These Flame Retardant Fibers Stop Fires In Lithium-Ion Batteries

Posted: Jan 16 2017, 8:13am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

These Flame Retardant Fibers Stop Fires in Lithium-Ion Batteries
FIRE FIGHTER To stop battery fires in their tracks, researchers formed tiny fibers containing flame retardant, shown above in an image taken by a scanning electron microscope. If the battery overheats, the fibers’ plastic shells melt, releasing the flame retardant encapsulated inside.
  • Special Fibers help stop Chances of Fire Hazards in Lithium-Ion Cells
 

There are various special fibers that have been developed by scientists that help stop chances of fire hazards in lithium-ion cells.

Many gizmos and gadgets end up being engulfed by flames due to the lithium-ion batteries that go into them. The experts have discovered a number of novel methods to extinguish these conflagrations the moment they arise.

A flame-retardant is introduced into the contextual make-up of the battery. This ensures that flame extinguishing will occur if the temperature rises above the norm. 

Within these lithium-ion batteries, the ions swing back and forth between the two electrodes. The liquid that is the medium for all this is termed the electrolyte.

The only problem seems to be that most electrolytes are highly flammable. If there is a short circuit in the device, it can easily catch fire. Yet by adding a flame retardant to the mix, it is a guarantee that the battery becomes less efficient in the process.

Thus a sort of Catch-22 situation arises. However, the experts have done it once again. They have discovered a way out of this conundrum. A smart sheet of tiny fibers containing the flame retardant were filed into the battery’s positive and negative electrodes.  

Each one of the fibers has a structure that resembles a chocolate éclair filled with rich cream (so to say). Thus a plastic shell covers a flame retardant. Under ordinary circumstances, the shell stores the retardant, according to ScienceNews.

Yet when the material heats up beyond normal, the plastic melts and releases the retardant. The flame retardant is released at temperatures of 160 degrees Celsius as was shown in a lab setting.

Now kids toys and smartphones will not blow up and cause any dangerous damage in the process. The flame retardant that was added to the fibers was triphenyl phosphate. 

The researchers report findings of this study in the journal Science Advances.

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