How does a smartphone battery explode and how you can prevent it

From time to time, reports emerge of batteries of smartphones exploding. Recently, there have been reports about Xiaomi and OnePlus phones exploding. So, how do phone batteries explode and what can a smartphone owner do to prevent such incidents? Let’s find out.

What causes smartphones to explode?

More often than not, a smartphone explodes due to some issue with its battery. Nowadays, smartphones are equipped with lithium-ion batteries. These batteries have a balance of positive and negative electrodes that allow them to recharge. In some cases, the components of a battery break resulting in a volatile reaction.

If these situations are not handled properly, the reactions can eventually lead to explosions.

What damages phones’ batteries?

While there are several factors that contribute to the damage of a battery, the most common is excessive heat. If a battery on charge or an overburdened processor becomes too hot very quickly, it can damage the chemical makeup of a phone battery and can result in a chain reaction called thermal runaway. This process makes the battery generate more heat, which eventually catches fire or explodes.

Other reasons why phones get damaged

Apart from excessive heat, physical damage due to a fall or excessive bending can also damage the integrity of the battery. However, other factors that can contribute to overheating are leaving the phone out in the sun for too long, malware in the CPU, charging devastations.

There can also be some damages that are out of users’ control, such as devices that are in use for many years and can fade the internal components of the battery. This eventually leads to the swelling and overheating of the smartphone’s battery.

Other than these, there can be production issues from the manufacturer.

Things to look out for to prevent excessive damage from exploding

While phones do give any specific warning before it explodes, however, there can be some hissing or popping sounds, or the smell of burning plastic or chemicals. These indications should be noted as cautious of the phone being damaged and might explode.

Users should also note when the device is too hot, or the battery is swollen, which can result in a protruding screen, an enlarged seam, or a distended chassis. In such cases, the user should turn off their phone immediately and take it for service as soon as possible.

How to prevent phones from exploding?

In several cases, a user cannot prevent the phones from exploding, such as when there is a manufacturing defect or the power source is degrading naturally.

However, in other scenarios, there are certain steps a smartphone user can take to prevent the damage that can lead to an explosion.

  1. Use a phone case to avoid physical damage to the device;
  2. Avoid extreme outdoor temperatures;
  3. Maintain good battery hygiene (charge your phone between 30-80 per cent battery life);
  4. Use cables and charges recommended by the company;
  5. Keep the phone safe from malware that can potentially damage the battery.

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Originally appeared on: TheSpuzz