From energy storage installations to electric vehicles and to consumer electronics such as smartphones, laptops and cameras, batteries are in use all around us every day.
In normal working conditions batteries are considered to be stable, but if subjected to abnormal circumstances, such as increased temperatures, they may become unstable and – in the worst cases – vent violently with flame.
As a result of this, in 2015 United Airlines announced that it will no longer carry bulk shipments of lithium-ion batteries. Aviation officials believe that such batteries contributed to fires that destroyed two Boeing 747 cargo planes, claiming the lives of their crews.
In July 2015 the M1 motorway in Derbyshire was closed for several hours with a 500-metre exclusion zone after a lorry carrying batteries caught fire. Witnesses reported seeing “fireballs” – presumed to be exploding batteries – and black smoke pouring out of the HGV.
In 2013 alone an estimated 4.8 billion lithium-ion batteries were manufactured, with annual production forecast to reach eight billion by 2025.
HSL’s Hazardous Substances Team has closely studied battery safety for several years, using our bespoke testing facility to help customers understand how best to manage the risks faced by industry during battery manufacture, storage, transport and use.
Find out more about battery safety by calling HSL on 01298 218408