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Lithium-Ion Battery Failures

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Fire book series (BRIEFSFIRE)

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  • Battery Pack
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • Consumer Electronic Device
  • Chemical Potential Energy
  • Short Circuit Test

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Notes

  1. 1.

    For example, see: US Consumer Products Safety Commission, Alert #10-752, “Asurion Recalls Counterfeit BlackBerry®-Branded Batteries Due to Burn and Fire Hazards,” August 10, 2010.

    US Consumer Products Safety Commission, Release #10-240, “HP Expands Recall of Notebook Computer Batteries Due to Fire Hazard,” May 21, 2010.

    US Consumer Products Safety Commission, Release #10-169, “Mobile Power Packs Recalled By Tumi Due to Fire Hazard,” March 17, 2010.

    US Consumer Products Safety Commission, Release #09-045, “Lithium-Ion Batteries Used with Bicycle Lights Recalled By DiNotte Lighting Due to Burn Hazard,” November 18, 2008.

    Darlin D, “Dell Recalls Batteries Because of Fire Threat,” The New York Times, August 14, 2006.

    Kelley R, “Apple recalls 1.8 million laptop batteries,” CNNMoney.com, August 24, 2006: 4:38 PM EDT.

    US Consumer Products Safety Commission, Release #06-231, “Dell Announces Recall of Notebook Computer Batteries Due to Fire Hazard,” August 15, 2006.

    US Consumer Products Safety Commission, Release #06-245, “Apple Announces Recall of Batteries Used in Previous iBook and PowerBook Computers Due to Fire Hazard,” August 24, 2006.

  2. 2.

    This test is contained in JIS C 8714:2007, “Safety tests for portable lithium ion secondary cells and batteries for use in portable electronic applications.”

  3. 3.

    The chemical reactions that occur in lithium-ion cells are not all irreversible: nonreversible side reactions typically occur as slow rates resulting in cell aging.

  4. 4.

    For an example of battery pack protection electronics with imbalance detection, see http://focus.ti.com/docs/prod/folders/print/bq29330.html.

  5. 5.

    Analysis of cell headspace gases can reveal the presence of argon, nitrogen, and oxygen consistent with cell construction conditions. In one instance (testing of a prototype cell), trace quantities of oxygen and hydrogen were measured in cell vent gases, but spark ignition testing of those gases did not result in ignition. See Roth EP, Crafts CC, Doughty DH, McBreen J, “Thermal Abuse Performance of 18650 Li-Ion Cells,” Sandia Report SAND2004-0584, March 2004.

  6. 6.

    Sometimes evidence of very small points of pure copper, nickel, or steel melting are found within a cell. These points are the result of internal electric arcing/shorting and are not indicative of overall cell thermal runaway temperatures.

  7. 7.

    Webster H, “Flammability Assessment of Bulk-Packed, Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Cells in Transport Category Aircraft,” DOT/FAA/AR-06/38, September 2006, http://www.fire.tc.faa.gov/pdf/06-38.pdf.

  8. 8.

    Roth EP, “Abuse Tolerance Improvement,” DOE Vehicle Technologies Peer Review, Gaithersburg, MD, February 26, 2008.

  9. 9.

    Webster H, “Fire Protection for the Shipment of Lithium Batteries in Aircraft Cargo Compartments,” DOT/FAA/AR-10/31, November 2010, http://www.fire.tc.faa.gov/pdf/10-31.pdf.

  10. 10.

    See for example, Spotnitz RM, Weaver J, Yeduvaka G, Doughty DH, Roth EP, “Simulation of abuse tolerance of lithium-ion battery packs,” Journal of Power Sources, 163 (2007), pp. 1080–1086.

  11. 11.

    Harmon J, Gopalakrishnan P, Mikolajczak C, “US FAA-style flammability assessment of lithium-ion batteries packed with and contained in equipment (UN3481),” US Government Docket ID: PHMSA-2009-00095-0117, PHMSA-2009-00095-0119.1, PHMSA-2009-00095-0119.2, and PHMSA-2009-00095-0120.1, March 2010.

  12. 12.

    The authors have investigated hundreds of thermal runaway failures from the field and can only ascribe one or two of the investigated failures to this failure mode.

  13. 13.

    Maleki H, Howard JN, “Internal short circuit in Li-ion cells,” Journal of Power Sources, 191 (2009), pp. 568–574.

  14. 14.

    In particular, forklift operations can result in puncture of packages with forklift tines. A 1999 incident at LAX involving lithium primary (lithium metal) batteries was the result of a pallet tipping over during transport via forklift and subsequent puncture of packages with the forklift tines in an attempt by the forklift operator to right the pallet.

  15. 15.

    http://www.prba.org/prba/programs/lithium_ion_program/Default.ashx

  16. 16.

    Schleicher R, How to Build and Fly Electric Model Aircraft, MBI Publishing Company, St. Paul, MN, 2005.

  17. 17.

    McPherson J, Complete Guide to Lithium Polymer Batteries and LiPo Failure Reports, http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=209187.

  18. 18.

    Mikolajczak C, Harmon J, White K, Horn Q, Wu M, Shah K, “Detecting lithium-ion cell internal fault development in real time,” Power Electronics Technology; March 2010.

  19. 19.

    For a detailed discussion of reactions that can occur during overcharge, see: Belov D, Yang MH, “Failure mechanism of Li-ion battery at overcharge conditions,” Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry, 12 (2008), pp. 885–894.

  20. 20.

    “Guidance for Safe Usage of Portable Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery Pack,” 1st Edition, March 2003, Battery Association of Japan.

  21. 21.

    See for example: Horn QC, “Application of microscopic characterization techniques for failure analysis of battery systems,” Invited presentation, San Francisco Section of the Electrochemical Society, March 27, 2008.

    Horn QC, White KC, “Novel imaging techniques for understanding degradation mechanisms in lithium-ion batteries,” Advanced Automotive Battery Conference, Tampa, FL, May 13, 2008.

    Horn Q, White KC, “Understanding lithium-ion degradation and failure mechanisms by cross-section analysis,” 211th Electrochemical Society Meeting, Chicago, IL, Spring 2007.

  22. 22.

    Fouchard D, Lechner L, “Analysis of Safety and Reliability in Secondary Lithium Batteries,” Electrochimica Acta, 38(9), pp. 1193–1198, 1993.

  23. 23.

    Mikolajczak CJ, “Causes of Li-Ion Internal Cell Faults,” IEEE 1625 Meeting, San Jose, CA, November 15, 2006.

    Mikolajczak CJ, “Causes of Li-ion internal cell faults,” Portable Rechargeable Battery Association Membership Meeting, Dallas, TX, October 12, 2006.

    Mikolajczak CJ, Hayes T, Megerle MV, Wu M, “Li-Ion internal cell faults,” Extended Battery Life Working Group Meeting, San Jose, CA, October 4, 2006.

  24. 24.

    Hayes T, Mikolajczak C, Horn Q, “Key manufacturing practices and techniques to achieve high quality Li-ion cells,” Proceedings, 27th International Battery Seminar & Exhibit for Primary & Secondary Batteries, Small Fuel Cells, and Other Technologies, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, March 15–18, 2010.

  25. 25.

    Zhang Z, “Li-ion in EDV and Safety Perspectives,” Proceedings, 28th International Battery Seminar & Exhibit, March 14–17, 2011, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

  26. 26.

    See for example: Mikolajczak C, Harmon J, Hayes T, Megerle M, White K, Horn Q, Wu M, “Lithium-ion battery cell failure analysis: The significance of surviving features on copper current collectors in cells that have experienced thermal runaway,” Proceedings, 25th International Battery Seminar & Exhibit for Primary & Secondary Batteries, Small Fuel Cells, and Other Technologies, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, March 17–20, 2008.Barnett B, Sriramulu S, “New Safety Technologies for Lithium-Ion Batteries,” Proceedings, 28th International Battery Seminar & Exhibit, March 14–17, 2011, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

  27. 27.

    Mikolajczak C, Harmon J, Stewart S, Arora A, Horn Q, White K, Wu M, “Mechanisms of latent internal cell fault formation: Screening and real time detection approaches,” Proceedings, Space Power Workshop, Manhattan Beach, CA, April 20–23, 2009.

  28. 28.

    Exponent has produced numerous publications on the topic of cell internal faults, including: Godithi R, Mikolajczak C, Harmon J, Wu M, “Lithium-ion cell screening: Nondestructive and destructive physical examination,” NASA Aerospace Workshop, Huntsville, AL, November 2009.

    Mikolajczak C, Harmon J, Wu M, “Lithium plating in commercial lithium-ion cells: Observations and analysis of causes,” Proceedings, Batteries 2009 the International Power Supply Conference and Exhibition, French Riviera, September 30–October 2, 2009.

    Hayes T, Mikolajczak C, Megerle M, Wu M, Gupta S, Halleck P, “Use of CT scanning for defect detection in lithium-ion batteries,” Proceedings, 26th International Battery Seminar & Exhibit for Primary & Secondary Batteries, Small Fuel Cells, and Other Technologies, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, March 16–19, 2009.

    Horn QC, “Battery involvement in fires: cause or effect?” Invited seminar, International Association of Arson Investigators—Massachusetts Chapter, Auburn, MA, March 19, 2009.

    Horn QC, White KC, “Characterizing performance and determining reliability for batteries in medical device applications,” ASM Materials and Processes for Medical Devices, Minneapolis, MN, August 13, 2009.

    Horn QC, White KC, “Advances in characterization techniques for understanding degradation and failure modes in lithium-ion cells: Imaging of internal microshorts,” Invited presentation, International Meeting on Lithium Batteries 14, Tianjin, China, June 27, 2008.

    Hayes T, Horn QC, “Methodologies of identifying root cause of failures in lithium-ion battery packs,” Invited presentation, 24th International Battery Seminar and Exhibit, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, March 2007.

    Loud JD, Hu X, “Failure analysis methodology for Lithium-ion incidents,” Proceedings, 33rd International Symposium for Testing and Failure Analysis, pp. 242–251, San Jose, CA, November 6–7, 2007.

    Mikolajczak CJ, Hayes T, Megerle MV, Wu M, “A scientific methodology for investigation of a lithium-ion battery failure,” IEEE Portable 2007 International Conference on Portable Information Devices, IEEE No. 1-4244-1039-8/07, Orlando, FL, March 2007.

  29. 29.

    Mikolajczak C, Harmon J, Gopalakrishnan P, Godithi R, Hayes T, Wu M, “From lithium plating to cell thermal runaway: A combustion perspective,” Proceedings, 27th International Battery Seminar & Exhibit for Primary & Secondary Batteries, Small Fuel Cells, and Other Technologies, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, March 15–18, 2010.

    Mikolajczak C, Harmon J, Gopalakrishnan P, Godithi R, Wu M, “From lithium plating to lithium-ion cell thermal runaway,” NASA Aerospace Workshop, Huntsville, AL, November 2009.

    Mikolajczak C, Stewart S, Harmon J, Horn Q, White K, Wu M, “Mechanisms of latent internal cell fault formation,” Proceedings, 9th BATTERIES Exhibition and Conference, Nice, France, October 8–10, 2008.

    Mikolajczak C, Harmon J, Wu M, “Lithium plating in commercial lithium-ion cells: observations and analysis of causes,” Proceedings, Batteries 2009 The International Power Supply Conference and Exhibition, French Riviera, Sept 30–Oct 2, 2009.

  30. 30.

    Babrausksas V, Ignition Handbook, Fire Science Publishers, 2003, pp. 83–89.

  31. 31.

    See for example: Dalavi S, et al., “Nonflammable Electrolytes for Lithium-Ion Batteries Containing Dimethyl Methylphosphonate,” Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 157(10), A1113-A1120, 2010. Sazhin SV, Harrup MK, Gering KL, “Characterization of low-flammability electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries,” Journal of Power Sources, 196(2011), 3433–3438. Feng JK, Ai XP, Cao YL, Yang HX, “Possible use of non-flammable phosphonate ethers as pure electrolyte solvent for lithium batteries,” Journal of Power Sources, 177 (2008), 194–198.

  32. 32.

    General approach described in IEEE 17th Annual Battery Conference on Applications and Advances paper, Loud J, Nilsson S, Du Y, “On the Testing Method of Simulating a Cell Internal Short Circuit for Lithium Ion Batteries,” Long Beach, CA, 2002.

  33. 33.

    Roth EP, “Thermal Stability of Electrodes in Lithium-Ion Cells,” Sandia Report: SAND2000-0345 J. Roth EP, Crafts CC, Doughty DH, “Thermal Abuse Studies on Lithium Ion Rechargeable Batteries,” Sandia Report: SAND2000-2711C.

  34. 34.

    Roth EP, “Final Report to NASA JSC: Thermal Abuse Performance of MOLI, Panasonic, and Sanyo 18650 Li-Ion Cells,” Sandia Report: SAND2004-6721, March 2005.

  35. 35.

    Ribiere P, Laruelle S, Morcrette M, Grugeon S, Tarascon JM, Marlair G, Bertrand JP, Paillart A, “Li-ion battery: safety tests,” Poster, Advanced Automotive Battery Conference (AABC).

  36. 36.

    Kizilel R, Sabbah R, Selman R, Al-Hallaj S, “An alternative cooling system to enhance the saftety of Li-ion battery packs,” Journal of Power Sources, 194 (2009), pp. 1105–1112.

  37. 37.

    http://www.allcelltech.com

  38. 38.

    http://www.teslamotors.com/roadster/technology/battery

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Mikolajczak, C., Kahn, M., White, K., Long, R.T. (2011). Lithium-Ion Battery Failures. In: Lithium-Ion Batteries Hazard and Use Assessment. SpringerBriefs in Fire. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3486-3_4

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