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Thread: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

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    Default 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Okay, to start things out, I have a very minor venting incident that I finally managed to catch on video tape (tape kept running out before failure occured):
    http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/minorv~1.wmv

    This event left nearly no debris. I have had other incidents, where I had a substantial fireball, and the innards of the cell, were ejected (about 98%) of it, all on fire, which continued to burn, until I sealed the container. There was an amazing amount of smoke. Remember, this is a test, where a cell is partially discharged by 30%, like one might find in a new pack of batteries. This problem with 123 cells has been discussed many times on cpf, where the usual result is the flashlight doesn't light up (fully depleted new cell), or it only runs for a short period of time (partial depletion).

    I have had multiple failures in a Pelican M6, and failures of flashlights which use two or more cells are found to happen to Streamlight, SureFire, Cyclops, and other miscellaneous flashlight brands. The failures have occured with cells from multiple manufacturers. The interesting common factor is that it has always happened in flashlights that utilize 2 or more cells. There was one incident overseas, where there was some sketchy information on a single cell Lithium light that failed, but that is all I have seen.

    My testing shows that a failure can occur, even when the cells are not forcefully squeezed, I was able to replicate a failure with contacts made from soft copper, which bends very easily. This shows that the failure can occur outside the forceful squeeze that was in the old style PM6 flashlight.

    Trying to fully contain a battery failure can be futile at times, as in some of these incidents, the force was obviously rather great. The failures I have seen, where the forcefully cells eject their flaming guts, with fireballs and all, leave no doubt in my mind, the difficulty of containing the failure mode. One can light a small pile of gunpowder and you get a small woof and smoke. Contain that very same event in a sealed pipe, and you end up with a bomb. I have pondered the idea of a safety vent on flashlight bodies, but that is really up to someone that has more resources to investigate further.

    The wisdom at the moment seems to be:
    - never ever mix cell brands
    - never mix a new cell with a used cell
    - cells that measure similar remaining new capacity, I've conducted many, many tests, and seen no failures- BatteryStation is now utilizing a device called a ZTS tester, in order to sift out new cells that have partially depleted themselves
    - Always lock out your flashlight so it cannot be accidentally turned on, some folks are actually removing cells to assure the light doesn't accidentally turn on
    - do not store your lithium flashlight around other items which may be hazardous
    - do not short a 123 cell, it can generate gasses within the cell
    - if your light drops all of a sudden in brightness, or goes out, lock it out (off). If it continues to get hot, vibrate, make funny sounds, or other wierd behavior, you should consider leaving the immediate area. Personally, I'd toss it in a safe direction/area that doesn't pose a hazard to others, but thats my personal preference.
    - never, ever use a cell that has leaked a bit, or is dented/deformed.
    - if the cell/flashlight gets hot, like around flame or in the sun, it may explode or internally vent.
    - if possible, at a minimum, consider measuring the cell voltage with a volt meter. If the cell is low, do not use it.
    - this list is by no means complete, and is only meant to be a starting guide.

    There are a great many other tidbits of wisdom, which will likely be added upon.

    I'd like to bring together here, posts that are spread across multiple threads, so there is one place for folks to go and look. I will continue adding my various posts to this thread as I have time.

    -----

    Quote Originally Posted by FoxyRick
    Yes, I agree in the context of cells. The concentrations and quantities likely to be encountered are low risk to normal skin if washed off in good time. Not including metallic lithium or HF (if it is encountered???).

    It would still be an interesting excercise to list the chemicals used in various cells and their discharge reactants.

    Rick.
    The design is: anode (Li or carbon-Li intercalation compound)/conducting polymer electrolyte-separator/cathode (LiCoO2 or LiMn2O4)

    Typical reaction:

    Anode: carbon-Li(x) - xLi+ - xe−
    Separator: Li+ conduction
    Cathode: Li(1-x)CoO2 + xLi+ + xe−

    Polymer electrolyte/separator can be real solid polymer (polyethyleneoxide, PEO) +LiPF6


    MSDS:
    Thermal degradation may produce hazardous fumes of manganese and lithium; hydrofluoric acid; oxides of carbon and sulfur and other toxic by-products.

    Manganese Dioxide (1313-13-9) 30-45%
    1,2-Dimethoxyethane (110-71-4) 5-10%
    Propylene Carbonate (108-32-7) 1-10%
    Lithium (7439-93-2) 1-5%
    Carbon Black (1333-86-4) 1-5%
    Lithium Trifluoromethane Sulfonate 1-5%
    Ethylene Carbonate (96-49-1) 0-5%

    See MSDS:
    http://www.duracell.com/oem/safety/pdf/2003_9.pdf


    Energizer Primary:
    Carbon Black (CAS# 1333-86-4) 0-1 %
    Manganese Dioxide (CAS# 1313-13-9) 12-42%
    Propylene Carbonate (CAS# 108-32-7) 0-8%
    1,2-Dimethoxyethane (CAS# 110-71-4) 0-6%
    1,3-Dioxolane (CAS# 646-06-0) 0-8%
    Graphite (CAS# 7782-42-5) 0-3 %
    Manganese Dioxide (CAS# 1313-13-9) 12-42%
    Propylene Carbonate (CAS# 108-32-7) 0-8%
    Lithium or Lithium Alloy (CAS# 7439-93-2) 1-6%
    Lithium Perchlorate (CAS# 7791-03-9) 0-3%
    Lithium Trifluoromethanesulfonate (CAS# 33454-82-9) 0-3%
    Lithium Trifluoromethanesulfonimide (CAS# 90076-65-6) 0-3%

    MSDS:
    http://data.energizer.com/PDFs/lithi...oxide_psds.pdf


    Energizer Lithium Ion:

    Acetylene Black (CAS# 1333-86-4) 0-2%
    Biphenyl (CAS# 92-52-4) 0-15%
    Diethyl Carbonate (CAS# 105-58-8) 0-15%
    Dimethyl Carbonate (CAS# 616-38-6) 0-15%
    Ethyl Methyl Carbonate (CAS# 623-53-0) 0-15%
    Ethylene Carbonate (CAS# 96-49-1) 0-15%
    Graphite (CAS# 7782-42-5) 7-22%
    Lithium Cobalt Oxide (CAS# 12190-79-3) 15-30%
    Lithium Hexafluorophosphate (CAS# 21324-40-3) 0-5%
    Lithium Tetrafluoroborate (CAS# 14283-07-9) 0-5%
    n-Methyl Pyrrolidinone (CAS# 872-50-4) 0-1%
    Oxalic Acid (CAS# 144-62-7) 0-1%
    Propylene Carbonate (CAS# 108-32-7) 0-15%

    Burning lithium ion batteries can produce toxic fumes including HF Acid, oxides of carbon, aluminum, lithium, copper, and cobalt. Volatile phosphorus pentafluoride may form at a temperature above 230° F.


    The most of the MSDS for the Lithium Primaries also warn of Hydrofloric Acid, Lithium Hydroxide, hazardous fumes of manganese and lithium, oxides of carbon and sulfur and other toxic by-products for burning/thermal degradation of the cells.


    -----

    IMHO, there are quite a few rather ignorant folks who like to pretend to be experts. If you really don't know what you are talking about, you shouldn't say something is safe when it truely is not. I'm not an expert either, but I do have the skills to read...

    Duracell 123A nasties:
    Thermal degradation may produce hazardous fumes
    of manganese and lithium;
    hydrofluoric acid;
    oxides of carbon and sulfur
    and other toxic by-products.

    Notes to Physician
    1) Potential leakage of dimethoxyethane, propylene carbonate and lithium trifluoromethane sulfonate.
    http://www.duracell.com/oem/safety/pdf/2003_9.pdf

    (Hydrofluoric Acid is definitely not something one should even think about messing around with.)

    (Alot of these byproducts are just as nasty as what comes out of a Li-Ion rechargable cell.)



    Energizer's take on things:
    Under normal conditions of use, the battery is hermetically sealed.

    Ingestion: Swallowing a battery can be harmful.
    Contents of an open battery can cause serious chemical burns of mouth, esophagus, and gastrointestinal tract.
    If battery or open battery is ingested, do not induce vomiting or give food or drink. Seek medical attention immediately.
    CALL NATIONAL BATTERY INGESTION HOTLINE for advice and follow-up (202-625-3333) collect, day or night.

    Inhalation: Contents of an open battery can cause respiratory irritation. Provide fresh air and seek medical attention.

    Skin Absorption: Dimethoxyethane, dioxolane, and lithium trifluoromethanesulfonate may be absorbed through the skin, causing
    localized inflammation.

    Skin Contact: Contents of an open battery can cause skin irritation and/or chemical burns. Remove contaminated clothing and
    wash skin with soap and water. If a chemical burn occurs or if irritation persists, seek medical attention.

    Eye Contact: Contents of an open battery can cause severe irritation and chemical burns. Immediately flush eyes thoroughly with
    water for at least 15 minutes, lifting upper and lower lids, until no evidence of the chemical remains. Seek medical attention.

    Note: Carbon black is listed as a possible carcinogen by International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

    http://data.energizer.com/PDFs/lithi...oxide_psds.pdf


    Please don't pretend to be an expert when you are not, and pass supposedly "informed" opinions.

    (P.S.- I'm not an expert on batteries either, but I can read...)

    -----

    I'm extremely concerned about when a few of the folks try to downplay the risk of Lithium Primaries and/or Lithium Secondaries (LiIon).

    Quote Originally Posted by BC0311

    I still have this UKE-2L that exploded , along with all the parts and the two batteries in a little tupperware container.

    I'd be happy to mail it to someone in the USA that would like to do a post mortem. Free, including postage.

    Just say you want it here and then PM your shipping info to me, I'll get it in the mail Monday morning. The first to do both of those things will get it.

    Britt
    The UKE-2L is a flashlight made by Underwater Kinetics out of California, which also happens to use Lithium 123 Primary cells.
    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/show...&postcount=105


    The risks are *very* real, clearly there, and have been routinely shown, over and over again, most especially with the Lithium Primary cells.

    There have been quite a number of posts just within the very small CPF community we have here (only 15,249 users), which represents a very small cross-section of 123 cell users in the world.

    These dangers are not just with one model or one brand of flashlight, even the highly respected SureFire flashlight has had it's own share of Lithium explosions, demonstrated by this SureFire 9P, just one month ago:





    The poor guy was in the middle of using it and took a look at it, just in time to nearly take out his eyeballs (one lucky fella if you ask me)
    http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/ind...owtopic=132932

    As one looks around, you find that these sorts of events with Lithium cells is not a one in a billion chance thing, but fairly common.

    Per user, here on CPF, say we have 16,000 users. I know there have been over 10 events of primary Lithium cells going gonzo on folks.

    So, per user, the odds are 10 in 16,000, or 1 in 1,600. That is many times more likely than winning the jackpot in the lotto!

    Unfortunately, these suckers have gone boom on folks during their use twice now, and others after use.

    There have been quite a number battery industry conferences discussing the subject, and it has even affected our own military, and the comparison chart, with dynamite being illustrated with the red line, showing just how close Lithium Primaries really are to dynamite is pretty relevant, especially with the upswing in multiple failures, which have recently occurred:
    http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/lithexpl.pdf

    The result of Lithium primary battery abuse is even more relevant, which you find on page 13 of the government document.

    We have all seen the picture of the solid oak door that one of the tailcaps of a flashlight nearly penetrated, due to the force of the explosion, thank God that wasn't someone's kid. Found it:


    From the same thread, some of my blow ups of the provided photos:



    Nobody is saying stop utilizing Lithium Primary cells, whatsoever.

    It does bother me that some people jibe those folks who are safety conscious, and choose to utilize other chemistries, which have been shown to be much more safe.

    Just from face value, it stands to reason that even chemistries with 1/2 the energy density of the Lithium Primaries, would likely to have less potential to do true physical harm to ones being, property, and children.

    With the prevalence of problems, we have see, most especially with 123 Lithium Primary cells, Lithium 123 Primary cell dangers should be first and foremost for display in front of potential customers



    At least SureFire has had the sense to prominently display this warning in BIG BOLD BLACK letters all over their box, specifically on the cover and the front side:

    It reads:
    CAUTION
    Batteries, if not properly stored or used, may cause property damage or personal injury. If a conductive material (e.g. jewelry, keys or coins touches exposed terminals, it may complete an electrical circuit causing heat or even fire. To prevent such hazards, you must exercise special care in handling lithiums or reachargeable batteries. [u]Store the batteries in a cool, dry, and ventilated area, and keep them in their original packaging until ready for use. Do not place loose batteries in a pocket, purse, or other container containing metal objects, and do not dispose of them with other waste uless permitted by applicable laws and regulations.

    Additionally, upon the cell, one finds in bold capital letters:

    "CAUTION: RISK OF FIRE, EXPLOSION, AND BURNS. DO NOT RECHARGE, DISASSEMBLE, HEAT ABOVE 212F (100C) OR INCINERATE. DO NOT MIX WITH USED OR OTHER BATTERY TYPES. KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN."

    Most other lithium 123 cells contain the same warning.


    IMHO, it is fine to use Lithium cells, once one understands the risks that are present with every single 123 cell, how to mitigate those risks, and if they are willing to risk at those odds.



    I don't know, maybe one should not be able to even purchase Lithium Primary 123 cells unless they have passed a simple test showing their working knowledge of the real true and present dangers, and proper handling and use of the same. It could be very simple to set up such a license with today's web, and it could be automatically granted once one passed.

    Overkill? Possibly, but with many people not reading instructions and warnings today, and the frequent lawsuits, maybe it would be wise after all.

    We do require licenses for the possession and use of dynamite, and since these Lithium 123 cells are not far from dynamite, maybe we should after all.

    Please don't ridicule those folks who opt for the safer approach of other battery technologies/chemistry. They may be much wiser than it seems after first glance.

    ***RANT MODE OFF***




    Please remember, if you have one of these Lithium 123 cells fail on you, especially if you inhale the fumes, are cut by any of the flying material, or get it on your skin, please see a doctor immediately, and take the MSDS sheet with you, so they know the hazardous items like the very nasty HydroFluoric Acid.

    Some CPF'ers have had tissue death around areas where they have been cut from the glass bezel shards when it looks like the glass was clean. Some cpf'ers have gotten rashes all over their bodies, and various other odd physical symptoms.

    Don't mess around go see the doctor, symptoms may not present themselves for several days, and could result in the shutdown of the liver or kidneys, and other things which seem un-related.



    Please do not underestimate the danger of the byproducts of an exploded/vented Lithium 123 Primary, and see the doctor


    There was also the SureFire Nitrilon G2 fire here at the Nuclear Plant, where they were banned, found it:
    Quote Originally Posted by rube
    I work at a nuclear power plant. A fire occured at another plant in my company. I'd appreciate your expert comments on the following taken from a company communication relative to the fire. I believe the issued lights were Surefire G2s

    "a fire occurred in a small equipment locker in a security. The equipment locker contained small firearms and ammunition. The fire was extinguished and no injuries occurred.

    Investigation results pointed to overheated lithium flashlight batteries as the source of the fire. (The type of lithium batteries involved in this incident were 3 Volt size 123.) These type of lithium batteries have a vent safety feature design. When these type of lithium batteries are used in a sealed flashlight, the safety feature of this vent is partially defeated by not allowing a vent path. The investigation team noted that this type of lithium battery failure appear to be isolated to flashlight usage.
    Lithium batteries are also used in cameras, cell phones, laptop computers and etc. These product designs incorporate unobstructed vent paths.

    Corrective Actions Taken
    The following actions are being taken:
    • Flashlights using lithium 3 Volt 123 batteries have been collected from Security, Operations and Chemistry personnel.
    • Personnel were directed to turn in company supplied flashlights that use lithium 3 Volt batteries to their supervisors.
    • Personnel are being prohibited from bringing their personally owned flashlights that use lithium batteries to their work site."
    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=71161


    It takes quite a bit of digging to find other reports, but here is another example:

    The Flight Attendant had purchased the flashlight from a
    store in Beijing. While the flashlight was turned on, the
    passenger accidentally dropped the flashlight. A few
    minutes later, while the flashlight was stored in a seat
    pocket, the flashlight began emitting smoke and noxious
    fumes. The flashlight became hot enough that it could
    only be handled with oven mitts.

    The airline reports that this is the second time a LED
    flashlight, purchased in Beijing, has failed in this
    manner. The first time it occurred, the flashlight was
    being used at the home of an employee.
    HAZARD
    Consequently, as a safety precaution, we recommend
    that flashlights with LED lights and 3 volt lithium
    batteries not be transported in aircraft carry-on or
    checked baggage.

    http://www.haffa.com.hk/files/DG%20L...%20Warning.pdf

    (1) CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION (CPSC) AND DORCY INTERNATIONAL, INC. ANNOUNCE RECALL OF LITHIUM BATTERIES;

    Name of product: Fuji Power and A&T Fuji Power CR123A 3-volt lithium batteries originally provided with the Dorcy Spyder Tactical Xenon Light (Product 41-4200), also sold in packages of two flashlights under the name Dorcy Xenon Tactical Light.
    http://www.interfire.org/features/re...?date=02092004


    CPSC, Galls Announce Recall of Batteries Sold with Galls® H.A.L.O. Tactical Flashlights
    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announces the following recall in voluntary cooperation with the firm below. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

    Name of product: Fuji Power and A&T Fuji Power CR123A 3-volt lithium batteries originally provided with Galls® H.A.L.O. Tactical Flashlight.

    Units: Approximately 10,084

    Distributor: Galls Inc., of Lexington, Kentucky

    Hazard: The batteries originally provided with the flashlight may overheat or explode presenting a potential for fire or personal injury.

    Incidents/Injuries: Five reports of batteries overheating or exploding have been received, causing minor injuries such as burns and minor property damage from fire.
    http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml03/03195.html


    February 2004
    Browning brand CR123A Lithium (3-Volt) Batteries have safety recall.

    The batteries were sold in two-packs and packed with the Black ICE 6V Xenon 6 LED Flashlights. Batteries are labeled “Mad in China.” Batteries can short out, resulting in a rupture of the flashlight canister and injury to the user.


    Did you realize that in 2004, 63% of Lithium battery recalls were due to cells manufactured in China, and they only produced 34.5% of the batteries? That means Chinese batteries are twice as likely to be the subject of a recall:
    http://www.batteriesdigest.com/id490.htm


    The end of this page from the Pelican website:
    "An additional safety related attribute of Pelican flashlights is the built in patented hydrogen purge valve that allows explosive gases to harmlessly leave the battery compartments. In addition to this patented safety feature, pellets have been encapsulated into every Pelican flashlight. These tiny catalyst pellets combine outgasing hydrogen discharging from batteries with ambient air trapped inside all flashlights, changing the mixture to harmless water droplets. This serves as an additional fail-safe not found in other lights. Battery powered flashlights are potentially dangerous due to the hydrogen gas given off by over heated battery cells exploding as the unit is turned on.

    This has resulted in occasions where the flashlight can explode, causing bodily harm. To combat this potentially dangerous situation, Pelican flashlights now incorporate a special one-way valve that allows small amounts of hydrogen gas to harmlessly escape, yet prevents the ingress of ambient explosive gases.

    All federal and nationally accredited approval agencies now recognize this potential hazard and have set specific test procedures to ensure that these flashlights are not susceptible to self igniting explosions. Many popular competitive brands have still not incorporated these safety features into their products."
    http://www.pelican-cases-flashlights...t-selector.htm


    Also of note is this following item cpf'er ckthorp got off the Energizer site:
    "Mechanical Containment: Containment of this battery in a manner that obstructs or defeats the safety vent or electrical disconnect mechanisms designed into this battery can result in fire and/or explosion and cause personal injury and device damage. This battery is not designed to be potted, enclosed in hermetic overpackaging, or sealed by any means that prevents
    free operation of the designed safety mechanisms.
    "
    http://data.energizer.com/PDFs/lithi...oxide_psds.pdf


    Quote Originally Posted by martytoo
    Here you go. Notice how the bottom of the left cell looks indented in the pictures. Also the right cell is bulging due to the force of the explosion. I am happy that these are not as intense as what happened to Ron.





    Quote Originally Posted by rkboyer911
    Had my SF M6 in the truck (December in Missouri....COLD!!)
    w/ SF batteries in it..got my light out to use it and it wouldnt turn on. opened it to put in new batteries and they had blown up in the melting my carrier ......sent the light back to SF..thay have had it since Jan 27 and they still have not fixed it....so much for the 2 week turn around!!!!
    They told me they have never had this happen I have talked to several ppl and this is happening ALOT!
    Any thoughts?
    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=108000


    Panasonic offers some basic Lithium battery safety tips here:
    http://www.panasonic.com/industrial/...autions_UL.pdf

    Sanyo offers additional tips here:
    http://www.sanyo.com/batteries/pdfs/lithium_E.pdf

    Many of the older 123 cell Lithium Primary threads, where folks had difficulties with their Lithiums, my links are now broken. I hope you get the basic idea here...

    Thread found here:
    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/show...2&page=1&pp=40
    --------------


    Quote Originally Posted by McGizmo
    As I recall from chemistry class way too many years ago, a chemical reaction may well release energy but it initiatlly requires an activation energy to start. Is a single lithium primary cell capable of self initiating an event?
    Of course it is able to start an event.

    When the cell is made, there is tremendous power stored within the cell, just waiting for some form of release. A Lithium Primary is the closest battery to a stick of dynamite that I know of.

    Both have the potential energy stored right in them.

    Things that can make each go boom are very similar too.


    If you can take a moment, check out this chart (too big for cpf):
    http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/gavani~1.jpg

    Notice how Lithium and Carbon/Graphite are on opposite sides of the chart...tremendous potential energy, and even prone to extreme corrosion in the environment...if you wanted something to corrode the most, those would be your choices, especially around seawater.


    I'm also curious to know why batteries like the SureFire 123 Lithium Primary cell have a tendency to leak. Remember, the cell is very well sealed. You can store them in a nice moderately cool area, subject them to nothing, and they just start leaking. This has been well documented here on CPF many times. Could it be that something happened inside the cell, which caused the vent to pop?


    A number of these failures we have seen have occurred while the flashlight is still operating. Often the only indication is a split second drop in light output, a vibrating feeling in the flashlight, a noise, etc. Trigger? That could be as simple as current flowing in a completed circuit, causing the chemistry to do it's normal thing, and deliver power. Or it could be as simple as cell self heating, or even that combined with the additional heat produced by the flashlight itself.


    The hard part is to get things worked out well enough in the cell, that these typically catastrophic events which can be harmful to humans, to not occur. Cell makers go to great lengths to prevent this, as well as they know how.


    Another very well documented problem is SureFire 123 Lithium Cells also have a strong tendency to have various states of charge. Some of them will have nearly no charge left in them, and others will only operate for a few minutes, before the light goes out. So the batteries have a tendency to self mis-match on their own. Plop these in a thousand lights, with another cell that hasn't degraded on it's own, turn them on and let them rip, it is definitely a betting man's game as to whether you get a boom.


    Even if a cell was tested at the factory by a ZTS tester (or something that checks the cells in one way or another), it still does not prevent the cell from depleting itself later on, over time, but it might lower the risk.


    Sanyo even mentions a strong physical force on the cell, nor handle roughly, both can cause issues- Doing so may cause heat generation, leaking, or bursting.


    They go on to mention, do not leave batteries in the sun, and not to leave in high temperature areas. Doing so may cause heat generation, leakage, or bursting.


    The cells were orignially designed for other applications besides flashlights. Sanyo warns not to short circuit. Have you ever measured the resistance of a flashlight bulb when it is turned on? It is essentially a direct short circuit. Their warning says it causes heat generation or bursting.


    Sanyo warns against heating the cell, doing so may cause heating in the cell, leakage, or bursting.


    Sanyo warns if there is any strange smells or leakage, keep away from fire to prevent ignition. You know how Surefire 123 Lithium cells are well known for leakage, what happens if it starts to leak in a light that is sitting (seals now compromised)? Could this leakage material cause a conductive path that causes further issues for the cell?


    Sanyo warns not to force discharge the cell. Force discharging can cause the cell to drop to 0 volts (or less, reversed voltage), which causes gas generation. Well, if one cell is weak, and the other is strong, you essentially will force discharge the cell below zero volts. They warn that this can cause fire, leakage, heat generation, or bursting.


    Mind you, that operating temperature is the temperature of the device (in this case the battery), where if it was the surrounding temperature, they would use the term, maximum operating ambient temperature, or something to that effect...

    If one looks carefully at the Sanyo guide I linked in my previous post, one will find that the maximum operating temperature for a crimped Lithium Primary cell is 60C (140F), and they make a special cell that is laser sealed, which can operate up to 85C (185F).


    It would be good to note the maximum continous discharge rating of the cells, while we are at it, as in a flashlight, it is a continous discharge. For the Sanyo CR123A cell, it is 1500mA. You are allowed to pulse discharge it at higher rates, but only for a short period.


    Energizer also rates their cells at a *maximum* continous discharge rate of 1500mA, and a *maximum* operating temperature of 60C.
    http://data.energizer.com/PDFs/123.pdf


    Duracell ratest their cells for a maximum operational temperature of *75C*, and specifies no maximum current on the datasheet I am looking at:
    http://www.duracell.com/Procell/pdf/Li123_US_OS.pdf


    There are many scenarios which are very real, that cause issues. The hard part, is to find the one that is the one that most commonly causes explosions, fires, venting with flame, spews hot gasses (including the very nasty HydroFluoric Acid), etc...

    I know a number of folks are trying to figure this out, at this very moment...


    Remember, the battery industry often only fixes things under pressure from government regulations. A great example is the previous generation of, guess what, Lithium batteries! They even had problems with them when they were treated properly, even by trained people, such as firefighters, who had a number of defibrilators *violently* explode. In several cases, it was shown nothing was wrong, or done wrong, the cells just physically blew up. It took quite a number of events before the government forced legistation upon them, since the battery companies had their own lobbyists working to prevent the legistation. What we have now, are cells that have been improved since that time, and meet additional requirements.

    One instantance of units/situations I'm talking about were the LIFEPAK® 500 AED (Automated External Defibrillator). In one of the instances, they were doing their routine check on it (imagine that, routine checks even). He informed the Assistant Fire Chief, it was moved, and the Assistant Fire Chief and one of the Fire Captains put a new cell in it. It then exploded after they got it back together, and turned the unit on. The force was so strong, it blew one of them right out of the room, thru the door, and slammed the other against a wall. The after action report showed that injuries sustained included a sprained wrist, burns to flesh, injured back, and upper respiratory inflammation. The chemistry that was involved at the time was an early lithium sulfur dioxide composition. Shortly thereafter, if I recall correctly, replacement cells that were SLA (Sealed Lead Acid), were in popular demand. Safer LIS02 cells now exist, and there is an option also for LiMnO2- for the very same unit.

    See picture below:


    Find the CDC report for the event, under their NIOSH section of their site:
    http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/fire/reports/face9939.html


    Are the current forced government regulations enough?


    ------------------


    McGizmo-see the additions in my ?second? post, I've added even more Sanyo stuff, take note of the temperature comments.

    There is another point, which I would be remiss, if I didn't mention it. I'll look for the reference later on tonight, which may have been one of Littlefuse's or Raychem's application notes.

    In an effort to get more and more out of a cell, there has been a tendency in the battery industry to overcrimp the PTC in the Lithium cell. Why? It raises the temperature at which the PTC begins to rise in resistance, lowers the resistance of the PTC, and also makes a better, lower resistance connection in the cell.

    Often this actually ends up damaging the PTC itself, and can even result in a short within the PTC, which causes a failure that is just like having no PTC in the cell.

    As such, is a highly discouraged method of getting more performance out of the battery.

    See, the PTC, starts to kick off slowly, it's resistance rising with temperature (and temperature caused by current). Often this temperature lies in the neighborhood of 60C, and really starts to kick in by 90C. The rise in resistance limits the current draw out of the battery, which then lowers the battery temperature, thus protecting it.


    On recent cells made by Energizer/Surefire which say made in USA (Energizer also makes cells for other companies, which include SureFire, Panasonic, Streamlight, Browning, and others), I've noted what appears to be a routine over crimp of the PTC cell, on Energizer cells as well as the ones they make for SureFire, and the other above mentioned companies. Is it over crimped to the point of destroying the PTC protection mechanism? I have no idea, as I did not test for that. Could it just affect some cells? IMHO, very possible.

    I see *zero* denting of the PTC on quite a number of Duracell batteries I have disassembled.

    Example of the dent in the PTC, labeled as crimp line:


    There are a number of good pictures and examples in one of my threads:
    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/show...4&page=1&pp=40

    Anyhow, there is another possibility for you.

    -------------------------------

    Here is a page from one of the presentations I linked to, for clarification:

    (later edit, presentation is here: http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/lithexpl.pdf )


    Now there is a great little manual for testing Lithium cells, how to treat them, and how to store them, which the US Navy published on 19th of August 2004, which may not be the latest, but contains much useful information, but can be dry in spots. Definitely worth a read!
    http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/lithma~1.pdf


    Did you know that burning Lithium metal can actually reach temperatures in the range of 3,000 degrees F?


    In the presence of water, it can also liberate hydrogen.


    Class A, Class B, and Class C fire extinguishers are not of much use in putting out a Lithium fire?


    -----

    Actually the comparision to TNT was made by the United States Naval Surface Warfare Center and United States Army Communications & Electronics Command.

    Here, see for yourself:
    http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/lithexpl.pdf


    It bothers me that manufacturers want to make the public think there is no hazard at all, and all that happens is a little puff, or a little bit of liquid leakage. While they may do that, they are capable of much, much more.

    It is kinda like hiding something, imho. The presentation I just linked above as some example photos, and if you will bother going to the first page in this thread, you will see examples of how a flashlight nearly took someone's eye out, darn near punched a hole thru a solid oak door, and plenty of other examples. These are the real life experiences of people using those tiny Primary Lithium 123 cells. The folks around here only compromise a very small cross-section of typical users. Yet we have had plenty of these cells cook-off.

    Please go back and look at page 1.

    The typical DD Lithium cells you refered to are not made in a LiMnO2 chemistry that I am aware of, and if they were, I doubt they would just split the side calmly. These DD Lithium cells are of a *much* safer chemistry, and even though they are monster sized cells, they typically cannot sustain anywhere near the discharge abilities of a LiMnO2 chemistry. I can't rightly say that I have ever heard of or seen a LiMnO2 DD cell. But they do exist in the safer chemistries, which are uncommon for typical consumer use..

    An example of a chemistry that you can get a DD in, is the Lithium / Sulfuryl Chloride Chemistry
    http://www.electrochempower.com/Prod...e/CSC/3B36.pdf

    Notice how it's rated discharge current is only 1.0A, for this truely monsterous sized lithtium cell, where the Lithium 123 Primary LiMn02 in that little tiny form factor can sustain 1.5A continously.

    Completely different balls of wax, and imho, it is not very responsible to compare an unrelated fairly safe chemistry, that is for the most part unavailable to the typical consumer, to these *very* special cells.

    Furthermore, a cell of this type is actually specified for operation at 93C (a whopping 199.4 degrees F) to these 123 Primary Lithium cells, most of which are only specified for operation to a mere 60C.

    If you take a look at some high end cells, such is found in specialized industries, you find some of these laser sealed hermetic DD sized cells made by companies like SAFT, in the Li-SOCl2 chemistry, where they actually *guarantee* hermeticity to 100C.
    http://www.saftbatteries.com/130-Cat...ctor_guide.pdf

    Tardian makes Li/SOCl2 bobbin wound cells that are actually specified to 150C (302 degrees F) operational temperature ranges. Again, this is another one of those high end lithium cells.

    Tardian also makes a lower cost Li/SOCl2 DD cell which is rated for 450mA discharge rates:
    http://www.tadiranbat.com/prodpdf/vi...t=TLH-5937.pdf

    This Li/SOCl2 DD cell chemistry is atypically used in a little different type of application than you find our 123 Primary Lithium LiMnO2 cells in. Lithium thionyl chloride 3.6 V cells have the highest energy density and voltage of all commercial lithium types, with a service life of up to 15 to 20 years. These cells are ideal for applications requiring very low continuous-current and/or moderate pulse-currents. Extremely long service life and low self-discharge make them ideal for life-saving devices such as automatic external defibrillators that must be ready for use at all times without risk of battery failure.

    A good comparision of chemistries can be found here:
    http://www.tadiranbat.com/lithiumsnotalike.php

    The point here is that we have actual examples shown on page 1 of this thread, of failures. Pictures speak thousands of words.

    So you can take a very special chemistry low discharge rate Lithium cell, one that is designed for temperatures that far exceed what our consumer grade 123 Primary Lithium cells can take. It doesn't really prove all that much...


    Since you brought it up, could you please show us a photo of one of the DD cells, next to a 123 cell, and also give us a link to the datasheet to this very special DD cell you are talking about?


    BTW, it often isn't a good idea to compare carrots with watermelons, they are very different things...


    .


    Remember, yet again, we are pointing out the actual failures we have seen, complete with photographs of the results where these cells have failed, and nearly cost people their eyes (another inch and that eye would have been really messed up by that SureFire 9P).

    It is not that all these cells are always going to violently come apart.

    Nor will every cell launch endcaps at velocities to nearly penetrate solid Oak doors.

    The point is that the potential is most defintely there, and end users should be informed of it, and learn how to minimize the very potential risk, and why it is important, as the pictures from page 1 of this thread, clearly demonstrate.

    ------

    Do you think that the multiple failures shown on page one are just the result of a gentile puff out of the cell? I don't see it that way, and on that point, I guess we will have to agree to disagree. Shooting glass into someone's face, and nearly punching holes thru solid oak doors are not gentile events, imho.

    The difference in the chart, if you look at the Lithium Primary cells, on the horizontal scale you will see sit at about 250. TNT is 1375. The ratio there is 1:5.5 Not 1:10

    Page 13 of the presentation will show you some of the results of abusing Lithium Primary cells:
    http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/lithexpl.pdf


    When you mentioned the size of your cell, DD, it was pretty obvious that you were in one of the extremely safe high temperature chemistries(as well, a low discharge rate chemistry to boot- especially when you consider relative size between a DD cell and a 123 cell). A whole different ball of wax, and construction quality too. And bigtime cost. Tardian makes those special cells that can operate up at 150C, where our consumer cells are specified to 60C. That is well over twice the temperature, with entirely different cell construction approaches and materials, suited for those extreme environments.


    Remember the point is, to point out the potential real failures have in reality, happened, with additional photos, so folks understand the real true risks, and treat their cells with a little more respect.

    Right now, per user here on cpf, we are looking at odds in the range 1:1600 of something going wrong (and I know we are missing a few in the count). Some of these events could have been prevented, had folks known just a few simple rules.

    BTW, those special chemistry Lithium DD bobbin cells (Li/SOCl2), are quite awesome, and are very nice, extremely safe cells. Have you ever tried the hybrid ones with the special hybrid layer capacitor on them? Hopefully they can get them up to the 150C (302 degrees F), of the Li/SOCl2 bobbin DD cells some day.
    http://www.tadiranbat.com/lithiumsnotalike.php

    Though, it would be nice if they could get the prices down to something reasonable, but with the robust chemistry that can take so much abuse, and special cell construction with laser sealing, I wonder if they can even bring the prices down much.

    Those Li/SOCl2 DD cells you use are like the Army tank of Lithium Primary cells.


    In response to your last line paragraph, I won't say much, except you were the one comparing carrots to watermelons, as we can leave it at that, and I'm very certain you can understand that...LiMnO2 vs. Li/SOCl2

    -----------

    One of the safer Lithium rechargeable technologies (click on link on page to watch video):
    http://www.valence.com/SafetyVideo.asp

    ----
    Someone mentioned shipping of lithium cells. Here is a story about some of the studies that have been done:
    http://www.findarticles.com/p/articl...18/ai_n6280925

    Other failures of LiIon cells:
    http://wcco.com/consumer/local_story_148150249.html

    CBS news story on the event:
    http://wcco.com/video/?id=17281@wcco.dayport.com

    Apple Powerbook fire:
    http://www.powerbook-fr.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1154

    ----

    Apple Ipod catches fire after user abuse:
    http://www.mantissa.net/blog/2006/06...-ipod-shuffle/

    ----

    Xmas Day... Our new iPod Speakers Nearly Burned Down Our Home
    http://www.1esc.com/Applefusion.html

    ----

    In one of the threads here on cpf, someone mentioned that Lithium Polymer rechargeable cells would be safer. This is another technology, like the LiIon rechargable cells, where you can find plenty of examples of failures on the internet, usually due to abuse, but it demonstrates what can happen with them. An example (you may need to refresh the page a couple of times to get all the photos to load, for some reason):
    http://klaudius.free.fr/lipo.htm

    This guy had a fire in his house:
    http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...14#post747114-

    Videos of abused LiPoly:
    http://chemistry.about.com/gi/dynami.../Lipofires.wmv
    http://www.utahflyers.org/movies/Lipo2.wmv
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...60570423705609
    http://rchomepage.com/~dna/LipoFire.wmv
    http://www.helihobby.com/videos/LithiumBattery.wmv

    Battery bunker testing:
    http://www.utahflyers.org/movies/lipo3.wmv


    As far as that emergency landing by UPS, it was in fact Lithium cells on board:
    http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/.../60620045/1003

    Find a photograph of the fire that continued for several hours:
    http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/...NESS/606210499


    Fed-Ex (Federal Express, also has a lithium battery package catch fire):
    "According to NTSB records, a company's improper packaging of lithium batteries was the "probable cause" of an Aug. 7, 2004, fire in a freight bin at FedEx's air hub in Memphis, Tenn. The bin had been raised on loading equipment and pushed halfway onto an airplane when loading personnel smelled smoke. "

    More details on the AC Propulsion (San Dimas, California) Lithium Ion batteries (rechargeables) which caused the fire:
    http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/2005/HZB0501.htm

    "On June 30, 2005, a package containing lithium-ion batteries was discovered at the United Parcel Service (UPS) airfreight terminal in Ontario, California. One of four battery packs within a package had caught fire and been completely destroyed during transportation. The fire was out and the package cold when it was discovered. The package containing the battery packs had flown on UPS aircraft from Shanghai, China, to Anchorage, Alaska, and on to Ontario. "


    Lithium Primary shipping banned on passenger flights:
    http://www.dot.gov/affairs/faa001.htm


    Please respect your batteries and treat them properly, you can lower your risk in doing so.

    -------

    Did you know that if cells that pass UL testing, it doesn't mean they won't vent? You can have a cell with a UL logo on it, and still have it shooting crud out the end at +392F.

    The categories I had listed from an old UL 1642 test were:

    -Overcharge
    -Forced Discharge
    -External Short
    -Impact
    -Crush
    -Nail Penetration
    -Hot Oven

    The criteria for each level were:
    Level 0- No Change
    Level 1- Leak
    Level 2- Smoke less than 200 degrees Celcius (392 F)
    Level 3- Smoke more than 200 degrees Celcius (392 F)
    Level 4- Fire
    Level 5- Explosion

    IMHO, one really needs to know what levels a battery passed for each criteria during the UL 1642 testing.

    As I see, this battery under test, which I am looking at, at the time- had to pass the UL 1642 Level 3 criteria to pass the manufacturers requirements (where the requirement level was set by the manufacturer), which meant that it could vent hot smoke, leak acids and fluids, poisonous gases, but was not allowed to catch fire or explode. This meant that it "passed" UL 1642.

    Unfortunately, most folks do not know about details like this, nor do the battery makers tell you about them.

    Example, go look up the SureFire batteries, and show me where they say they meet UL 1642, and then tell me to what level they passed each category...

    If you push a company like Kokam hard enough, they will give you information on their latest UL tested cells. In their case, their UL1642 cell passes the testing, with nothing above Level 2, but includes Level 2 failures, which actually did occur.

    This is their new 4th generation cell, which has new technology in it. It also is tested to UL1642, UL2054 and SBA G1101. Abuse of this cell results in smoke that is at a temperature less than 392F. Pictures of what it does under abuse (note no fire):
    http://image.rcuniverse.com/forum/up...37/Om33827.jpg

    It is a far cry, from older cells that used to do stuff like this:
    http://www.helihobby.com/videos/LithiumBattery.wmv

    However, not all their cells pass, with only Level 2 failures. As such, you will find their cells will pass UL, but they don't pass Level 3, only level 4 and level 5 failures (see the criteria and the failure mode after it). But they are UL1642, UL2054 and SBA G1101 certified...:
    http://www.kokam.com/english/product...safety_02.html



    As far as the TNT reference, it is a point of reference to give a person an idea of just how much potential energy is in the cell.

    I'll leave you with this, your quote from Mr. Winchester:
    Quote Originally Posted by kromeke


    1375 WH/Kg is the approximation of the energy content of TNT. At least
    it's a common value. The actual value will vary with conditions - but
    its there as an approximation.

    The vertical line is essentially there to indicate "beyond here there be
    dragons...." as a conceptual point. We are pushing chemical limits for
    batteries to increase energy and power densities. In the case of SOCL2
    and CFx cathodes, the anode/cathode combination - theoretically -
    exceeds TNT. Practically - the energies accessible are lower - but the
    potential for a reaction are still there.

    [/left]

    Quote Originally Posted by kromeke
    And I agree - for solid cathode Manganese cells (CR series) of a
    consumer nature (Duracell etc) the analogies to TNT are wrong and
    incorrect. Now - if you drop a 10 lb weight from 8 feet onto a 2/3A CR
    cell the bang, fireball and spray of molten and incandescent lithium
    might make you rethink a bit.
    For BR series - the electrolyte is pretty
    safe but the lithium-metal/fluorine reaction can be a might "hot".
    Remember, nobody here said they were the same as TNT. TNT is a point of reference, and is very clearly shown on the chart. Thats all, thats it. If you think someone said they were the same as TNT, I would have to figure you were very mistaken. Of note, they were the ones that put the line, and the TNT reference in their presentation.[/b]

    Chart:


    The full presentation, a *GREAT* read:
    http://proceedings.ndia.org/5670/Lit...Winchester.pdf


    To demonstrate the potential, take a look at the actual failures folks have had are found back on page 1. These are real, not imagined, most of which are events our very own members here on CPF have experienced.

    The point is to be aware of the dangers, how to properly store cells, learn how to properly treat the cells, know when not to use a damaged cell, know you are not supposed to use to a partially discharged cell in a battery stack, not to mix brands, to know that the stuff that blew out of the end of the cell is dangerous (and has messed up one of our members pretty bad), be aware that the residue and the smoke is dangerous, know the signs that something is wrong (cells getting really hot), so on and etc.

    Awareness/knowledge is probably 99% of the battle, and you can reduce your risks quite significantly, if you just do a few simple things. Even so-where things were done right, some of these events still happened.

    These ain't your grandma's cells she used in her Eveready 2D cell flashlight...


    For those interested, the internal construction can be found here:
    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/show...4&page=1&pp=40

    .

    DURACELL UL testing (remember fire is level 4 and explosion is level 5- note the results of the test):
    http://www.duracell.com/oem/primary/...p#underwriters

    Note their disclaimer at the bottom:
    Caution:
    In illustrating these tests, Duracell does not intend to suggest that similar abuse testing be performed on DURACELL Li/MnO2 batteries or any other manufacturer’s lithium batteries. As discussed throughout this site, all lithium batteries are not the same. Performing these tests in the manner described in this section or other abuse tests could result in fires or rupture of some batteries and serious personal injury and property damage.

    DURACELL's listing is MH12538:
    http://database.ul.com/cgi-bin/XYV/t...351&sequence=1


    Energizer is UL Listed as MH12454
    http://data.energizer.com/PDFs/123.pdf
    Shipping in bulk is not allowed on passenger aircraft, with some exceptions (note how all the cells have the same UL Listing number):
    http://data.energizer.com/PDFs/transportlithium.pdf

    UL's listing for MH12454:
    http://database.ul.com/cgi-bin/XYV/t...351&sequence=1

    The appearance of a company's name or product in this database does not in itself assure that products so identified have been manufactured under UL's Follow-Up Service. Only those products bearing the UL Mark should be considered to be Listed and covered under UL's Follow-Up Service. Always look for the Mark on the product.

    Under the Lithium Category which they are filed:
    FINAL ACCEPTANCE OF THE COMPONENT IS DEPENDENT UPON ITS INSTALLATION AND USE IN COMPLETE EQUIPMENT SUBMITTED TO UNDERWRITERS LABORATORIES INC.
    http://database.ul.com/cgi-bin/XYV/t...351&sequence=1

    Eastman Kodak batteries UL Listing MH17286:
    http://database.ul.com/cgi-bin/XYV/t...351&sequence=1

    Radio Shack 123:
    http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...entPage=search
    Radio Shack's 123 Cell UL listing MH14688 (catalog number 23-155):
    http://database.ul.com/cgi-bin/XYV/t...351&sequence=1

    Sanyo 123 UL Listing MH12383:
    http://database.ul.com/cgi-bin/XYV/t...351&sequence=1

    UltraLife 123 UL Listing MH14240:
    http://database.ul.com/cgi-bin/XYV/t...351&sequence=1

    MATSUSHITA/Panasonic 123 UL Listing MH12210:
    http://database.ul.com/cgi-bin/XYV/t...351&sequence=1

    I do not see SureFire or Streamlight Cells listed.


    So, what's this UL marking stuff and all, about?
    http://database.ul.com/glistinterf_00-1-frnt.pdf

    ------

    Okay, the second rig was a success.

    Things to note:
    -Nearly no pressure on cells.
    -Cells wrapped with Aluminum foil to hold heat in, like a flashlight would tend to do.
    -One cell intentionally drained 30-40%

    I was going out to check the temperature, when the lid was blown off and a fireball rolled out, and the lid came back down, I scooted it over to contain the smoke. The guts of the cell were on fire, but went out probably due to a lack of oxygen, before I got my camera.

    Whoa, wow, dasm- lotsa boom power in those!

    Unfortunately the video reached the end of the tape.
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    Okay, now that you have read this far...time for pictures:








    I will be testing this a few more times (to prove repeatability), and then I will go back to testing other brands, under the same scenario, so I can see if they also do the same thing.

    Remember, these are intentionally mis-matched cells.

    Also, remember, Kevin at Battery Station is the only company testing cell matching to the best of their ability, before sending to the customer. We have had plenty of cases where folks have found either depleted or partially depleted cells. This depletion problem is well documented on this forum for SureFire cells. Next week, I will repeat testing with other brands, to see the results.

    Thread found here:
    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/show....php?p=1492349

    -----

    Another thing to keep in mind:

    I caused the failure using the PM6 bulb, and now, the Streamlight Scorpion/Tactical Light (TL-2)/NightFighter (NF-2) bulb. Also labeled as the Tactical Series bulb.

    The recent scenario was with the Streamlight bulb as found earlier in this thread here:
    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/show...&postcount=647


    Here is a picture of the bulb:



    -----

    Quote Originally Posted by drmaxx
    GREAT WORK NEWBIE!

    A high load leads to high temperatures - at high temperatures lithium cells have a higher self dischared rate, which itself leads to a increased rate of heat production.

    This might be all bs - but I thought I would share my thoughts anyway hoping it contributes towards a solution or to a more focussed testing.

    Actually, from what I've noticed, higher heat levels cause the PTC to kick in and nothing happens since the PTC resistance goes up and it forces the current to go down. I finished running this same test three times in the middle of the day in the sun- no events.

    That said, it is possible that they may still violently burst into fireballs with burning debris blasting out the entire guts of the cell, with almost nothing left in the cell. The debris seem continue to burn until there was no more oxygen, as long as I get the lid back over the bucket. Yes, I did have that happen more than once. It is an amazing thing to see, such a tiny cell wreaking so much havoc.

    -----

    Okay, I've been running tests for weeks now, on boxes of 123 cells from various makers of them.

    Friday, I received a set of brand new cells from Battery Station, and they were dated 02/06 on the bottom.

    I've been running tests all weekend, while I've been doing yardwork (so not a totally wasted weekend).

    Anyhow, I depleted a cell to 60%, and put it in the front, with a new fresh cell in the back. Just like I've done many times before.

    I was in the chat room with the cpf crew, cooling off after pulling weeds, and decided to go look at my latest test, really quick.

    Whoa, the tail button is buldging on the old style PM6! I noticed the video tape was at the end, so I ran back into the house to get a new one. Whew, it still hasn't gone boom yet. Anyhow, I went and put on my protective gear, as my picture camera wouldn't focus thru the thick polycarbonate.

    I'm not gonna fiddle with this sucker until it goes boom, or the swelling goes way down.

    Here is what I have at the moment:



    Notice the light is now out, just like what happened to Topper. This past month, going thru boxes of various brand cells, I have not seen anything, not even a slight buldge.

    I'm gonna let the camera watch things, since I've seen the results of some of the other PM6 explosions, like nearly passing thru the solid oak door.

    I did go back and look at the end of the tape, there was no budging while the light was on.

    I hope if something happens, the video camera ends up okay, my wife would kill me if I ruined my Christmas present!

    -----------

    Okay, well, let things cool down to 65 degrees F, and put on the protective gear.

    The tail was still bulging, and was as hard as my ten speed tire at 60 psi.

    I very slowly screwed the light apart, the seal cracked, and it hissed for quite some time.

    So, what did I see?












    The cell vented as it was designed to, so this isn't really considered failure. I'm *very* glad to see the battery protection mechanisms kick in like they are supposed to.

    This is the same test I've tried many times on various brand cells over the past month, and this is the first time I've seen a cell vent. One of the interesting things to note, it was the 100% new cell, not the depleted one that vented- not what I expected.

    I will be repeating the same test several times tomorrow, if I have time, after work.

    ----------------

    Quote Originally Posted by cy
    whoaaa.... be care handling the light under pressure!
    sure hope you've got a full face mask carbon filter system on... Newbie, thanks again for doing this! talk about putting your self in the line of fire...

    quite possibly, fresh new cell vented because that's where the most energy is located. Cell from which current is flowing from will heat first, possibly setting off a chain reaction.

    to me this illustrates how dificult it is to replicate a primary lithium cell failure. And No failures have been reported of a single cell litium light, LED or incand.

    Actually, I have what is called a half mask respirator that looks like an old gas mask, with dual particulate chemical/gas purifying cartidge filters, and I check the valves and the seal for proper operation before each use. NBC training comes in handy...

    It looks like this:
    http://www.northsafety.com/TriggerWo...euseToken=True

    The filter/cartidge I am using is an approved OV, AG Cartridge & P100 Filter. It is good for Organic Vapor, Chlorine, Hydrogen Chloride, Sulfur Dioxide, Hydrogen Fluoride, Chlorine Dioxide Cartridge. Plus P100 Particulate Filter (99.97% Minimum Filter Efficiency).

    I also wear goggles and full face shield, protective clothing, and gloves. I toss out the gloves if I have a vented cell, like I did last night.

    Size15, yes, I am using 1/2" polycarbonate sheet over the top of the big white five gallon bucket.

    It will be interesting to see if I can duplicate the failure again, as that is an important step.

    ----

    Actually, I am using a Star Respirator from AO Safety (sorry, wrong brand).
    This is it here:
    http://www.aosafety.com/industrial/r...50089-00000001

    Filter is a combo particle/OG&AE threaded version.

    -----



    If you look carefully at the blackened bottom, you will see a circle, with two divits in it, this is where the stuff came out from the venting cell, which is on the bottom.

    I am *absolutely* certain it was the 100% cell that vented, zero question there.




    On my first run tonight, I just caused another venting, this time I depleted the cell by 33%, to 67% remaining. I'm currently waiting for things to cool off. It looks like it didn't vent as much, as the switch cover didn't budge out as far.

    So, basically, I am looking at 2 for 2. Proves nothing really, until I get the test count and see if they keep venting.

    Remember, the cells are designed to vent, which is better than bursting on us.

    A key thing, if you look at the photos, you will see there are no dent marks in the cells. Which discounts all the dent theories we had, in my results.

    -----

    Okay, Update:

    Waited for the light to cool down to 65F. The boot didn't buldge nearly as far this time. Put on the protective gear and went back out to open up the light. Carefully opened it, much less of a hiss of gas comming out. The one of the cells vented, not sure which one, as there is zero debris, marks, etc.

    Obviously this one was much less violent, which is a good thing.


    -----

    Okay, started a third run on the partially depleted cell, another 30% depletion (70% remaining in cell) run with a new 100% cell.

    The fireworks from the rodeo started, so I turned off the porch light.

    I'm standing there watching the fireworks, and noticed the PM6 in the bucket, went out.

    Cool, I figure, it takes a bit after the light goes out, and I can turn the video camera back on, and maybe catch it in action.

    All of a sudden, kablamo, a sharp pinging, *BING*, not like the fireworks sound, but sharper, like a richocet.

    Wife asks, "Whats that", I'm looking around wondering what just hit what from where and how.

    Oh! I fire up my EDC, and look in the bucket. Aw, crap. I missed it, and now my PM6 is messed up.

    This occured this time, within 41 minutes of starting the test, and within minute or two after the light went out.

    After cool down, I'll don my protective equipment and go take some pictures.


    ----











    In the last picture, you can see what is a chunk of the bulb assy spring, that partially unwound, and in other pictures, you can see it looks like it cut/fractured/snapped on the bulb assy itself. The bulb spring is shorter now...thats one hot exhaust, velocity, or both. Thanks Beamhead, for noticing this!

    The threads don't work all that great anymore, in the tail assy, I think they got reformed or something. They used to be smooth, and work good, it was *pretty* darn hard to unscrew. Possibly it jumped a thread or two, during the bang.

    Notice how the cell bases are now dented after the explosion and buldged.


    For now, that will terminate any further testing.

    I'll have to run to the store to get another one (after boxes of batteries over the past month, and having to get a new light, this testing stuff gets *really* spendy)

    Thanks again to Kevin of Battery Station for providing free cells for testing purposes!

    Does anyone know if the new PM6's are sealed? Maybe if I am lucky, I'll find an old one at the store. Any way from the outside of the package to tell the difference?

    ---------

    Quote Originally Posted by McGizmo
    3 for 3 is quite a record here Newbie!! It would sure seem that you are the way to identifying a set of event conditions!! Good job! Your speculation on ambient conditions and their possible contribution is very interesting and seemingly contrary to what one would expect. From some of my own investigations, ambient humidity with the same temperature had significant impact on the steady state operating temperatures of the light and the efficiencies of the cells, with runtimes noticibly impacted.

    If I can be of any service or support, you know how to reach me! Perhaps a special battery tube or tail cap with a fitting mounted on the tail with a pressure gauge attached? Thermacouple?

    Kevin, I feel your pain and understand your concerns!!! There is the oft used justification that If I didn't provide this to folks, someone else would. Well this is true in your case but the someone else might not be as forthright or concerned and wanting to get to the bottom of any possible safety risks!! I aplaud your concern, and responsible, proactive approach here! Your support and willingness to seek the truth even if contrary to personal vested interests sets you above the typical and in the realm of the special, IMHO. I hope the community will in turn show you support.

    Thanks. I have alot more testing that I'd like to do, and I'd even like to "instrument" a flashlight up, to monitor internal temps, voltages, currents, etc. But it all takes time, and this is a spare time hobby type thing.

    First thing is to do a few more tests, and see what the failure ratio under these conditions is. Then I'd like to change one condition at a time, and keep the others as close as I can (I'm at the mercy of mother nature here at home...)

    I've devoted a rather decent amount of personal time over the past month, recently running tests into the midnight hours, and probably too much cash on Lithium 123 Primary cells. The cells that Kevin provided were a nice relief.

    The reason why I've done this of my own accord, is it really bothers me, when a fun hobby ends up hurting the hobbyist. So, I've been doing a bit of research for awhile now, running several tests each night, and more on the weekends, for about the past month.

    I was about to give up, and consider the actual failures we have seen, more as a fluke, one of those one in a million type things. But there have been too many failures for that, but the doubts were piling up. The additional cells Kevin provided, kept me going, the least I could do for something I got for free, and allowed me to finally uncover something.

    At the moment, it seems fairly repeatable- so far.

    The partial cell depletion, coupled with cooler evening ambient temperature (65F-70F), appears at the moment to be the proper combination. What is a little bothersome about all this is that many folks around here have gotten cells which didn't last very long, some cells leaking while in their original packaging, so the scenario might not be as uncommon as one would at first think.

    There have been examples in the past, where folks mixed cells of various brands, or put a new one in with a partial depleted one, and they have had venting or other issues.

    At the moment, Kevin of Battery Station, seems to be expending extra effort to actually test his cells, the best way he knows how, to assure that the cells are matched in as full up battery (not depleted at all) as well as he can. This step, after finding 3 out of 3 venting incidents in the partial depletion scenarios, in hind sight, was a *very* prudent move on his part.

    The good thing, is in all the failure tests so far, is that the cells vented as designed. They didn't not vent, which would lead to build up of pressure within the cell, and lead to a explosion of the cell itself.

    My hats off to you Kevin, thank you very much the free cells for testing purposes!


    -------------


    You know, it is *quite* ignorant for folks to be discounting the dangers of Lithium cells...in the extreme.

    We see examples quite often, of them causing things to project, that could easily put out a child's eye, or get hot and disfigure/leave scares. That Lithium 123 cell M6 flashlight tailcap launched so hard, that it nearly went through a solid oak cabinet door!

    The thread is found here, make sure to follow the thread to the end, you will see additional pictures later in the thread:
    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=78843

    Here is another example of these Primary Lithium 123 cells (Battery Station) misbehaving, luckily this one didn't fail so badly:
    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=91245

    And it is not always when you abuse the cells, occassionally they just blow up.

    We are constantly getting new members, and it is important for them to understand the dangers and risks.

    It is really stupid to the extreme, to think there are no dangers. We have seen multiple examples of 123 cells causing dangerous failures right here on cpf, and we are a very small cross-section of only ~20,000 users.

    Once one is aware of the dangers of Lithium batteries, and how to treat them properly, not to mix brands, or *NOT* putting in a fresh 123 for one of the two that was dead- to save money, *NOT* running them down until the filament doesn't glow at all, *NOT* letting them bake in the sun in a flat black finish flashlight on a dashboard, *NOT* trying to recharge them, *NOT* trying to recharge them, *NOT* using cells that have a dent, and many other situations, then a person can make a *WISE* informed choice, and also be aware of the dangers and how to treat Lithium cells accordingly.

    I am very surprised that the majority flashlight manufacturers have not added circuitry to shut down a 123 cell flashlight when the cells drop below a given voltage. This would help eliminate one of the possible failure modes that can lead to venting, venting with flame, expulsion of internals, projectile launching of internals, or explosion. A safety venting mechanism in sealed flashlights might also be very useful in these situations, allowing a Lithium 123 cell flashlight to contain some of the failure modes, resulting in less danger/risk to the end user.

    To give you just one example of the many safety bulletin/recalls dealing with 123 cells:

    Name of product: Fuji Power and A&T Fuji Power

    CR123A 3-volt lithium batteries originally provided with Galls® H.A.L.O. Tactical Flashlight.
    Hazard: The batteries originally provided with the flashlight may overheat or explode presenting a potential for fire or personal injury.

    Incidents/Injuries: Five reports of batteries overheating or exploding have been received, causing minor injuries such as burns and minor
    property damage from fire.
    http://list.uvm.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=in...ety&D=1&P=9889

    And there are *PLENTY* of these type of safety/recall notices out there.

    Just knowing that 123 Primary Lithium cells are in fact a risk, and understanding how to treat them properly to minimize that risk is very important.

    -----

    Quote Originally Posted by xpitxbullx
    Are these lithium batteries exploding or creating a fast/slow expansion of gas?

    Jeff

    Some have actually exploded and shot their internals out.

    An example:



    I've seen cases where the vent ruptures at very high pressures and just releases gas.

    I've also seen cases where the vent ruptures and violently releases hot black crud in the gas, sometimes while it is on fire, so it is shooting flames at the same time.

    I've seen the results of a violent venting scenario, where it was strong enough to break/cut/snap the really heavy battery spring on an old PM6. When it went, it actually sounded more like a ricochet from a .22 off a rock, and made the tail cap skip down over a few threads.

    Some folks define an explosion as a sudden release of trapped gas/energy. Others consider an explosion a firey release.


    ----------------------


    Quote Originally Posted by cy
    Holy Sh*t!

    what a fireball, temp spikes to 263 degrees...

    Yes, so we have seen events on tape with temperatures right before the venting at 100F, 140F on this latest one, 153F,
    161F, 161F, 171.2F- with temperatures running up to 714F.

    The "fireball" one that was just made: http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/vent12sn.wmv
    The 714F one was here: http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/vent6_6.wmv
    171.2F one: http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/ven10sm.wmv
    Another 161F that goes above 700F: http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/vent5_1.wmv
    A 153.6F one: http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/minorv~1.wmv
    The 100F one: http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/100degv.wmv

    I've seen many more of these, which I do not have on tape. These are still by and far not the worst events I have seen- only what I happened to catch on tape, once someone asked for a video of some of the failures. I've missed more dramatic ones. I've tested a few more of these than I'd originally planned so I could demonstrate what can happen.


    I'd really like folks to go back to the first post in this thread, where I talk about the safety factors and some of the things folks can do. Take the time to read it, it is worth it. I'm doing this because I see an actual possible danger, and there are things that can be done which greatly reduce the risk.

    There is a label on every CR123A cell that I've seen in the US, and it would be good for folks to take a pause and read it. I believe it is there by law, for a reason. It is not there for sh*ts, grins, and giggles.

    Please use these cells wisely, and treat them carefully- These ain't your grandma's carbon-zinc cells.

    I have further testing to do, to learn more about the events leading up to these events, such as watching currents and voltages across each cell, while watching the temperatures- to glean anything out of this info, so designers might be able to design in countermeasures.


    -----------------------


    On a side note, Chronos just had a *LED* Lithium Primary cell not just vent, but actually eject it's internals:

    Link here:
    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/show...9&page=2&pp=40


    CPF member nakahoshi also had one of his cells get quite hot in his LED light, found here:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...24#post1536124


    .
    If any moderators/admin folks object to the gathering of information into one post, please let me know.
    .


    Here is another brand of Lithium Primary 123 cell, AmondoTech's Titanium cell, with my standard cell mis-match testing, and the results:

    This one is unedited, make note of how the light just winks out, and seconds later, it vents:
    http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/amondo.wmv

    This is one that is edited, to just include the bulb winking out, the very short pause, then the venting incident, with just the venting in slow motion-this one is also much smaller for low bandwidth users:
    http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/amondsm.wmv

    The link below is for a slow motion video of the event itself. Unfortunately, the sun had set and it got dark in the middle of testing, and I didn't have the light on:
    http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/amon2sm.wmv

    Next is a real time video of the event, with additional video of the aftermath:
    http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/amondo2.wmv

    Okay, we have three vents in a row for the AmondoTech Titanium CR123A cells, P/N TPEN-TCR123A. Note the temperature at which you see the vent happen, it is in degrees Fahrenheit:
    http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/amondo3.wmv

    This is vent incident six for six for the AmondoTech Titanium cells. Be patient, this one is a big one, weighing in at 21 MB.
    http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/amondo6.wmv

    Here we have five for five:
    http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/amondo5.wmv

    This is vent incident six for six for the AmondoTech Titanium cells. Be patient, this one is a big one, weighing in at 21 MB- worth the download, imho:
    http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/amondo6.wmv

    -------

    One of our users just had yet another light fail on 09/05/2006:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...97#post1580697


    This post is getting rather long, so I won't be updating this post here with updates, you'll need to dig deeper in the thread for a lot of the testing info, data, and more.


    .
    Last edited by NewBie; 12-10-2006 at 09:11 PM. Reason: Update

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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Wow...... Many compliments.... Keep up the great work !!!!
    Maybe.... eventually this could be available as a downloadable/printable pdf

    frisco

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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    thanks for putting this all together in one thread!

    much information was getting spread across several good threads.

    sure would like to find out more info on the one possible instance of 1x cell lithium failure. as this deviates from failure mode.

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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Quote Originally Posted by cy
    thanks for putting this all together in one thread!

    much information was getting spread across several good threads.

    sure would like to find out more info on the one possible instance of 1x cell lithium failure. as this deviates from failure mode.

    No sweat, cy, thanks.

    I'll try and get more added as I have time.

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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    NB:

    Nice work!
    Bill

    I'm a retired mechanic not a electronic/electrical engineer!

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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Thanks for putting the information together!

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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Make this a sticky, already!!

    Newbie, All your hard work replicating these explosions is very, very much appreciated. You

    It'll take several times for me to digest all of what you posted (I've only read the first part and seen the video).

    Given your following comment:
    The interesting common factor is that it has always happened in flashlights that utilize 2 or more cells.
    I gotta ask, is there a commonality in the discharge rate of these lights? I'm thinking partially discharged cells + higher current drain=

    Could this be any different in LED-based lights with lower current drains and limiting circuits? We may find a limiting current is needed for safer operation.

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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    I have not had time yet to test additional scenarios, still exploring the existing one.

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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    possible primary lithium cell failure mode(s)

    1. user and/or mfg places two or more primary lithium cells into incan and/or LED flashlight.

    2. one or more of cells is in substantial lessor state of charge than other cell(s) in series. 100% for first cell and say 60% for second cell.

    3. operator accidentally leaves light on for extended run.

    4. 100% cell starts to reverse charge 60% cell. large current drain from 100% heats up source cell and 60% cell also heats up from being reversed charged.

    5. if PTC is defective on host cell(s) and heavy internal reverse charge is occuring. This leads to venting with flames by one and/or both cells.

    6. if this venting with flames is contained within an air tight container like a flashlight. explosion will result.

    number of reported primary lithium failures has only recently spiked. past cpf threads will show timeline of failure reports. IMHO spikes in failures is directly related to primary lithium cells mfg in China. there is a need to identify who actual manufactors of failed primary cells are.

    please correct me if I wrong. So far no documented venting with flames has occured with single primary lithium cell lights. No documented venting with flames has occured with li-ion cells in single cell or multiple cell lights. (bare and protected li-ion cells)

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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Quote Originally Posted by cy
    possible primary lithium cell failure mode(s)

    6. if this venting with flames is contained within an air tight container like a flashlight. explosion will result.

    number of reported primary lithium failures has only recently spiked. past cpf threads will show timeline of failure reports. IMHO spikes in failures is directly related to primary lithium cells mfg in China. there is a need to identify who actual manufactors of failed primary cells are.

    please correct me if I wrong. So far no documented venting with flames has occured with single primary lithium cell lights. No documented venting with flames has occured with li-ion cells in single cell or multiple cell lights. (bare and protected li-ion cells)

    It all depends on what you call recent.

    In my testing, I have had the SureFire 123 Primary Lithium cells vent gasses, and I am currently re-iterating the test. I have noticed the SureFire cells hit even higher temperatures, like in the very minor venting video I posted of the BS cell that hit 153.7 F right before venting, I've seen the SureFire 123 Primary Lithium cell in the same scenario hit 167.2 F.


    I'm This LED flashlight is a dual cell light, this is from the report from Canada Air. They mention it is the second incident, see report link at the end:


    The Flight Attendant had purchased the flashlight from a
    store in Beijing. While the flashlight was turned on, the
    passenger accidentally dropped the flashlight. A few
    minutes later, while the flashlight was stored in a seat
    pocket, the flashlight began emitting smoke and noxious
    fumes. The flashlight became hot enough that it could
    only be handled with oven mitts.

    The airline reports that this is the second time a LED
    flashlight, purchased in Beijing, has failed in this
    manner. The first time it occurred, the flashlight was
    being used at the home of an employee.
    HAZARD
    Consequently, as a safety precaution, we recommend
    that flashlights with LED lights and 3 volt lithium
    batteries not be transported in aircraft carry-on or
    checked baggage.


    The report can be found here:
    http://www.haffa.com.hk/files/DG%20L...%20Warning.pdf
    Last edited by NewBie; 07-12-2006 at 07:39 AM. Reason: Fixed link

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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    as most cpf'er know, feedback is almost real time. from all over the world.

    this thread is dated Feb. 2006. my comments echo'd several others. primary lithium failures before this date were relatively rare events.

    my theory is reverse charging issues with multi-cell have always been around. but common reverse charging primary cells combined with defective PTC devices are recent events.

    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=108000

    Quote Originally Posted by NewBie
    It all depends on what you call recent.

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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Wow, amazing info. Thanks Newbie!
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    Duh2 Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    NewBie... WOW! amazing poast, I found out more reading that then probley anything else I have seen. Scarey stuff, *eyes* pelican 1010 case full of surefire 123 cells, moving that to the grage right now... two things

    1) what "protective equipment" are you useing. I have NO intent to ever need it, but if I do have to cleen up after on of the 'incedents' I would like to know what equipment has worked for you.

    2) I have a old camcorder I would be willing to donate to the cause if your woryed about damagin yours. PM me if your intersted.
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Quote Originally Posted by cy
    as most cpf'er know, feedback is almost real time. from all over the world.

    this thread is dated Feb. 2006. my comments echo'd several others. primary lithium failures before this date were relatively rare events.

    my theory is reverse charging issues with multi-cell have always been around. but common reverse charging primary cells combined with defective PTC devices are recent events.

    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=108000

    Remember, I've spent hundreds of dollars in cells for testing now, and the only time I can make them fail, is when one of the cells is partially depleted. This is a common occurance, to pull new cells out of the package and have one or more partially depleted, as most know.

    Look back a bit, and I mentioned cascade failure, where several things have to occur.

    So far, I cannot blame it on a failed PTC, but my testing hasn't gone down to that level yet. Still gathering information on which cells blow under what conditions.

    If it happens to be a PTC failure, there are also other things that have to occur.

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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    totally agree!

    data provided so far seems to indicate it takes a partially depleted cell, combined with full charged cell(s) and another factor(s, bad PTC?) to produce failures.

    all of cpf benifits from your hard work. you should at least consider letting everyone send Paypal your way. to help share expenses. which can rack up,,,,

    Quote Originally Posted by NewBie
    Remember, I've spent hundreds of dollars in cells for testing now, and the only time I can make them fail, is when one of the cells is partially depleted. This is a common occurance, to pull new cells out of the package and have one or more partially depleted, as most know.

    Look back a bit, and I mentioned cascade failure, where several things have to occur.

    So far, I cannot blame it on a failed PTC, but my testing hasn't gone down to that level yet. Still gathering information on which cells blow under what conditions.

    If it happens to be a PTC failure, there are also other things that have to occur.

  16. #16

    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Quote Originally Posted by cy
    data provided so far seems to indicate it takes a partially depleted cell, combined with full charged cell(s) and another factor(s, bad PTC?) to produce failures.
    Looks like it. The trouble is that there are so many other factors that may come into this like the ambient temperature, the current draw, possible cell defects ...

    Quote Originally Posted by cy
    all of cpf benifits from your hard work. you should at least consider letting everyone send Paypal your way. to help share expenses. which can rack up,,,,
    Strongly seconded. These experiments are *really* important and may help people avoid being badly injured. I honestly think this thread is the most important one I read here on CPF so far.

    An afterthought: I'm beginning to wonder how much companies like Surefire or Streamlight know about such catastrophic failures of CR123 primaries. Alright, I can understand why they wouldn't really want to discuss this sort of stuff in a public forum, but still ... I can't really imagine they don't know anything.

    Hans
    Last edited by Hans; 07-14-2006 at 03:14 PM.

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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Without a doubt, this thread should be a "sticky" thread!
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    I've had a few folks ask for additional videos.

    Here is a video, of what I would call a typical venting incident, which I see while testing.

    This is not one where the cell ejects it's internals, which is much more violent.

    It is 13MB in size so you'll have to hold your horses while it downloads.


    http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/vent5_1.wmv


    .

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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    WoW!!!! Nice Video! Thanks for all your hard work!
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    Ooo Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links


    Good work Newbie!
    BART

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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Okay, folks were asking for sound...

    100 dollars later, and a trip to Fry's, here you go, with sound:

    http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/vent6_6.wmv


    Bear with me, it is my first video edit, and it is well, ehm...
    Last edited by NewBie; 07-15-2006 at 09:40 PM. Reason: add comment

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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Wow, sound makes a huge difference. The first couple pops/bangs sound a bit scary.
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    Ooo Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    BART

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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Hello Newbie,

    This is turning into a great reference thread. Thanks for all of your hard work.

    This is an excellent illustration of "rapid venting, with flame." It seems that the temperatures get up there as well. I saw over 700 F residual after you switched scales on your meter. Add to this the fumes and smoke and you have the potential of a very dangerous situation.

    It is good that the CPF community can see these results first hand. For the most part, our lights do not run into these problems, but being aware of what can happen will allow us to take proper precautions, and develop a plan of action on what to do when problems arise.

    Once again, Thanks!!!

    Tom
    Behind every Great man there's always a woman rolling her eyes...

    Most batteries don't die - they are tortured to near death, then murdered...

  25. #25
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Quote Originally Posted by NewBie
    Okay, folks were asking for sound...

    100 dollars later, and a trip to Fry's, here you go, with sound:

    http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/vent6_6.wmv


    Bear with me, it is my first video edit, and it is well, ehm...
    Wow! I knew that sound was coming but I still jumped!
    Bill

    I'm a retired mechanic not a electronic/electrical engineer!

  26. #26
    *Flashaholic* jtice's Avatar
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Great job !!!

    You can read all the data you want, but nothing drives it home like seeing it like that.

    Make sure to have your sound on when you watch it,
    theres all sorts of pops and crakles!

    ~John

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    *Retired* NewBie's Avatar
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    If you turn the sound up, you can hear all the crackles and stuff, it is interesting.

    Last night, I had a cell vent that was only 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I'll try and get a video of it up today. It was only a minor venting incident though.

  28. #28
    *Retired* NewBie's Avatar
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Opps, I forgot the low temp venting video, I'll try and get it tomorrow.

    Meanwhile, this isn't one of the fireballs, but I have a video now of a cell that ejected it's internals. It is minor, but it shows basically what happens.

    It is possible to get them to vent on occassion when the ambient temperature is 100F- like in this video. This time the cell vented about 5 minutes after the bulb went out. Which once again emphasizes the importance of shutting off the light when the bulb dims or goes out, and locking it out to assure the flashlight is actually off and the circuit is not completed.

    In my testing so far, I've only gotten one SureFire cell to vent, and it is what I'd consider a minor vent, in this 30% depletion scenario (varied it from 10 to 40%), and ran about 30 sets of cells from four different batches. It does not mean that it is highly unlikely to vent, just that the current scenario that I am testing causes no venting. Ran four sets of them in a PM6.

    I tested six sets of USA Browning cells in this specific scenario, and got no venting incidents. Half were run in the PM6. Tests on going.

    I tested six sets of Chinese made Sanyo cells in this specific scenario, and got no venting incidents. Half were run in the PM6.

    I tested 10 sets of USA Streamlight cells in this specific scenario, and got no venting incidents. Half were run in the PM6. Tests on going.

    I tested 10 sets of USA Duracell cells in this specific scenario, and got no venting incidents. Half were run in the PM6. Tests on going.

    I've tested 10 sets of USA Energizer cells in this specific scenario, and got no venting incidents. Half were run in the PM6. Tests on going.

    I've ran 60 sets of Battery Station cells in this specific scenario, and got venting over 75% the time, and nearly 100% venting in the PM6. I have to emphasize that the cells need to be mis-matched by 30% (discharged by 30% on purpose and used with a fresh cell) to cause the failure mode, when they are matched e.g. ZTS tested, I was unable to get them to vent.

    I've yet to make it to the Panasonic USA cells, but internally they are identical to the Energizer/SureFire/Browning/Streamlight.


    Battery Station contributed six sets of Duracells, six sets of Energizers, six sets of Sanyos, six sets of Energizer, a bunch of Battery Station cells, and a PM6, McGizmo sent one box of 12 SureFire cells, Cmoore contributed one PM6 so I could continue testing in the light, and dat2zip sent 3 PM6. Please applaud these fellas for their donations!

    As soon as I make it thru this round of testing, and get some more cells on order, I plan on doing some instrumentation, and internal cell investigation.


    Finally, the latest video. It is far from the most violent, but it does show a minor guts ejection incident. I recommend you turn the sound up to hear everything.

    http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/vent10h.wmv

    .

  29. #29

    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Newbie,
    Thanks for all of the work and time and effort here!!! Talk, type and speculation may be cheap but your work here is invaluable in giving us insight!!
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  30. #30
    *Retired* NewBie's Avatar
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Quote Originally Posted by McGizmo
    Newbie,
    Thanks for all of the work and time and effort here!!! Talk, type and speculation may be cheap but your work here is invaluable in giving us insight!!

    Thanks. Hopefully I don't send myself to the poor house in the process, lol.

    If there is a lithium cell tracking database, I bet my name was already flashing red, a month ago.

    Some folks wanted a slow motion of the above video, I'll see what I can do. I'll just do the venting portion to conserve video size, my ISP hasn't screamed at me yet...

  31. #31
    Flashaholic* Beamhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Slow motion video would be sweet!.
    Quando Omni Flunkis Moritati

  32. #32
    *Retired* NewBie's Avatar
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Okay, how is this?

    http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/vent10s.wmv

    We have some sparks a bit past the middle, and additional ones at the very end, so be patient. Watching the beginning a few times, you see something new each time.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    betcha... a lot of folks would like to do more than say thanks, by supporting your efforts. As this valuable work benifits all of us.

    sure wish you would post paypal info or other means to send funds!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by NewBie
    Thanks. Hopefully I don't send myself to the poor house in the process, lol..

  34. #34

    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Newbie,
    What CY said!!!!! I have 3 more boxes as well as a 27LT headed your way as you know but it would be nice if the community could help pick up the tab on this work of yours!!

    I don't know about Tom (SilverFox) but I was a bit disappointed that we ended up with as much of the tab on the light tests as we did. (Many thanks to those who did contribute to Tom; I don't know who you all are but that is not the point, really).

    Anyway, if you don't want to provide your PP address, perhaps someone else could accept funds on your behalf and forward on to you? (I am not volunteering here, BTW!!!)

    Thanks again though and I look forward to page 2 where we won't have such a long load time!!!
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  35. #35

    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    newbie, have you seen any reports of incidents involving single cells? is this phenomenon attributable ONLY to configurations where there are multiple cells with mismatched charge? thanks...
    liQht

  36. #36
    *Retired* NewBie's Avatar
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Quote Originally Posted by liqht
    newbie, have you seen any reports of incidents involving single cells? is this phenomenon attributable ONLY to configurations where there are multiple cells with mismatched charge? thanks...

    There is the one Air Canada reference above, and a link to the document. I think it was a single cell LED. But there are no specifics, so it is really hard to say. For the scenario we are talking about here at the moment, you need two cells. Thats not to say there isn't another scenario which could cause issues.

    I have not seen any reference or mention from a CPF'er on a single cell lithium primary failing in an LED light.

    I'd been searching for a failure mode for a months worth of testing and so far, the only thing I have found is the mis-matched cell scenario- which is easy to imagine occuring, due to new cells comming in various states of charge (some folks have had occasional cells so depleted, that they have only worked for five minutes).

    All the incidents have been on 2 cell Primary Lithium 123 batteries with Incandescents which we have seen around here, so far. Besides the single cell AA Lithium that failed in some cell phone charger hooyah.

    Humm, well, McGizmo, if folks want to pick up a bit of the cell cost, I guess I could accept that. I'd prefer not to get dollars, but cells. Right now, I'd really like to see a few more BS cells (for instrumented testing), and some other brands that folks utilize, which I haven't tested yet. It would be good, if a well know CPF'er could handle it.


    Anyhow, I was asked for a small snippet of the main part of the last video, in slow motion. I just got back from buying 1GB of CAS 2 RAM to add to the machine I do the editing on. I kept the size small for low bandwidth users, it is about 2.6MB.


    http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/ven10sm.wmv


    .

  37. #37
    *Flashaholic* wquiles's Avatar
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Thanks NewBie for all of the valuable and relevant data you have collected and shared with us here - much appretiated

    Will
    Please no PM/Visitor Msg's. Email for questions/Paypal: wquiles [at] gmail {dot} com. Please visit my new website.

  38. #38
    *Retired* NewBie's Avatar
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Here is that video of a cell venting down at 100 degrees Fahrenheit, only 2MB in size:

    http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/100degv.wmv

  39. #39
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Quote Originally Posted by NewBie
    I have not seen any reference or mention from a CPF'er on a single cell lithium primary failing in an LED light.
    Actually, I've personally experienced a Yuntong cell failure while using my Arc LS about 2 years ago. I guess this was still an unheard of incident back then so no one responded and the thread died without resolution.

    Here's the thread

    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=52326
    Last edited by Billson; 07-24-2006 at 09:22 PM.
    Bill

  40. #40
    *Retired* NewBie's Avatar
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Okay, here is another venting video, this is a very minor fireball type event that can happen:

    http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/vent12sn.wmv

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