Beat lithium-ion battery fires

Issue 6 2021 Fire & Safety

Lithium batteries present a more frequent fire hazard each day as the number of consumer and industrial goods powered by lithium batteries increases. Although the risk of a lithium battery fire is not widely considered, the potential for a fire exists in many everyday situations. The typical mechanisms that cause a fire to start in a lithium battery are as follows:

• Physical damage/impact.

• Overcharging.

• Heat exposure.

• Short circuit.

If one of the four above mechanisms becomes critical, the battery will overheat. This process is known as thermal runaway and the device may burst into flames. This risk is further exacerbated by low quality and poorly manufactured batteries. The overcharge protection is often not present in these batteries.

Testing has shown that typical water, powder and foam extinguishing agents are not effective in extinguishing and preventing re-ignition of lithium battery fires.

New solution on the market

AVD is a new fire extinguishing agent designed for lithium-ion battery fires. It is environmentally friendly and offers significantly superior performance to both control and extinguish flammable lithium-ion battery fires.

AVD is applied in the form of a mist. This film instantly dries and because of their high aspect ratio, the platelet particles overlap and bind together, producing a non-flammable oxygen barrier between the fire and the atmosphere. These solutions are designed to target high-risk fires of a limited size. They are suited to confined spaces such as homes, hotel rooms, vehicles, public transport, aviation, marine or leisure areas.

Third-party testing has proven Lith-Ex to be effective in suppressing and extinguishing lithium battery fires in line with a test protocol developed by battery testing experts, ZSW. Lith-Ex extinguishers are ideally suited for lithium battery fires which may occur with personal electronic devices, such as mobile phones and tablets. They can also be used to protect against fires where batteries are under charge and where batteries are stored – goods distribution, battery collection bins, battery recycling locations, public services, battery charging stations and many other scenarios.

Lith-Ex extinguishers are manufactured in Europe, which ensures complete control over the quality of the finished product and they are certified according to the European standard EN3-7:2004 + AI:2007.

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