What are the hazards associated with transporting lithium batteries?
As described by Transport Canada, Lithium batteries fall into the same category as gasoline, propane and sulphuric acid and, as such, are considered to be ‘dangerous goods’. Here are the hazards associated with transporting lithium batteries :
Propagation from cell to cell, battery to battery, box to box where heat produced can ignite normal combustibles.
Contributes to the fire and speeds propagation of thermal runaway.
Flammable gases and explosion
A cell in thermal runaway produces a mix of gases, many of which are flammable, including hydrocarbons and hydrogen. When contained, an explosive mixture can occur.
Certain cell chemistries and cell construction combinations can result in explosions when heated. These include, but are not limited to thionyl chloride, manganese dioxide and iron phosphate.
All cells in thermal runaway produce a pressure pulse, some much more forceful than others. The larger the cell size, generally, the larger the pulse.
Large Format cells & batteries
- Automotive, stationary power storage
- Similar behavior to smaller consumer cells, only on a much larger scale
- Single cell failure is a significant event
- Propagation of thermal runaway dramatically escalates the hazard
- A single cell may constitute a “high density shipment”
When a shipment size exceeds a certain number of cells, the effect of external fire exposure needs to be examined. The external fire hazard is somewhat mitigated by shipping in Class C compartment but not eliminated.
Halon 1301 consumption & leakage
Cells in thermal runaway produce pressure and gases that are released into the cargo compartment. This pressure and volume of gases will cause increased leakage of Halon 1301 from the compartment reducing the effectiveness of the agent and length of time that the compartment is protected.
Our technology, Lithium Prevent is a unique, proprietary intumescent, fire resistant, polymer composite technology that is injection moulded to form fire resistant battery pack components that contain the spread of runaway lithium batteries in a wide range of applications. Learn more about the science and innovation behind Lithium Prevent, and how it can help improve safety in your industry.
Other Recent News
Finding a Door Core Partner
Manufacturing and certifying cores for steel fire doors require extensive research, testing and certification. Ensuring that doors are fire-rated and able to prevent fires from spreading is an essential part of protecting lives. The entire door and hardware industry has a strong commitment to life safety. THE CHALLENGE A closed door should keep a burning […]
IntuLight Passes Intertek Testing
PyroPhobic Systems Ltd. recently completed a fire resistance testing program at Intertek Testing Services, in accordance with ASTM E119-18CE1. PyroPhobic was issued a 1 and 2 hour rating for a unique, new recessed fire resistant luminaire product, marketed as IntuLight. IntuLight consists of PyroPhobic Systems’ intumescent composite injection moulded component applied to a generic steel […]
Warner ESS Endorses Pyrophobic’s Lithium Prevent Intumescent Material
Following a number of energy storage system (ESS) fires in the nation of South Korea, as well as an ESS explosion in Arizona Public Service territory in the United States, the energy storage industry has begun to question the state of safety as it currently exists. Though many on the safety side of the industry […]