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Cellphones Hardware

Exploding Cell Phone Battery Kills 287

LingNoi writes "A man in Korea was found dead at his workplace Wednesday morning and his mobile phone battery was melted in his shirt pocket. No one knows for sure yet but a doctor who examined the body said, "He sustained an injury that is similar to a burn in the left chest and his ribs and spine were broken" We have heard of other dangerous battery products here on Slashdot." Update: 11/30 17:34 GMT by Z : Turns out the melted battery was the least of his worries; he was actually hit by a truck.
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Exploding Cell Phone Battery Kills

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  • by gillbates ( 106458 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @12:53PM (#21506203) Homepage Journal

    It is also possible that he was struck by a piece of heavy equipment, which, in addition to breaking his spine and ribs, also ruptured the cell phone battery. The ruptured battery then shorted out and melted.

    I find it very difficult to believe that a cell phone battery could contain sufficient pressure break a person's spine and ribs. Unless, of course, said battery was packed with explosives. (And yes, this has been done before - by the Israelis).

  • by fbjon ( 692006 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @01:07PM (#21506453) Homepage Journal
    Well, it's certainly demolished. Pictures. []
  • by zippthorne ( 748122 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @01:42PM (#21506999) Journal
    Nothing. Mythbusters actually did good work on this one. You've got to have the fuel-air mix just right, or even a spark plug won't light it. There are really only two places where the cell could ignite fumes. One is right next to the fuel port, and the other is on the ground in a puddle of gasoline.

    Both assume that you're pretty sloppy with the nozzle. Like Zoolander sloppy. There's supposed to be a vapor hood over it for pollution reduction, which would also reduce the fuel in the air around the nozzle.
  • by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @01:52PM (#21507155) Journal
    Far too much energy was released thermally for this to have caused physical trauma (kinetic). If it was an explosion, the phone would have stress type damage - it would be cracked and broken into pieces. The amount of melting indicates a relatively slow release of energy, melting the plastic and burning the clothes.

    Think of a firecracker. If it explodes, there won't be heat damage to nearby objects. However if you take the powder out and light it, it will burn for a long enough period of time to cause thermal damage. Same thing here - the majority of the energy was thermal and not kinetic.

    Dan East
  • by Fizzl ( 209397 ) <(fizzl) (at) (> on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @03:12PM (#21508137) Homepage Journal
    ...Aaaaand the cells are not usually packed in container suitable for compressing combustion into actual explosion. What you get is a nasty chemical fire which is virtually inextinguishtable in the time it releases its energy.

    There's no way a LiPo cell in plastic packaging could explode with considerable force.

    I build my own RC airplane batteries. I have right now 50 x 2400mAh cells at home. I have experimented shorting fast discharging cells. I have tried puncturing them. I have tried over charging them. I have tried deforming them. Yes, you get spectacular fireworks, but no explosions in conventional containers.

    If I _wanted_ to explode one, I probably could. But I would seal the cell in sharpnel grenade style iron shell or something...

    PS. Discard your Li* battery if it ever puffs even slightly or gets a visible deformation from a shock. Damaged Li*'s are unstable.
  • by davidsyes ( 765062 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @03:50PM (#21508607) Homepage Journal
    Say Hello, Wave Goodbye?

    You in a cocktail skirt, me in a suit
    well that just isn't me.
    You're used to wearing less
    And now your house is a mess
    And of for me, I fear...

    (Marc Almond, Soft Cell)

    Yoboseyo? Choesong hajiman Suh sonsaengnim chuseyo.

    Chamkkan kidariseyo.

    Ne, malssum haseyo...

    Ah, Oh-day Suh-sonsaengni-seyo? A-Bye-bye...

    More from the Oldboys school?


    "An LG official confirmed its product was involved in the accident but said the company would not comment directly on the accident because the cause was not confirmed."

    Hell, of COURSE LG won't respond. "LG" means "Life's Good", and certainly not the case for the decedent.

Loose bits sink chips.