Preventing battery failures requires manufacturers to perform fire and abuse testing to verify the durability against dynamic environmental conditions. Physical abuses, like drops and exposure to temperature extremes, have the potential to cause an explosion or fire due to a process called thermal runaway.
During the thermal runaway process, batteries generate heat that cannot escape the battery enclosure. As heat inside the battery builds to critical levels, it can eventually cause a physical failure, resulting in fires or explosions. In order to prevent critical failures, batteries must be tested to ensure that the danger of a thermal runaway is minimized in normal operating conditions.
To properly verify battery performance and safety, batteries should be exposed to extreme heat and abuse that they may encounter in normal use. As an example, a laptop battery may be exposed to unusually high heat sources inside a parked car. Although this is a normal location for a laptop to be stored, the exposure to an extreme temperature can still lead to a critical failure if the battery has not been properly evaluated.
MET Laboratories is capable of performing all battery abuse testing from a single laboratory location. With extensive shock, vibration, drop and temperature cycling capabilities, we can help you develop and execute a test plan that evaluates your batteries for all potential environmental conditions. Additionally, we can combine multiple environmental conditions under a single test methodology to give you a complete picture of your battery’s durability to dynamic use conditions.
Typical Fire and Abuse Test Plan:
- Short Circuit
- Abusive Overcharge (if rechargeable)
- Forced Discharge
- Shock and Vibration
- Temperature Cycling
- Fire propagation and projectile hazard