Laptop Battery
by aleske

Will My Laptop Battery Explode?
You may have read or seen the news of exploding laptop batteries or laptops that went up in flames from a bad battery. But is it true? Can your laptop battery explode or burst into flames? By taking some precautions you can lower the risk of your laptop battery overheating, catching on fire or exploding, all of which are rare.

But how rare are these incidents? There are only a dozen or so stories of laptops bursting into flames or exploding, but these stories did make a lot of headlines and resulted in quite a few brands recalling batteries back in 2006. That year, Dell recalled 22,000 laptop batteries and Sony around 10 million that were used in some of the most popular laptops. The batteries were found to contain foreign metal particles that could cause a short circuit, which could result in fire or explosion. While the incidents were rare, the recalls were big and made a lot of press.

What can you do to make sure your battery won’t explode or catch on fire? The first tip is to take care of your laptop and its battery. If you drop your laptop and dent or crack the battery, you may want to replace it. Many current laptops on the market use lithium-ion batteries. Inside the battery are lithium-ion cells that contain positive and negative electrodes separated by a divider or sheet. If one of these separator sheets becomes cracked or fails, the negative and positive electrodes can touch each other, resulting in a buildup of heat. This heat can then spark a fire and cause the rest of the cells to catch on fire or explode. To prevent failure of the separator sheet, don’t drop your battery or handle it in a rough way. If your battery does suffer a huge hit or drop, then you may want to replace it. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Another step you can take to make sure your battery works and lasts a long time is to keep it out of extreme heat. Many people use a cooling pad to help keep their laptop from getting too hot. This is not only good for the battery but also the CPU, graphics card and other internal parts. Even with proper care of your lithium-ion laptop battery, it will eventually lose its charging ability. Most last about 3 years until they lose much of their original battery life and need to be replaced. So while a laptop battery can explode, it’s very rare and can be avoided with proper precautions.


Aaron Whitaker is an avid writer on popular topics like laptop computers and the science behind a laptop battery.

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