What Makes a Battery Explode?

What Makes a Battery Explode?

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What Makes a Battery Explode?

Humans interact with batteries every single day from small batteries used to operate toys and other electronics all the way up to bigger and more dangerous batteries, such as the ones inside a car.

Understanding what makes a battery explode could be important for preventing serious injuries and accidents. With that information, you may feel inclined to move forward with a lawsuit in the event that you discover that what makes a battery explode is due to malpractice or defective issues. If you have already been injured as a result of a battery exploding, you need to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney.

The lawyers at Morgan & Morgan have handled multiple cases dealing with what makes a battery explode, and when those incidents can be tied back to defective products or dangerous products, they fight for the rights of the victims. If you find yourself injured by an exploding battery, make sure that you consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible, as a thorough investigation of the situation may be crucial for protecting your rights. 

It can be overwhelming to move through the legal process on your own, but retaining the right personal injury or defective product lawyers can make a big difference in your ability to recover compensation. Do not hesitate to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after you've been hurt by an exploding battery.

Battery manufacturers or others could be held responsible if the battery exploded because it was defective. Many manufacturers do include safety precaution details with the battery itself, but most users do not ever expect the battery to explode. If you or someone you love suffered injuries due to an exploding battery, contact Morgan & Morgan for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

  • What Is the Chemical Nature Behind a Battery Explosion?

    During charging as well as operation, lead-acid batteries produce oxygen and hydrogen. These are located in the headspace in the battery above the electrolyte. If these gases are exposed to an ignition source or are not vented appropriately, a battery explosion can occur. Explosive gases plus an external or battery-originating source of ignition must be present in order for a battery to explode.

    When the battery explodes, you might not know what caused the original issue. You might simply be dealing with burns or scars or other injuries because of the battery or battery acid. Chemical reactions can cause explosions with lithium-ion batteries or swollen batteries. 

  • What Are the Most Common Causes of Battery Explosion?

    There are many different causes of battery explosion, and if you are currently suffering from an injury related to an exploding battery, you may not know outright what caused your accident or injuries. This is why you need someone who can investigate the situation and tell you more about what caused the battery to explode. Most people who find themselves in this situation simply know that a sudden explosion occurred and that they were left with serious injuries as a result. Working with someone who has investigated situations like this before can make it easier to navigate recovering compensation.

    Overcharging, Faulty Systems, and Normal Operation

    A few leading causes of battery explosion can happen under normal operating circumstances. This may be surprising for someone researching what makes a battery explode. This is because you may assume that if you are using the battery as intended by the manufacturer, there is no risk that it will explode.

    However, flooded lead acid batteries may struggle to contain an appropriate oxygen and hydrogen concentration. When this level goes too high, an ignition source can cause an explosion. Overcharging because of faulty vehicle charging systems can generate more of these gases and can increase the risk of a dangerous explosion. Overcharging can also increase the rate of something known as grid corrosion breakdown, which leads to short circuits and explosions.

    Poorly Maintained Batteries

    Those batteries that have not been properly maintained or have been left unattended for extended periods of time could possibly explode. If electrolyte levels fall, exposing the top of the battery plates, these will corrode faster than in the section below. This means there's an increased risk of a short circuit occurring. Excessive heat around a poorly maintained battery can also cause problems. 

    External Sources of Ignition

    Remember that it is necessary to have some source of ignition for a battery to likely explode. Primary sources of ignition that are part of what makes a battery explode include naked flames, sparks caused by metal objects, cigarettes, and static sparks. Furthermore, if the metal objects short or touch the battery terminals, corroded cables, or loose battery connections, these can all ignite the flammable gases that have built up in a battery.

    Manufacturing Defects

    Faults or defects in the manufacturing process can also cause a battery to short circuit and explode. This is a dangerous situation and if a weld is corroded or faulty, the surface area that is available to pass an electrical current is greatly reduced.

    Starting an Engine

    In some cases, starting up an engine that relies on a battery triggers an explosion when there is an underlying problem because of the load that starting an engine takes. This is more typical when a battery is near the end of its usable life. Both manufacturing defects and internal plate corrosion can increase the risk of a short circuit.

    Battery Life

    Batteries that have been in extensive use for a long period of time and are at the end of their natural life will exhibit higher signs of degrading active material in battery plates and grid corrosion. This can increase the chances of an exploding battery.

  • What Are the Best Ways to Prevent an Exploding Battery?

    If you're interested in what makes a battery explode, you may be interested in taking preventive maintenance steps to stop the dangerous circumstance of an exploding battery. You may be able to prevent property damage as well as personal injury by understanding what makes a battery explode and the best ways to minimize the possibility of this happening. Here are the best tips for knowing what makes a battery explode and preventing it:

    • Keep metal objects and sources of ignition away from batteries and their terminals.
    • Ensure that any battery hold down is properly maintained and secure.
    • Properly inspect connections, cables, terminals, clamps, and screws and replace them as necessary.
    • Always work in a well-ventilated area when handling batteries.
    • Test the battery using a hydrometer or a voltmeter.
    • Make sure that electrolyte levels are above the plate cells and add to these when necessary.
    • Look for obvious damage signs such as warping on a battery case.
  • What Is the Real Impact of Exploding Batteries?

    Most people are not familiar with the fact that batteries can explode. A research study in 1993 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that over 2,200 people were seriously injured enough from an exploding battery to get hospital treatment. These warnings are listed on automotive batteries, but many people do not take them seriously or realize that this can happen.

    As a battery ages, it loses water which exposes the top of the lead plates to air outside the battery case, which can ultimately warp those plates. That heavy demand for power when a driver starts an engine can cause those warped fleets to flex, touch, and then spark. One of the leading causes of battery explosions on startup is dirty battery cables and posts. An automotive repair expert can help to identify these. Inappropriate jumpstarting, however, is also a leading cause of explosions.

    This is one of the many ways that motorists can be introduced to the true power behind a battery and what makes a battery explode. If you believe that you were harmed because of an exploding battery, you may have legal rights. Whether it's battery cells in your car, cell phones, lithuim-ion batteries, or an injury from battery acid, our lawyers have broad experience in working with defective product claims. We'll help guide you through the legal process to recover compensation. 

    Others might have concerns about batteries in electric vehicles and their legal options if a battery explodes inside a car. 

  • Do I Have Grounds for a Legal Case Due to an Exploding Battery?

    An exploding battery can do a lot of damage to you. It can also damage the property in your home. If you're dealing with the fallout of an exploding battery and you did nothing wrong and were using the battery as intended, you might be protected under defective product law. 

    Getting a lawyer involved to investigate your incident is important for determining what may have caused the battery to explode in the first place. If possible, keep any of the evidence you can around the incident so that you can hand it to your lawyer for this investigation and next steps. It may be discovered that the battery was improperly made or that it should not have been sold to you in the first place. 

    If you have further questions about what happens after a battery explodes and need assistance with moving forward with a lawsuit, contact Morgan & Morgan for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to get started.

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