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Old 08-29-2010, 05:48 PM #17
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Default Re: BEWARE of ARCTIC BATTERY EXPLOSION

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Originally Posted by electron View Post
Yes I'm calling my Lawyer Monday, but it's China; that why Chris/Steve setup shop over there in the first place; they can get away with most of anything.
I think you're wasting your time calling a lawyer, you can't sue someone who is in China and yes, it was 100% the battery, not the charger. It was a breakdown of the insulating barrier between the anode and electrolyte. When these cells get more than 2-3 years old (and I suspect these are very old) it can happen at anytime, not just during charging or discharging.
When they get that old, they are just ticking time bombs.
What's worse is that if it would have been in the Arctic when it decided to explode...Lets see, a very high energy explosion inside a sealed aluminum body...Hey it's a pipe bomb!

The battery manufacturer may not be to blame at all. It could have been a state of the art battery 5-6 years ago when the were 1st sold. The blame is completely on WL for trying to save a few bucks at the expense of life & limb.


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Old 08-29-2010, 06:00 PM #18
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Default Re: BEWARE of ARCTIC BATTERY EXPLOSION

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Originally Posted by bootleg2go View Post
I think you're wasting your time calling a lawyer, you can't sue someone who is in China and yes, it was 100% the battery, not the charger. It was a breakdown of the insulating barrier between the anode and electrolyte. When these cells get more than 2-3 years old (and I suspect these are very old) it can happen at anytime, not just during charging or discharging.
When they get that old, they are just ticking time bombs.
What's worse is that if it would have been in the Arctic when it decided to explode...Lets see, a very high energy explosion inside a sealed aluminum body...Hey it's a pipe bomb!

The battery manufacturer may not be to blame at all. It could have been a state of the art battery 5-6 years ago when the were 1st sold. The blame is completely on WL for trying to save a few bucks at the expense of life & limb.
Do you recommend then to just throw out 18650 batteries that are 3 years old of any brand that are seemingly working just fine? Any guide lines on this? I total agree it would have went off like a pipe bomb if that battery was in the Arctic, could have lost a limb.
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:08 PM #19
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Default Re: BEWARE of ARCTIC BATTERY EXPLOSION

made this thread a sticky
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:33 PM #20
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Default Re: BEWARE of ARCTIC BATTERY EXPLOSION

Wow, this is terrible. I was just wondering recently, if a battery explodes and creates a lithium fire, what is the best way to dispel the flame?
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:46 PM #21
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Default Re: BEWARE of ARCTIC BATTERY EXPLOSION

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Originally Posted by bootleg2go View Post
I think you're wasting your time calling a lawyer, you can't sue someone who is in China and yes, it was 100% the battery, not the charger. It was a breakdown of the insulating barrier between the anode and electrolyte. When these cells get more than 2-3 years old (and I suspect these are very old) it can happen at anytime, not just during charging or discharging.
When they get that old, they are just ticking time bombs.
What's worse is that if it would have been in the Arctic when it decided to explode...Lets see, a very high energy explosion inside a sealed aluminum body...Hey it's a pipe bomb!

The battery manufacturer may not be to blame at all. It could have been a state of the art battery 5-6 years ago when the were 1st sold. The blame is completely on WL for trying to save a few bucks at the expense of life & limb.
"When these cells..." Does that apply to current generation lithium batteries? After what length of time should a person dispose of a battery for safety sake?

I don't know much about rechargeable batteries and I suspect that I'm not the only one here. Can a knowledgeable person provide guidelines for when to dispose of batteries of different types: lithium ion and others? This information needs to get out: many of us are using rechargeable batteries in metal hosts and everyone needs to be educated about when to dispose of old batteries and which batteries to avoid. A handheld laser turned pipe bomb in the hand is a terrifying thought.
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:58 PM #22
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Default Re: BEWARE of ARCTIC BATTERY EXPLOSION

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Do you recommend then to just throw out 18650 batteries that are 3 years old of any brand that are seemingly working just fine? Any guide lines on this? I total agree it would have went off like a pipe bomb if that battery was in the Arctic, could have lost a limb.
Yes, I would get rid of them.
Don't throw them in the trash, they are hazardous waste. Take them to a battery recycle center. Most battery stores like "batteries plus" will take your cells and dispose of them properly.
If 18650 cells are new, they can be stored in a refrigerator and will age very slowly; but most people buy them and use them. After about 300 cycles or 18 months, whichever comes 1st, they are down to 80% or less of their capacity. After a couple years, even if not used, they are way down on their capacity. This is why after a couple of years that laptop will last only about 20 minutes if running on the old batteries.
I would say get rid of them after 2 years time as their capacity is really low and the safety hazard is getting high.
Since has been made into a sticky I also say that it's best to get name brand 18650 cells and I don't mean name brands like trustfire, ultrafire or tenergy and such. I mean well respected large companies like samsung & LG, they actually manufacturer their batteries and they have very high quality and safety standards that their designs have to pass. This makes them cost more, but you get what you pay for. Why save $5 on a battery that might explode (even if it isn't old), the final cost could end up being much more than an extra $5 if your house or yourself gets hurt. These 3rd party brands are the ones that you get into trouble with. They are made very cheaply and are outright dangerous, they are the ones you hear about when cellphones or laptops explode. What happened with the laptop deal is that some of the laptop companies thought they would save a little money too.

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Old 08-29-2010, 07:01 PM #23
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Default Re: BEWARE of ARCTIC BATTERY EXPLOSION

If from age or poor quality, either way I find it extremely disappointing that they would ship these things. I know they were trying to save every cent, but this is ridiculous.

@electron: I'm glad you're ok, it's scary to think about what could have happened.
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:10 PM #24
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Default Re: BEWARE of ARCTIC BATTERY EXPLOSION

Wow. Most lithium battery are dangerous. The 18650 cells are not vented, so when they fail, they fail big.

At least it was not in the arctic and in your hand. Contain the pressure, and it gets worse, like a pipe bomb. Its a good thing you were not in the room! Perhaps a reason to be as careful as RC people with there lithium's. Some put them in a flame proof container, with an exhaust in case it exploded, with a spark arrestor(steel wool) in the exhaust shaft. Maybe that's overkill, but if this happened to you, you might think differently.

There is also the option of safer battery's. Namely A123 cells. They are a different chemistry that cannot produce gas in any condition. The only problem is they are lower voltage. Maybe drlava can check if his drivers can work with them, or make a driver that can. Be nice to know your device wont just explode on you.

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Old 08-29-2010, 07:42 PM #25
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Default Re: BEWARE of ARCTIC BATTERY EXPLOSION

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Originally Posted by Woodofcville View Post
How is "Steve" not in jail yet? Seriously. I'm still waiting on a replacement, your battery exploded and damaged your personal property, that could've resulted in your injury or death. This is bulls**t.
It wasn't charged with the WL charger...

Quote:
Originally Posted by electron View Post
I've been using that charger for years to charge un-protected 18650 LG batteries I bought from Optotronics and several other protected ones such as AW's. I carefully plugged the charger into AC again, and to my surprise it still works and is putting out 4.20v; of course it's badly burned, so I'm not going to use it anymore, it's trash now.
At what current... A charger for 2500mA Cells charges at a higher
rate than a charger for 1300mA cells...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eudaimonium View Post
Offtopic, Jerry, I'd be interested in a shematic for that "modification" if it's not a company secret or something.
It uses a Micro-Controller as the Charge Timer and a
1Wire Temperature Sensor... PM me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by electron View Post
Do you know of any chargers at any price range that have that feature built into them? I'm waiting on word back from Pila, they are suppose to be much safer; I still believe it was the crap battery, but a heat sensor such as you have done, probably would have prevented this.

Thanks
No... I'm not aware of any.... There must surely be one out there...

Quote:
Originally Posted by electron View Post
Do you recommend then to just throw out 18650 batteries that are 3 years old of any brand that are seemingly working just fine? Any guide lines on this? I total agree it would have went off like a pipe bomb if that battery was in the Arctic, could have lost a limb.
I would suggest that you get a kitchen timer set to 15 minutes
and manually check the Temperature of the batteries as you're
charging them every 15 minutes..
Once they go over the room temperature... stop the charge..

Or... the Arctic may have contained the explosion...


Jerry
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:15 PM #26
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Default Re: BEWARE of ARCTIC BATTERY EXPLOSION

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Wow, this is terrible. I was just wondering recently, if a battery explodes and creates a lithium fire, what is the best way to dispel the flame?
I'm lucky I keep both Halon and CO2 extinguishers in the house because of the vast varity of electronics I have, I grabbed the Halon extinguisher for this.

Most any Class C extinguisher will work quickly for live electric fires, Halon is really nice because it won't ruin your electronics and everything around it, it evaporates after you use it, unlike powders; you'd be cleaning them up for days.

Halon is now outlawed in the USA though, so I won't be able to get it refilled, but there is substitute available called Halotron I, and it is equally just as expensive. I can't simply have the refill the cylinder with that, I'll have to buy a completely new one.
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Default Re: BEWARE of ARCTIC BATTERY EXPLOSION

Great now I'm paranoid about my stash of 20+ 2-3 year old 18650's and cr123a's that I use in all of my flashlights and lasers. I've got some cheapo no-name brands and the rest are ultrafire/trustfire etc. They all seem to still work fine and I don't wanna just spend like $100 buying a bunch of new batteries.

So can they blow up even when they're not charging or in use? I mean I've got them under my bed right now and I'd rather not have them meltdown when I'm not home and burn the house down. Maybe I should put them all in a metal container or something...
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:38 PM #28
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Default Re: BEWARE of ARCTIC BATTERY EXPLOSION

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Great now I'm paranoid about my stash of 20+ 2-3 year old 18650's and cr123a's that I use in all of my flashlights and lasers. I've got some cheapo no-name brands and the rest are ultrafire/trustfire etc. They all seem to still work fine and I don't wanna just spend like $100 buying a bunch of new batteries.

So can they blow up even when they're not charging or in use? I mean I've got them under my bed right now and I'd rather not have them meltdown when I'm not home and burn the house down. Maybe I should put them all in a metal container or something...
Get rid of them, if they are 3 years, they are just hazardous waste becoming more unstable each day. You said they were a "stash under your bed", so your not really using all those things anyway unless they are inside of 20 different objects that use them. Chances are that you have so many because they started losing capacity and you bought fresh ones.
Old 18650 cells are not something you want to hoard away for a rainy day.
Buy some new quality name brand cells at a site like batteryjunction.com and if you buy spares that you don't plan on using for awhile, store them in the fridge.
Oh, to answer your question, they don't need to be charging or discharging to explode. As soon as the insulating material between the anode and electrolyte breaks down it could explode. When it does break down, it doesn't mean it will explode, many of the higher quality like LG, samsung will just get really hot then be totally dead forever, other cheaper, less well designed ones are more likely to just explode when the cell shorts out internally.

Having many of them in close proximity to each other, multiplies your risk. If any one of them explodes, it could cause others nearby to do the same. A large metal box that's well vented so that pressure cannot form inside would sure help; but why keep them? When they are 2-3 years old they only have a small fraction of their original capacity, plus even if you have a safe metal box that's well vented store them in, that only protects you from the fire and shrapnel....It's still scare the shit out you as it not like a small firecracker going off and the smoke and bad smell will fill your house. If you're in an apartment, they usually have sprinkler system that could go off with that amount of smoke being released and ruin other belongings.

Last edited by bootleg2go; 08-29-2010 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:48 PM #29
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Default Re: BEWARE of ARCTIC BATTERY EXPLOSION

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Originally Posted by bootleg2go View Post
I think you're wasting your time calling a lawyer, you can't sue someone who is in China and yes, it was 100% the battery, not the charger. It was a breakdown of the insulating barrier between the anode and electrolyte. When these cells get more than 2-3 years old (and I suspect these are very old) it can happen at anytime, not just during charging or discharging.
When they get that old, they are just ticking time bombs.
What's worse is that if it would have been in the Arctic when it decided to explode...Lets see, a very high energy explosion inside a sealed aluminum body...Hey it's a pipe bomb!

The battery manufacturer may not be to blame at all. It could have been a state of the art battery 5-6 years ago when the were 1st sold. The blame is completely on WL for trying to save a few bucks at the expense of life & limb.
Guess what Jack, the model number found on the bottom of the charger supplied by WL is the same as the one that I have except mine is the two channel model, that again I've used for years. I just took both chargers apart and it's printed right on the circuit boards, they are the same chargers 1-channel & 2-channels, same brands; DX carries both of them.

But WL didn't make the charger and we all know that anyway, I just find it ironic that they are the same brands; I guess WL shops were DX does; now that is scary though.

I still have one more of those WL batteries from my G2 that I haven't charged yet, guess I should put it in a special place and it's not getting charged or used at all, period.

On a side note, I just finished re-charging an AW and an LG that I needed with one of the other chargers that is the same make/brand 2-channel and I monitored the voltage during the whole process. I used my Fluke IR Temperature Meter to keep a close eye on it while charging, as usual it barely raised the heat level at all. That's the way it's suppose to work when you use quality 18650 cells, that WL 18650 is the very first one I didn't specifically choose myself and look what happened; I should have just thrown them in the trash from the get go, just like WL's junk goggles.

Please everyone don't use the 18650 battery supplied by WL, buy a quality one instead and while your at it get some quality goggles too.
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:58 PM #30
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Default Re: BEWARE of ARCTIC BATTERY EXPLOSION

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Originally Posted by bootleg2go View Post
Get rid of them, if they are 3 years, they are just hazardous waste becoming more unstable each day. You said they were a "stash under your bed", so your not really using all those things anyway unless they are inside of 20 different objects that use them. Chances are that you have so many because they started losing capacity and you bought fresh ones.
Old 18650 cells are not something you want to hoard away for a rainy day.
Buy some new quality name brand cells at a site like batteryjunction.com and if you buy spares that you don't plan on using for awhile, store them in the fridge.
Oh, to answer your question, they don't need to be charging or discharging to explode. As soon as the insulating material between the anode and electrolyte breaks down it could explode. When it does break down, it doesn't mean it will explode, many of the higher quality like LG, samsung will just get really hot then be totally dead forever, other cheaper, less well designed ones are more likely to just explode when the cell shorts out internally.

Having many of them in close proximity to each other, multiplies your risk. If any one of them explodes, it could cause others nearby to do the same. A large metal box that's well vented so that pressure cannot form inside would sure help; but why keep them? When they are 2-3 years old they only have a small fraction of their original capacity, plus even if you have a safe metal box that's well vented store them in, that only protects you from the fire and shrapnel....It's still scare the shit out you as it not like a small firecracker going off and the smoke and bad smell will fill your house. If you're in an apartment, they usually have sprinkler system that could go off with that amount of smoke being released and ruin other belongings.
For now I've just moved the oldest ones into an old microwave oven with the door shut facing a concrete wall in the basement. The reason why I don't just get rid of them is because it might be fun to do something naughty with them later on

The main thing that concerns me now is how I don't really know how old my "newer" batteries are. I bought the ultrafire cells like a year or two ago, but I have no idea how long they sat around before that. Also what's the best way to store 18650's? At full charge or discharged? I've heard that it ruins their capacity to store them for long periods at low charge.
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:26 PM #31
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Default Re: BEWARE of ARCTIC BATTERY EXPLOSION

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Originally Posted by Razako View Post
Great now I'm paranoid about my stash of 20+ 2-3 year old 18650's and cr123a's that I use in all of my flashlights and lasers. I've got some cheapo no-name brands and the rest are ultrafire/trustfire etc. They all seem to still work fine and I don't wanna just spend like $100 buying a bunch of new batteries.

So can they blow up even when they're not charging or in use? I mean I've got them under my bed right now and I'd rather not have them meltdown when I'm not home and burn the house down. Maybe I should put them all in a metal container or something...
There is no way that I can see that your non installed batteries will explode...
It requires a chemical reaction in the batteries to create the over heating
required to cause them to explode..

If they are not shorted out and discharging at a high rate (causing
overheating) and are not being charged to the point of overheating...
the batteries will not heat up and the Batteries will slowly discharge
over a lengthy period of time....


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Old 08-29-2010, 09:35 PM #32
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Default Re: BEWARE of ARCTIC BATTERY EXPLOSION

WL probly payed .50 each for them cells
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