Understand how failure strikes and why lithium-ion battery safety is essential
The list of applications and benefits of lithium-ion batteries is extensive, but headlines about smartphones igniting, laptops exploding and hoverboards smoking will taint a brand’s reputation. But why do these alarming malfunctions occur? Some failures are due to misuse, such as allowing products to overheat or repeated drops. Other issues stem from overcrowding of cells within the battery or production flaws, such as metallic-dust contamination.
When these battery issues occur, viral videos and memorable media stories generate lasting impressions. A major mobile device manufacturer experienced significant problems with batteries that required it to issue a massive recall. This 2016 event resulted in a 98% drop in the operating profits for the company’s mobile phone division. The company needed to engage in significant efforts to rehabilitate its brand.
Lithium battery safety precautions to take into consideration
Manufacturers want to offer products that satisfy consumer demands, build market share and increase profitability. By identifying ways to proactively manage known concerns, brands are more likely to achieve these universal goals.
Review these effective methods for managing the risk from lithium-ion batteries:
- Use third-party certified batteries — Regulations for lithium-ion batteries vary around the globe and may include compliance with UL Standards as well as other national, regional and international requirements. Make sure to choose battery cells and packs that meet your products’ needs.
- Employ thoughtful product design — Utilize design approaches that help protect battery cells and avoid overcrowding, identify issues in manufacturing that may lead to cell contamination and select the appropriate battery management system.
- Require rigorous testing — Independent firms such as UL offer manufacturers extensive evaluation, testing and certification services that critically analyze battery safety and performance from the cell or pack to end-product level. This third-party evaluation offers peace of mind to retailers and consumers alike.
- Look for the UL Mark — When purchasing an e-bike, a new smartphone or a laptop, consumers look to the Mark to signal that a product has undergone rigorous testing. Inspiring the consumers’ trust with the UL Mark will distinguish your products from your competitors.
Whether you’re envisioning new products to satisfy evolving consumer needs or redesigning products to empower on-the-go users, look for trustworthy lithium-ion cells and packs bearing the UL Mark.
To learn more about UL’s comprehensive array of testing, inspection and certification services for lithium-ion batteries, please visit: https://www.ul.com/services/battery-safety-testing