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View Poll Results: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

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  • Nope, no problems.

    88 72.13%
  • Slight problem eg. unusual smell, cell getting hot.

    17 13.93%
  • Cell obviously venting or similar

    13 10.66%
  • Cell exploding or venting violently

    9 7.38%
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Thread: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

  1. #1

    Default Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    I'm new to this forum, I joined for help in buying a new torch (flashlight - I'm a Brit) and have been very grateful for all the help I’ve got so far, but the discussions regarding exotic chemistry battery's exploding has got me very wary, and I’m interested in how worried I should really be and how much of it is actually paranoia, so…

    Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way (it doesn’t count if you were trying to make the cell explode or vent)

    please state; what chemistry was the cell (regardless of outcome)? What were the circumstances?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    No problems with standard (lead acid, Ni-mh, Alkaline) battery's. Some I got from Lidl (AAA Ni-mh) got unusually hot by the end of a charge on a Lidl 'smart' charger.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Morelite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    No problems at all, I have about 30 Lithium cells in sizes ranging from 15270 up to 32650.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    No; two protected 18650s.
    I'm using a cheap hobby charger.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    My cordless power tools use lithium-Ion battery packs and I've never had anything bad happen, also have a 12 volt lithium polymer pack for my lightforce blitz and that's always fine.

    I have experienced some odd odours coming from SLA batteries during charging, I assume that the charging voltage was little too high.
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  6. #6
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    I've had a Duracell labelled Sanyo 2450 vent and get hot enough to melt the wrapper, but my charger was at fault failed to sense the -ve DV was only that particular cell that did it. All my other cells are fine with the charger. I've had a few cell phone LiIon cells bulge up from extreme over discharge, but never vent with flame!

  7. #7
    Flashaholic azzid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    I've got close to 5 dozen li-ion cells with sizes ranging from 14500 to 26500 and never had a problem with them. No overheating while charging, the only time I had a battery overheat was when, I charged a sanyo 18650 cell that came from a laptop battery pack. Recycled it immediately and never used cells from old battery packs again.

    It really pays to get higher quality batteries(AW, Redilast and callies kustoms) and to properly maintain/watch It. A nice charger like the Pila IBC would be a big help too and don't get too cheap with your li-ion cell purchases.
    "A high I.Q. is nothing without the same level of common sense" - Me
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    Lead-acid:
    12V 7Ah SLA battery - heated quite a bit when I charged it with 5A (was in hurry so couldn't do normal 1A charge), but worked fine afterwards till this day (the heating occured over a year ago)
    Charger used: Turnigy Accucel-6

    Lithium Ion:
    six 18650's from ASUS laptop battery pack - no problems at all, using in cheap DX single-cell lights
    4x Xtar 2600mAh, 12x HiMax 2600mAh, 2x RediLast 3100mAh, 5x SolarForce 2400mAh, 4x AW 2200mAh, 4x IOS 3100mAh - no problems at all, using in various multi-cell lights (and not only lights)
    Charger used: Turnigy Accucel-6

    NiMH:
    40 eneloops (both AA and AAA) - no problems at all
    8 eneloop XX'es - no problems at all
    4 GP 2500 mAh's: they heat quite noticeably during charge, but I'm not very worried
    Charger used: LaCrosse BC-700, Sanyo MQR06

    LiFePO4:
    8x A123 Systems 18650: no problems at all (obviously)
    6x A123 Systems 26650: no problems at all, either
    Charger used: four UltraFire WF-188's for 18650's, Turnigy Accucel-6 (also using balancing plug, cause those 6x are in custom battery pack) for 26650's.
    Last edited by Shadowww; 06-24-2012 at 03:39 PM.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* AnAppleSnail's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    I had a button NiMH scatter itself during charging once. I was trickle charging 2 in series. The plan was to charge at 8 mA 80 mA capacity), but it objected to that. I am investigating why.
    My biggest light-hog is my camera.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    I was also interested in what now seems a nonissue and I am glad that is the case as I embark on this fun hobby

  11. #11
    Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    I voted yes, but the cell failure was totally my fault, before we had all the choices in Li-ion chargers we have today the charger I was using was switched for 1, 2, 3 or 4 cells, unfortunately the switch was set to two cells when charging a single 14500.

    Norm

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* hank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    > what now seems a nonissue and I am glad that is the case

    You are happy because you are wrong. Collecting a few anecdotes doesn't change the chemistry.

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/rene...nd-the-liion/0

    I doubt any CPFer familiar with Li-ions thinks this a nonissue -- particularly for you as a brand new user.

    I just took a RCR123 off a Nano charger an hour or two after I should've looked at it.
    4.24 volts.

    That's only the second time in several years that I've let one overcharge.

    I've had one out of eight Li-ion cells vent -- I don't know when it happened, I found it had a brown stain around the positive nub when I took it out of the battery storage box intending to put it into one of my lights.

    I checked it, it had zero charge showing. It may have vented in the light and I didn't notice when I took it out, or it may have vented in the metal storage box alongside half a dozen other Li-ion cells, some considerably larger.

    I won't make that mistake again.

    The energy density of these cells is high; they can spontaneously ignite if mistreated; they evolve oxygen when they burn; they can't be put out by an ABC fire extinguisher; you may go your whole lifetime without ever having this happen to you.

    Are you feeling lucky?

    Do you put a family at risk if you're wrong?
    Last edited by hank; 01-22-2012 at 06:07 PM.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic CampingMaster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    I am using for nearly a year now four chargers SINCE: SE-H001 ; I have a total of 16 RCR123A (16340) because each charger comes with 4 batteries.

    Each kit is only a little bit more than 10$USD including transport from China to Canada.

    I am very surprise that a so cheap charger do a very good job, I use these batteries with 4 flashlights (Quark X 123² and Quark Turbo X).

    I had no problem at all charging or using these batteries and many of my friends are using them with no problems. Note that these friends are using these batteries (and the same charger) for much longer than me.

    Include here a picture of three of my chargers at work.



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    Last edited by Norm; 06-29-2012 at 01:39 AM.
    Will never be caught in the dark... always my FOURSEVENS Quark model QP2L-X w/Burst LED torch with me. (With CREE XM-L2 T6).

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* Changchung's Avatar
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    Default

    Almost 20 18650, protected ultrafire blue and grey no problem, unprotected 18650 brands, lg, sanyo and panasonic, no problems either. More than 15 Rcr123, 3v and 3,7 with no problem. 10440 with no problem, the same with aa and aaa


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    Please, respect the planet, dont kill animals...

  15. #15

    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    Funny that I should come across this thread today.

    Yesterday I was putting together battery packs. I was given about sixty 18650's. They were not loose in the bag, they had been in plastic cradles and had tabs on each end. While I was working I must have jostled the bag just enough for one's tab to reach over and connect the outter casing through a tear in it's wrapping. (these are semi-used, used, and non-used batteries)
    When I smelled something "electric burning", I bent down to the bag and tried to figure out which cell it was. I knew it right away as that one had gotten quite warm, and singed on the POS side.

    I'm pretty sure I whiffed a little too much of the vapor though, because I had irritation in the right side of my sinuses and a mild headache for about 6 hours or so afterwards. I know the fumes are TOXIC, but it's hard to hold your breath while searching through 60 cells, and I didn't want one or more to explode in the bagful.

    I'm SUPER CAREFUL with all of them now. I inspected the wrappers on all of them, taped a few to soothe my peace of mind till I can get to projects with all of them.

    Now I'm a little freaked out about having them on chargers and whatnot. I need to get one of those charging bags.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* bansuri's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    Had to qualify my vote for Cell exploding or venting violently.

    It was probably 30 years ago and I was making a little project that required a small battery which I didn't have a holder for so was going to try to quickly get a spot of solder on the corners of the + and (-) areas, I was vaguely aware of the dangers of heat+batteries=boom so I proceeded with safety measures in place. The battery was a tiny lithium hearing aid type battery. The results were quite amazing.
    The battery popped, shot off the table and burned. This was fascinating to me as the soldering iron doesn't get hot enough to set anything else on fire like that so more research was required.
    Moved the test outside and found that it was easy enough to recreate the same results with other batteries of that type. I'd just set the iron on the ground and balance a battery on the heating element, plug it in, and it wouldn't take too long to pop and burn. It was a lot of fun with those tiny batteries.
    I will not be revisiting these tests with my much larger batteries.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    If you're concerned with battery safety, you can do what I do. Note: I might be a little too paranoid.

    All of my multi-cell lights are AA and AAA, and I use only Eneloops, or occasionally a lithium (Energizer Ultimate Lithium) to power those lights.

    I do have one CR123A light, and it uses only one cell. I will probably only ever buy single-cell CR123A lights, although I've been thinking about LiFePO4 now that SureFire's selling them.

  18. #18
    *Flashaholic* LuxLuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    I voted yes, and the most dramatic events were the firecracker like explosions from high current drain of NiMH cells powering aggressive mods. Never had a Lithium primary or secondary vent.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* jasonck08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    I've only had one cell in a 6 cell pack die and smell funny in the pack. There was no vent with flame or anything like that...

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    I had a set of expensive AA NiMHs vent (in a fenix L2D on turbo) and blow up the rubber button like a ballon years ago.
    This is a pretty common event and no reason to worry.
    Never had trouble with Lithium so far.

    Option 2 should be called "cells getting hot with no apparent reason" or something like that. Getting hot when you short them, etc, is not indication of a problem.
    happens

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* uk_caver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    I have had the odd issue with NiMH cells due to internal or external shorts.
    As Helmut said, external shorts aren't really a cell issue as such unless maybe if they lead to some seriously bad consequences, but the internal short is probably worth mentioning.

    I'd made up a battery pack from 3x tagged 4/3A cells, nicely wrapped in self-amalgamating rubber tape, and was giving it either its first or second charge at a relatively low rate (~0.2C), with the pack some way from being fully charged, but some way from being empty - maybe 1/4 to 1/3 full, judging from the contents of the surviving cells.

    I heard a pop (probably the rubber wrapping failing) followed by a hiss and a faint cloud of vapour/smoke started to form.
    Being late at night (I was about to go to bed) I just disconnected the pack, which continued hissing, opened the window and threw it onto the lawn to cool down.
    Next day, it was clear which the offending cell was - it was browned around the positive terminal, and the heatshrink at that end of the cell was wrinkled, and split in a couple of places, but it was also clear that there hadn't been any external short - the heatshrink under the positive tag was still perfectly intact.

    Whatever happened seems likely to have happened when the cell wasn't fully charged, but also not just as it began to charge, so it seems like an intermittent or spontaneous short of some kind.

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* Chrontius's Avatar
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    Exclamation Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    An alkaline (Energizer) C cell is doing this RIGHT NOW. I've stuck it in my (cast iron) bathtub, just in case. What should I do?

    PS: It's hissing, squeaking, and faintly smoking.

    Update: In a Ziplock to contain fumes.

    Also had a 4x23a "B65" type pack for a Brinkmann Maxfire with obvious (in hindsight) deficiencies in construction; the pack ends weren't secured to the pack, the positive nipple shifted during charging or handling, and contacted the inside tube of the flashlight body. When powered on, the short circuit current immediately melted the switch and caused multiple cell failures. As a result, I couldn't turn off the current - but once the switch was thoroughly destroyed, it also allowed the switch contacts to shift away from the battery pack.

    I then went on to use the light with a replacement tailcap and a Surefire B65 that had lost its positive nipple (reducing its length just enough to fit) for years, until the B65 would no longer take a charge.
    Last edited by Chrontius; 06-22-2012 at 04:48 PM.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    Had a minor AA alkaline venting once. Was "battery vampire" testing with ramdom dead AA alkalines using a Quark AA^2 on moonlight. Guess one of the batts went so low due to mismatch capacity/voltages, it started charging in reverse. Heard a "POP", rubber tailcap ballooned out, and one of the batts had leaked inside the tube. Cleaned it up immediately, so no permanent damage. Lesson learned.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    I completely forgot about that when posting, I had a recharged alkaline emit lots of gasses and a bit of fluid this year.
    happens

  25. #25
    *Flashaholic* Monocrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    None! And I hope it stays that way.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* mvyrmnd's Avatar
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    Default

    I had an 18350 vent after an issue with the switch in a light. It was in a drawer at the time, and the vent was minor, so I was unaware of it until a sat or two later when I unscrewed hte head of the light and it hissed like a soda can - and stank. It spent the next few hours outside ( then washed out) and the cell was disposed of accordingly.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    As opposed to a desirable way....?
    Fenix TK35/TK21 U2/PD32/LD12/E01/ Romisen RC-T602/ Klarus XT2C/ EagleTac D25LC2 Clicky, Thrunite TN31. , Olight s10, Eagletac D25LC2 factory mod XP-G2 with 2amp driver. Eagletac D25C Ti XM-L U2, D25C ti XP-G2

  28. #28
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Have you ever had a cell(s) explode or vent in an undesirable and unexpected way?

    I just had a NiMH vent yesterday while in my flashlight. It was a brand new eneloop xx 2500 lsd I had purchased off of eBay for $6. I had just gotten 2 of them in the mail for my fenix LD20. The vent episode happened during the initial charge from the factory; I think for this to happen with eneloops is rare. I've been using eneloops for years and never had any problems. I had the light on medium and standing on a table in my room to illuminate the whole room. The light fell over and I went to pick it up, the rubber grommet was literally domed out and the light had more warmth to it than normal on medium mode. I knew NiMH weren't as bad as li-ion, but I still put it in a plastic bag and took it outside. I unscrewed the head off the light and let it set outside for a while. I'm just glad I caught it as soon as it happened, which I attribute to the light falling over from the gas doming out the rubber grommet over the clickie.

    Guess maybe I'll win the lottery now?


    Seller said today he was sending me two new xx's...got my fingers crossed this time!!
    Last edited by spydie fanatic; 07-13-2012 at 04:13 PM.

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