If the manufacturer follows all the safety instructions, there is no reason why the batteries are not safe, but some are known to save on the components, especially by omitting the fuse supposed to cut the circuit in case of overheating of the battery. It goes without saying, the absence of this fuse represents a danger, especially if you have a habit of charging your smartphone all night.

Here are some tips to avoid any risk of spontaneous combustion and other black magic:

  • In case of replacement of your battery, prefer the brand of your smartphone or known brands. Some brands offer cheaper batteries, but think your smartphone (or your apartment).
  • Never leave your device in a hot environment, in full sun or other, for obvious reasons of overheating. Cect is particularly valid during the charging period.
  • In general, if your smartphone is heating up due to a load or any application, try to put it in a ventilated place (not in a pocket for example).
  • And contrary to what we can read, do not wait until your battery is empty, on the contrary, before charging. The undervoltage abmemt the Li-ion batteries, and you can do everything to recharge 50%.

If you keep in mind these few simple rules, you'll be able to sleep soundly, without being afraid that your smartphone will catch fire in the middle of the night. If you really want to be quiet, unplug your smartphone at night, and charge it when you are present. You can also opt for a Samsung S4 Active or a Xperia Z1, both waterproof, and charge them in a sink full of water.

Have you ever had problems with your battery?

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