Problems with lithium ion batteries

fail battery


As electronics become more portable and lightweight, they need batteries that can provide long battery life before being recharged. Lithium-ion batteries are increasingly common in electronics such as smart phones, laptops, and tablets because they can last for up to two to five years. However, the problems with lithium ion batteries can cause lithium battery packs to fail. The type of lithium ion battery failure will depend on the structure of the battery pack, how it is charged, how it is used and disposed of, and environmental factors. So, this article will tell you common lithium ion battery issues, and how to solve it. 

Problems with lithium ion batteries

The battery short circuit problem

One of the major problems with lithium ion batteries we often hear about in the news is lithium-ion battery packs catching fire in smartphones, laptops, or other devices. The manufacturer would then have to issue a massive recall of the battery packs. In these rare cases, the failure is caused by metal particles coming into contact with components inside the battery. The contact causes a short circuit.

While a minor short circuit usually only causes a lithium battery to self-discharge without any major explosion or combustion, a severe short circuit can lead to more serious negative results. They occur when metal particles gather in a particular place. A lot of current flows between the negative plate and the positive plate because it creates heat. As the heat increases, it begins to erode the insulation; This process is called thermal runaway.

The presence of metal particles is often a problem in manufacturing complex components that produce large amounts of metal dust. Having a quality control process and reducing the amount of dust generated by using the clean room can prevent such failures.

What happens when a battery short circuits

Short circuits can occur in both battery-powered and electrical mains-powered systems. When a short circuit occurs, resistance quickly reduces and a large volume of current flows through an unexpected pathway.

Puncture and leakage problem

Know how to reduce battery pack cost and lead time of final product. Punctures and leaks can be found throughout shipping and transportation, as well as when the end-user handles the lithium battery pack. A puncture can occur if the lithium battery comes into contact with a sharp object, falls off where the casing is damaged, or is subjected to other mechanical stress.

The puncture causes the electrolyte in the battery to leak. The amount of leakage depends on the size of the battery pack and the number of cells punctured, as tiny battery bags may leak only a small amount. Puncture and leakage can be dangerous.

Users with electrolyte leaks should take necessary precautions and do not come into contact with liquids or electrolyte residues. Electronics that come in contact with electrolyte leaks can also short-circuit.

What is the difference between leak and leakage

The word “leak” can be a noun or a verb, but “leakage” is only a noun, so that’s one difference. When used as nouns the two words can have the same meaning, i.e. “an act or instance of leaking” or “any means of unintended entrance or escape.”

battery cell leakage due to outgassing

Battery pack expansion problem

You may notice that the battery case is large and bulgy. The lithium ion batteries safety issues is caused by the expansion of lithium batteries. Swelling can occur for several reasons. For example, moisture may have invaded the battery pack. Overcharging is also a common cause of battery pack expansion. Aging also causes the battery pack to expand. As the batteries age, they can cause temperatures to rise.

The best way to deal with battery pack swelling is to prevent the battery from getting wet and not to allow the battery to be constantly charged on the charger. As the battery pack continues to charge, it causes the battery to age faster.

1-the danger of thermal runaway

Charger problem

Using the wrong charger for a lithium battery pack can also cause several problems with lithium ion batteries. Most battery pack chargers for lithium-ion batteries are designed to prevent overcharging. However, using the wrong charger can cause the lithium-ion battery pack to overcharge or over voltage and expand.

Never charge a lithium battery pack at low temperatures (below 32°F). Charging at this temperature can lead to lithium plating (this is when lithium ions collect along the anode surface as the metal is deposited on it). The coating cannot be removed; It becomes permanent. Once that happens, the battery is more vulnerable to damage, such as high-rate charging that can cause a short circuit. It is also more susceptible to damage from crushing or impact.

How can I fix my charger problem

1Reboot Your Phone.

2Try Putting Your Phone in Safe Mode.

3Switch to a Different Cable/Socket/Adapter.

4Make Sure It’s Not a Software Bug.

5Clean the Charging Port.

6Could Your Phone Have Water Damage?

7Visit a Service Center.

Over-discharge problem

People who use lithium-ion batteries must be careful about over-discharging and overcharging the batteries. Lithium-ion battery chemicals should not fall below 2 volts. This problem can occur when batteries are stored for a long time or discharge too much. When the voltage falls below 2 volts, both the cathode and anode begin to break down.

As the copper dissolves into the electrolyte, the anode collector will begin to dissolve. Copper ions start to precipitate into the metal copper, which can cause a short circuit when the battery is charged above 2 volts. At the same time, the cathode begins to release oxygen; After a few cycles, the battery will begin to lose permanent capacity.

Heating problem: Heat loss

One of the most common lithium ion battery failure is battery pack overheating. Overcharging the battery is one of the causes of the heat problem. The excess charge is combined with higher temperatures, such as direct sunlight. The battery pack is subjected to more stress.

Thermal runaway is another factor affecting lithium-ion batteries. This happens when the internal temperature of the battery pack becomes too high as the pressure increases. The increasing heat and pressure rates begin to cause the electrolytes and metal oxide cathodes to decompose. Gas starts to build up in the battery pack; Safety vents can’t drain gas from the battery pack fast enough. Once one cell in a battery pack experiences thermal runaway, the next one will begin to experience thermal runaway, because there is nothing to stop the effects until the battery ignites or explodes.

The use of a battery management system (BMS) usually located in a battery pack can prevent thermal runaway. BMS has safety features to prevent overcharging, overvoltage, over-discharge, and other problems with lithium ion batteries. The system ensures that the battery continues to operate at safe operating levels. It can also monitor and regulate temperature and release excess energy during charging. If something goes wrong with the battery pack, it stores diagnostic information because a technician can troubleshoot the problem.

What should I do when I encounter lithium ion battery failure

BMS can avoid most of the problems of battery packs. Other lithium battery problems, such as small short circuits or aging, will only cause the battery to stop working. However, consumers should be aware of the possible dangers.

Problems such as leakage and thermal runaway are the most dangerous. If there is a leak, place the lithium-ion in an airtight bag and clean the electrolyte from the device with lemon juice or white vinegar.

During the failure of some lithium-ion batteries, the battery pack produces a hissing sound. When this happens, take the device to a safe place without combustible materials and try to remove the battery pack. At this point, the gas may escape from the battery pack, or it may ignite or explode. Treat lithium-ion fires like normal fires; You should use a foam fire extinguisher, sodium carbonate, or water to put out the flames. If you can’t put out the flames, let them burn themselves out and contain their spread.


For expanded lithium batteries, remove them from the device and replace them. Contact the equipment manufacturer to learn how to deal with battery packs caused by swelling or failure. They will provide you with specific instructions on how to return lithium batteries to the company or how to properly dispose of them. You should follow the instructions as to how to prepare the battery for shipment to the recycling and delivery center, such as taping the terminal into a plastic bag and sealing it. If you want to know more about the solution of problems with lithium ion batteries, feel free contact us

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