Lithium has had an envious journey – from an obscure place in the periodic table to the centre of the world. It is the Bruce Lee among metals – light but packs more punch in weight-to-power comparison.
If you haven’t experienced it during chemistry lab time, believe us, it’s highly reactive. Blame the genes because it belongs to a family of sodium and potassium.
We tell you why lithium ion batteries are tinderbox and how Samsung might have made it more fire-prone:
― Lithium batteries consist of electrodes (anode and cathode) separated by a solution of lithium salts.
― An ultra-thin sheet of separator keeps the combustible electrodes apart. The separator is prone to overheating if exposed to high temperatures, damage or flaws in manufacturing.
― If there is a small rupture to the flimsy separators, it can lead to an internal short-circuit and heat build-up, leading to overheating and the phone can go up in flames.
― Samsung could have compromised on safety by making the separator (between positive and negative anodes) thin to accommodate more battery elements to increase power storage, making it prone to short-circuit.