Mobile phones can literally explode if they overheat and catch fire … and here’s how it can happen.
Phones are powered by lithium-ion batteries which are usually stable but things can change rapidly if the phone is damaged or the battery becomes faulty – possibly if a cheap charger is used to power it which doesn’t meet safety standards.
The phone’s casing means it’s airtight inside which contains the battery’s chemicals and gases. But if the casing becomes damaged by perhaps being dropped or crushed or starts to seriously overheat the gases vapourise, the casing expands and will eventually crack and the flammable fumes can ignite. This process is so violent it can cause the phone to explode.
This is why aircraft cabin crew now include in safety messages on board passenger planes a warning for people to let them know immediately if their phone or any other electronic device such as an iPad or laptop, suddenly starts to overheat.
Also, if passengers lose their phones down their seats they need to let the crew know straightaway. If they try to move the seat and crush the phone this could well spark thermal runaway and a fire or explosion, sending flames and toxic smoke into the cabin.
The last place you want this to happen is in the confined space of an aircraft cabin at 35,000ft.
It can and does happen which is why thousands of planes worldwide now carry AvSax lithium battery fire mitigation bags.
AvSax are devised and made by Environmental Defence Systems based in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, UK. They are now on more than 16,750 aircraft operated by over 100 airline companies worldwide.
They have been used 33 times to deal with emergencies since the start of 2017 and every time they have been deployed the aircraft has been able to complete its journey safely with no need to divert or make an emergency landing.
AvSax, which won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its pioneering innovation – the highest award any business can get - is made from military grade material so can withstand the force of a blast if the device does explode.
For more on AvSax go to www.avsax.co.uk