What could a smartphone explode from? Can smartphones explode?

The phone itself will never explode, the battery that powers it can explode, which is now most often a lithium-ion battery.

The number of gadget explosion cases in which such batteries are located has increased over the last years so that lithium-ion and simple lithium batteries have been recognized as a dangerous cargo, and since the beginning of 2016, international passenger transport has been prohibited. With this gadget battery, you can carry it with you in the cabin, however, they must meet certain conditions: have a lithium content of up to two grams and a power of not more than 100 W / hour.

What could a smartphone explode from? Can smartphones explode?

How does this happen?

CLS Canadian scientists wondered what was going on inside the battery at the time of the explosion. They managed to peer inside the battery and published their observations in the Electrotechnical Community Magazine in Canada. It turned out that everything happens due to a short circuit inside the power source: the lithium anode (positive electrode of the battery) reacts with the electrolyte. The battery starts to warm up, the material from which the cathode (negative electrode) is made is connected to the process, and after the battery is heated to two hundred degrees, there is a sharp release of oxygen, carbon dioxide and other gases. Battery swells. This is often limited to this, but in some cases the process goes further:oxygen is ignited due to temperature, a small explosion occurs. For humans, this is primarily dangerous with burns and minor injuries, and for the environment - with fire. There were times when cars and furniture in apartments burned due to a phone explosion. Eyewitnesses say that the phones not only burn, but also “boil chemistry” and can damage other devices or wires that are nearby. But why do they explode?

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Charger

Scientists from the Institute of Solid State Chemistry of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Novosibirsk) believe that the explosion of a lithium-ion battery can occur for several reasons, including because of a charging device.

The battery may be damaged if you use the wrong charger when charging the phone. Different manufacturers make battery electrodes from various materials and their charging speed is different. Some batteries can withstand charging at high speed, others, alas, no. If you connect the battery to the outlet using a more powerful “charger”, partial destruction may occur: with more current, the wrong material heats up, the battery fails. Outwardly, this may not be manifested in any way, but later the battery explodes.

Chip failure

Another reason is the failure of the device, which is required to monitor the level of charge on the gadget. This is a tiny chip that controls the charge level and prevents the battery from exceeding it: in case of excess, it simply turns it off. He will do the same when the phone overheats. But if the chip fails, expect trouble.

Mechanical damage to the battery

Researchers concluded that most often phones or smartphones explode due to mechanical damage to the battery. Damage can occur imperceptibly - you dropped the battery on the floor, disassembling the device, or your child “played” with it. To violate the integrity of the battery inside, just try to bend it - and breakage is guaranteed. According to statistics, several smartphones caught fire after their owners got into an accident or even just fell off a bicycle. There is a known case when a smartphone caught fire in the cabin: the owner dropped it on the floor in the passage and stepped on.

What could a smartphone explode from? Can smartphones explode?

Canadian scientists also warn of damage: during the experiments they saw that the destruction of the battery begins from those places where there was at least the slightest violation of the integrity of the electrodes.

Manufacturing defect

Most often, consumers do not know where, who, and at what plant makes the batteries with which the gadgets are equipped, and the manufacturer sometimes seeks to save money and buys cheap products. Tiny damage caused by an incompetent worker, a violation of technology, small particles of metal or other components that have fallen into the electrolyte - all this can cause an emergency.

How to avoid this?

The measures are simple: you only need to use the charger that comes with the phone, handle the battery carefully, do not drop the phone, pay attention to the charging speed: if it suddenly speeds up, it means the battery is out of order.

Pay attention to the temperature of the phone: if it gets very hot in a short time, then this is a bad sign.

Carefully put the battery cover in place: if it enters the grooves with difficulty, it may happen that your battery is already swollen and it is dangerous to use it.

Unfortunately, the evolution in the field of batteries is very slow. The most safe Russian scientists consider lithium-iron-phosphate batteries, but for some reason they do not make such batteries small.