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Lithium-Ion Batteries Hazard and Use Assessment


August 9, 2011

Exponent’s consultants Celina Mikolajczak, Michael Kahn, Kevin White, and Tom Long of our Mechanical Engineering and Thermal Science practices, recently completed a literature review of lithium-ion battery technology, failure modes and events, usage, codes and standards, and a hazard assessment during the life cycle of storage and distribution of these batteries. This work was conducted on behalf of the Fire Protection Research Foundation, a part of the National Fire Protection Association. This review also lays out a research approach toward evaluating appropriate facility fire protection strategies. It is part of a larger study of the hazards associated with lithium-ion battery storage, with an aim of developing fire protection strategies to mitigate loss associated with fire incidence involving lithium-ion batteries in bulk storage and distribution, alone and in manufactured products. Hopefully this work will develop a technical basis for requirements in NFPA and other standards which prescribe protection requirements.

Exponent’s final report is published on the NFPA website.

By using a multidisciplinary approach involving staff from a wide range of disciplines—including Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Thermal Sciences, and Statistics—Exponent provides a broad range of independent, third-party consulting services on battery technologies. Exponent’s capabilities range from evaluation of cell component materials through design support and certification, to failure analysis of full battery packs.

The Fire Protection Research Foundation plans, manages, and communicates research on a broad range of fire safety issues in collaboration with scientists and laboratories around the world. The Foundation is an affiliate of the National Fire Protection Association.