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Accidentally shorted an 18650... Indoors

ElectricPlasma

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Well then....​

This was interesting. I had just shorted an 18650 ultrafire on accident, here's how it happened. I had a 18650 laying on my bench with magnetic spacers on either side, and a couple wires around it for testing I had done earlier. Well, my mind must've just completely let go of the fact that magnetism exists and that I should've been cautious of it. But, regardless... I must have bumped the table just a little bit,(making the "magnetic" wires attract and connect{magnetically}) but I left the bench for a little while, and came back an walk into a cloud of... smoke? I really have trouble saying it was smoke as it was not thick at all, it was more of a smell of burning plastic but there was some sort of visible gas. So I'm not sure what happened as I was absent from the location for most of it.​

So here's the crime scene; the wire that connected the battery leads together was a standard breadboard jumper wire, probably around 24-26 guage (not exactly sure) it was very small and thin. The insulation was infested with some solid light brown bubbly texture, as well as burnt black insulation. The battery did not look damaged at all actually in good condition...I was surprised, the only thing that did look damaged was the battery's insulation, which was minimally stretched. The whole scene left a brown... stain? liquid? powder? not exactly sure, I didn't play with it or clean it up yet.​

When I felt the battery, it was normal idle room temperature. I tested it with a meter, was at 0.20 volts. That's the only thing I tested.​

Anyway, been trying to vent the place the past couple hours. Seems to be mostly be dispersed now, left a few windows open on the floor above... Had to move fans to get it out of the basement (no windows).​
 

InfinitusEquitas

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#1 issue, as it's clear you already know, be very very very careful not to breathe in any of the gas/smoke.

I've shorted a couple of lithium batteries by accident, but never enough to where they vented. Though in one case the battery was HOT to touch.

Not much else to do now... air out the room, and recycle/dispose of the cell :p

Magnets are kind of deceptive... if you ever end up handling larger ones, you have to be ridiculously careful with them, otherwise, yowch, and you have a blood blister... at least.
 
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Cyparagon

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It must have been a bad battery anyway. A good one would have vaporized 24awg in a few seconds.
 

RedCowboy

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If that had been a good IMR battery you might have come back to find a fire.

I was telling someone the other day why I don't use the little magnets for spacers, because they can get knocked against the case and close the circuit.
Instead I make a spacer from plastic and copper or a brass paper fastener, the old ones are brass, the new ones are brass colored steel, a magnet will show you which is which.


This is something I threw together for a Maglite build that held 7 x 660nm lasers a long time ago, it was not fancy but you get the idea.

 

ElectricPlasma

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#1 issue, as it's clear you already know, be very very very careful not to breathe in any of the gas/smoke.

I've shorted a couple of lithium batteries by accident, but never enough to where they vented. Though in one case the battery was HOT to touch.

Not much else to do now... air out the room, and recycle/dispose of the cell :p

Magnets are kind of deceptive... if you ever end up handling larger ones, you have to be ridiculously careful with them, otherwise, yowch, and you have a blood blister... at least.
That gas cloud was rather scary :crackup: last thing I would do would breathe it in :p Also I'm cringing at blood blister... ow :undecided:

It must have been a bad battery anyway. A good one would have vaporized 24awg in a few seconds.
Yea. The wire did thin out, and could probably snap just by picking it up, but I wouldn't say it was vaporized. Gotta love Ultrafires. :p

@RedCowboy, Interesting concept and picture. Also a lithium fire would not have made my day end well... :yabbem:
 

InfinitusEquitas

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The index finger on my left hand has a collection of scars from cuts burns and other accidents. I have become A LOT more careful as a result. A blood blister is mostly just annoying... a powerful neodymium magnet can really easily break bones, or attach itself to something so much so that you can't get it off. It's kind of a freaky experience to not be able to pull off magnet when you're a 250lb guy with a fair amount of strength behind you.
 

RedCowboy

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I was making a little pit outside to do my artistic wood burning and not stink up my house when I thought, why not just use a cheap backyard grill?

It's a good containment vessel and it won't alarm anyone seeing smoke coming from a grill, and at wallyworld for 20 bucks it's a deal.

 
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Well then....​

This was interesting. I had just shorted an 18650 ultrafire on accident, here's how it happened. I had a 18650 laying on my bench with magnetic spacers on either side, and a couple wires around it for testing I had done earlier. Well, my mind must've just completely let go of the fact that magnetism exists and that I should've been cautious of it. But, regardless... I must have bumped the table just a little bit,(making the "magnetic" wires attract and connect{magnetically}) but I left the bench for a little while, and came back an walk into a cloud of... smoke? I really have trouble saying it was smoke as it was not thick at all, it was more of a smell of burning plastic but there was some sort of visible gas. So I'm not sure what happened as I was absent from the location for most of it.​

So here's the crime scene; the wire that connected the battery leads together was a standard breadboard jumper wire, probably around 24-26 guage (not exactly sure) it was very small and thin. The insulation was infested with some solid light brown bubbly texture, as well as burnt black insulation. The battery did not look damaged at all actually in good condition...I was surprised, the only thing that did look damaged was the battery's insulation, which was minimally stretched. The whole scene left a brown... stain? liquid? powder? not exactly sure, I didn't play with it or clean it up yet.​

When I felt the battery, it was normal idle room temperature. I tested it with a meter, was at 0.20 volts. That's the only thing I tested.​

Anyway, been trying to vent the place the past couple hours. Seems to be mostly be dispersed now, left a few windows open on the floor above... Had to move fans to get it out of the basement (no windows).​
I blew up quite a few normal AA and AAA batteries as a small kid. Once, I thought I had pulled all of the gunk out of a AAA, then tried to melt it for the zinc. Explosion... Clothes ruined... Etc.

Another time I tried building a battery out of two AAs, with aluminum metal and copper. It would have worked, except for I forgot that aluminum was conductive. Threw it outside and it exploded like a firecracker.

Yeah... I'm pretty careful with batteries now, years older.
 
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Yeah put all the fans on and vent.

I cooked a 18 volt nicad pack once cause my parents where arguing and I forgot and it was on my psu for too long.

It didnt burst but it was real hot and it vented some gas and liquid along with being very hot.

anyway the smell was horrible even with a strong fan on. It still took hours for it to go away.
 
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i cooked a lithium battery by the camp fire before and it didn't end up well....thick cloud of white smoke everywhere and it burst into the giant green fire ball.....
 
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i cooked a lithium battery by the camp fire before and it didn't end up well....thick cloud of white smoke everywhere and it burst into the giant green fire ball.....
That smoke is toxic and corrosive to you.

Don't ever do it guys unless you can shoot one with a high velocity pellet from like 40 feet away on a non flammable surface.


You think a cigarette is bad for your lungs?

it makes a cig look like nothing.
 

Pman

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You guys are just careless. Nothing like that has ever happened to me.
Wait, is that my linoleum floor?



This is what happens when you recover the lithium and you don't notice that you left a wet spot on the floor from your shoes when you take the garbage out.
 
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