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Accession Number PB2014-103963
Title Extinguishment of Lithium-Ion and Lithium-Metal Battery Fires.
Publication Date Jan 2014
Media Count 24p
Personal Author T. Maloney
Abstract Lithium-metal and lithium-ion batteries power many consumer electronic devices. There have been incidents in which lithium batteries have overheated, creating either a fire, an explosion, or both. Federal Aviation Administration tests have shown that when a single cell in a battery pack undergoes thermal runaway, its heat causes adjacent cells to do likewise. The propagation of thermal runaway can be prevented and the resultant fire extinguished if the correct extinguishing agent is used. The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of fire extinguishing agents for suppressing lithium-metal and lithium-ion battery fires and preventing thermal runaway propagation. Tests were performed in a 64-cubic-foot test chamber with a sealable door. First, quantitative tests were done to compare the capacity of extinguishing agents to cool a hot plate; water and other aqueous extinguishing agents were the most effective coolants and nonaqueous agents were the least effective. Next, qualitative demonstration tests were performed with lithium batteries to verify the hot plate results. These tests also showed that aqueous extinguishing agents were most effective. The lithium-metal cells showed various behaviors while in thermal runaway, such as the creation of alternate vent holes and the ejection of internal contents. The hazards of lithium-metal cells in thermal runaway varied significantly during replicate tests. Extinguishing agents that contained water were the most effective and their effectiveness increased with greater volumes. The gaseous streaming agents were less effective and exhibited a relatively small increase in effectiveness with increased volume.
Keywords Aircraft
Electric batteries
Fire extinguishers
Fire hazards
Hot plates
Lithium metal batteries
Thermal analysis

Source Agency Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration
NTIS Subject Category 97M - Batteries & Components
85A - Air Transportation
Corporate Author Federal Aviation Administration, Washington, DC.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note Final rept.
NTIS Issue Number 1411
Contract Number N/A

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