my lithium battery incident

Wurkkos

watt4

Enlightened
Joined
Jun 7, 2002
Messages
712
Location
Indiana, U.S.A.
Batteries have been in the light over a year (seldom used light).

had played with it a couple weeks ago, and it seemed normal.

last night, took it outside for unloading the car. right away, I noticed the light was no brighter than an old-fashioned 2D incan. within two minutes, it was so dim as to be useless. when I set it down, I left it "turned on".


a few minutes later, I heard a small noise from the flashlight's general location, which reminded me about the light. (the noise may have been due to shifting of the rubber gasket/button cover. ) I picked it up, and noticed it was warm.

I tried to unscrew the tailcap, but it was very stiff. I decided to set it somewhere and let "whatever" run its course. but right then there was a loud POP (as loud as a sharp handclap), and the rubber button on the end of the light popped halfway open.

after waiting a while, I unscrewed the tailcap (it unscrewed easily this time).

the light looks like it will still work. I may try to cram the rubber switchcover back in place.






http://img241.imageshack.us/img241/2624/123batteries2bh9.jpg

http://img80.imageshack.us/img80/4163/123batteries3fe6.jpg

http://img241.imageshack.us/img241/5826/123batteries4ur3.jpg

http://img371.imageshack.us/img371/2132/123batteries5gb8.jpg

http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/6599/123batteries1uv2.jpg

http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/4558/123batteries6xe1.jpg

http://img244.imageshack.us/img244/4626/123batteries7cu0.jpg
 

BrighTor

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Feb 24, 2006
Messages
110
Location
Panama City, FL
Are you for real? ANOTHER M6? I know folks will say I'm jumping to conclusions, but for me, this offically takes the M6 off my list. :(
 

UKSFighter

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
3
Location
Georgia
That doesn't look good at all. Be very careful, when those batteries vent it can release some fairly toxic chemicals. I would consult an MSDS sheet on the batteries and definitely wear gloves while handling. I'm not an expert on these, but please be very careful. I would contact the manufacturer of the light (looks like a Pelican) and tell them about the incident and they would probably replace it for you with a new, non toxic light :). I would also contact Battery Station and get info on what you should do to protect yourself from the chemicals. Just my thoughts, I'm sure others will chime in very soon.

I'm glad to hear that you seem to be OK and uninjured.
 

Mad1

Enlightened
Joined
May 10, 2006
Messages
711
Location
UK
BrighTor said:
Are you for real? ANOTHER M6? I know folks will say I'm jumping to conclusions, but for me, this offically takes the M6 off my list. :(

No I completely agree. It can't be just down to the batteries.

Every time I read about Lithiums exploding its either Sonys batteries or the Peli M6.
 
Last edited:

McGizmo

Flashaholic
Joined
May 1, 2002
Messages
17,275
Location
Maui
In light of Newbie's work and testing, this is no real surprise to me. Certainly a bummer and glad you are OK!!! I don't know how much of this is attributable to the Pelican M6 other than the fact it was a host here. Newbie has had many more events with his 2xCR123 two by foil light! Short of more specific information and understandings of what is going on, we are all free to draw our own conclusions but for me, I find the common denominator to be the 2xCR123 batteries coupled with a bright incandescent lamp and allowed to continue to drive the lamp after it is clear that the lamp is no longer burning at full power or brightness. It also seems to be the case that not all brands of batteries behave in the same manner here.
 

frisco

Enlightened
Joined
Dec 29, 2005
Messages
736
Location
San Francisco
There is no way I can argue with McGizmo (on knees... praising!!) I just don't think you can discount that the Pelican M6 and Battery Station batteries keep (blowing) coming up.
I have the Pelican LED 2390. The first thing I did when I put batteries in this light is crank the tailcap all the way down .... Like all my other lights. After playing with the light for a while I took the tailcap off to clean and lube the threads and O rings.

I noticed the batteries were dented pretty bad. So I replaced the batteries and put the tailcap back on to just when it covers the O ring.

My point is, I understand the incan Pelican M6's have a similar (more severe) problem with crushing batteries.

That's just "my" thought. How many more M6's have to blow up before we call this a problem?

I mean no disrespect to anyone. Just concerned somebody is gonna get hurt here pretty soon!

The Pelican M6 incan and Battery Station Batteries came off my list after the last melt down.

frisco
 

James S

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Messages
5,078
Location
on an island surrounded by reality
can you compare the positive end contact on those batteries with a fresh one? They look very flat in those pictures but it's hard to tell.

The mechanism where 2 cells are left in a resistive circuit with a traditional bulb until one is completely dead and the other reverses some current into it is pretty much accepted around here now as a common failure mode for these things. (REMEMBER to turn your lights OFF after they run down) but I still suspect that there could be a physical damage element as well.

All the protection stuff in under that top cap. And it basically consists of a plastic membrane and the vents. If the top of the battery is crushed, either in a too tight flashlight or by dropping it or something, there is a possibility that both the vents as well as the overcurrent protection could be made useless.

So I'd like to know if the batteries in the M6 are held so tight that the battery tops are compressed?
 

McGizmo

Flashaholic
Joined
May 1, 2002
Messages
17,275
Location
Maui
Good points on the possibility of mechanical contribution to the failure. I recall the battery crushing was a suspect contributor early on and it may play a part. However, I don't believe Newbie's tests are deforming the batteries at all and yet he has come up with a with a pretty consistant means of generating an event. The precursors seem well consistant with what has been described here.
 

James S

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Messages
5,078
Location
on an island surrounded by reality
I wasn't trying to say Newbie's tests weren't correct, I have payed attention more or less and I think that is one definite mode of failure he's identified. It makes a lot of sense!

but not every report I've read of them has the same parameters, I'm wondering if there may be more than one way to make these pop.
 

frisco

Enlightened
Joined
Dec 29, 2005
Messages
736
Location
San Francisco
I've been reading most of Newbie's posts and have nothing but praise for his efforts and findings.
For those of us who read the posts about battery danger.... We read about these chemically charged caustic fire bombs and how to avoid such problems. But we have also seen the Pelican M6 come up more times than seems comfortable.

frisco

McGizmo said:
Good points on the possibility of mechanical contribution to the failure. I recall the battery crushing was a suspect contributor early on and it may play a part. However, I don't believe Newbie's tests are deforming the batteries at all and yet he has come up with a with a pretty consistant means of generating an event. The precursors seem well consistant with what has been described here.
 
Top