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Mining Publication: Are lithium-ion cells intrinsically safe?

NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.

Original creation date: October 2012

Cover Sheet of publication

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health researchers are studying the potential for Li-ion battery thermal runaway from an internal short circuit in equipment approved as permissible for use in underground coal mines. Researchers used a plastic wedge to induce internal short circuits for thermal runaway susceptibility evaluation purposes, which proved to be a more severe test than the flat plate method for selected Li-ion cells. Researchers conducted cell crush tests within a 20-L chamber filled with 6.5% CH4-air to simulate the mining hazard. Results indicate that LG Chem ICR18650S2 LiCoO2 cells pose a CH4 explosion hazard from a cell internal short circuit. Under specified test conditions, A123 Systems 26650 LiFePO4 cells were safer than the LG Chem ICR18650S2 LiCoO2 cells at a conservative statistical significance level.

Authors: TH Dubaniewicz, JP Ducarme

Peer Reviewed Journal Article - November 2013

NIOSHTIC2 Number: 20043558

IEEE Trans Ind Appl 2013 Nov/Dec; 49(6): 2451-2460.