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Stanford boffins snuff out li-ion batt blaze risk

Stanford boffins snuff out li-ion batt blaze risk

Plastic covering corrects cockups

Iain Thomson
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The explosive side object of overheated lithium-ion batteries annex gangling been documented, and posses caused everything from groin burns to the suspension of Boeing 787 flights.

Any more boffins at Stanford conclude they keep the answer.

If the electrolyte within a battery reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius) then it can grip fire, and for agedness battery manufacturers chalk up been trying to figure in a safety step to break this happening. While techniques bear been developed to shut down a battery that overheats, it comes at a cost.

"Unfortunately, these techniques are irreversible, so the battery is no longer functional after it overheats," said Stanford engineer Yi Cui, who invented ethical such a system. "Clearly, in spite of the legion efforts make-believe thus far, battery safety remains an conspicuous carefulness and requires a original approach."

Cui and a organization led by Zhenan Bao, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford, retain first off built a notion - a polyethylene movie studded with nickel that covers the battery's electrodes.

The nickel spikes sincere electricity, but if the temperature rises the polyethylene expands and breaks the electrical connection, then shrinks to reestablish the electrical flow as it cools.

"We can still tune the temperature higher or lower depending on how assorted particles we deposit in or what type of polymer materials we choose," said Bao. "For example, we might wish the battery to shut down at 50 C or 100 C."

The procedure is not isolated reversible, but repeatable. The gang applied a heat gun to the substance to activate the petite order breakers, let it gelid to reestablish power, and repeated the manner frequent times.

"Compared with preceding approaches, our blueprint provides a reliable, fast, reversible strategy that can deliver both high rise battery performance and improved safety," Cui said. "This strategy holds abundant vow for practical batteryPortable Computer Batteries applications."

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