TL; DR: The repair specialists at iFixit have put together an informative video detailing the risks associated with lithium-ion batteries and how to mitigate the chances of something going wrong.
Reports of exploding batteries in portable electronic devices such as smartphones are not uncommon and most often occur when the battery is punctured. This creates a short circuit between the positive and negative layers, providing a path for all of the energy stored in the battery to flow. Things can heat up quickly and if they get hot enough, the electrolytes in the battery can decompose into flammable vapors that catch fire.
You may remember the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 flop back in 2016. Shortly after it launched its new flagship, the Korean phone maker He remembers The phone is due to what is believed to be faulty batteries that can overheat and catch fire. Sammy replaced the first wave of phones with models that featured batteries believed to be safe, but reports of fires I continued. Samsung is over Production stopped permanently From Note 7 in October 2016.
iFixit’s first tip is to discharge the battery in the device you’re working with to reduce the potential energy it stores. The team also recommends working with plastic spacers rather than metal ones, as they are not electrically conductive.
Needless to say, size matters. That is, large batteries like those used in laptop computers have the potential to cause far more damage than the smaller packs that power smartphones. Again, by discharging the battery first, you will greatly reduce the odds of disaster.
If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing it. To round out their PSAs, iFixit took a nail gun to a battery that was 100 times larger than a standard smartphone battery…you know, for science’s sake. Sure enough, her piercing resulted in an impressive fire.
With proper precautions and safety equipment in place, working with lithium-ion batteries is not that dangerous. However, in case of doubt, it is better to leave it to professionals and take your device to a reputable service provider for repair.
Image credit: Killian Seiler