'Samsung Galaxy Note 7' Exploded Battery: What Could Have Gone Wrong?

First Posted: Oct 18, 2016 06:00 AM EDT

After numerous reports of several Samsung Galaxy Note 7 exploding and catching fire, the Korean smartphone maker has finally decided to halt the handset's production. Samsung pointed out that design flaws on the battery assembly are causing the explosion of the units. After 35 documented incidents of exploding Note 7 units worldwide, Samsung made an unprecedented decision to recall every single Galaxy Note 7 units sold.

Samsung had stopped all sales and shipments of the Note 7 after the said incidents and worked with various safety regulatory agencies and cellular carriers around the world to facilitate the recall process and refunds. Yet incidents still arose after the recall and as many as five of the supposedly safe replacement units of the Note 7 have caught fire.

The explanation behind phone battery catching fire is very simple and straightforward. Exploding Galaxy Note 7 is much like the infamous hoverboards catching fire. Both use lithium ion battery packs for their juice. These type of batteries uses a highly flammable liquid inside which post a great danger with them if not handled properly.

Whenever the battery short-circuits, e.g., puncturing the super thin sheet of plastic which separates the positive and negative sides of the unit - the point of puncture will be the path with the least resistance for electricity flow. It will then heat up the flammable liquid electrolyte at that spot which could result to an explosion if the liquid heats up quickly enough.

No brand or model is safe from this type of accidents: even iPhone owners suffered burns after their iPhones exploded way back 2015 and 2016. The Note 7 may have been making headlines right now but another Samsung units are catching fire as well, like the Galaxy Core that reportedly burned a 6-year old child.

Lithium ion batteries are one of the greatest discoveries in the world of batteries. It can hold up huge amount of energy even in small sized. Though like any other things, it can also break if pushed to its limits.

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