very now and then, exploding phones manage to capture the attention of the media. And, while these kinds of mishaps are extremely unusual, they are also a little perplexing. What causes phones to erupt? How do I know my phone is not going to blow up?
Smartphones, as clever as they are, are vulnerable to exploding batteries, no matter how high-end they are. We occasionally receive instances of phones catching fire or bursting, regardless of their maker. Users have even died as a result of the incident in some situations.
A process known as thermal runaway occurs whenever a Li-ion battery explodes or catches fire. We will keep things short, sweet, and free of dense scientific language because this procedure can be a bit difficult to grasp.
A large number of Li-ion cells make up lithium-ion batteries. Imagine a boiling point for each of these cells. An exothermic breakdown occurs when a cell reaches its critical temperature (due to external heat, overcharging, damage, or faulty manufacturing). The cell begins to emit a great deal of heat.
This starts the thermal runaway process, which is effectively a positive feedback loop (like when you put a microphone next to a speaker). When a cell undergoes exothermic disintegration and produces heat, its surrounding cells are doomed to reach their own critical temperatures. A battery could quietly sizzle out, catch fire, or cause a tiny explosion depending on how quickly this process occurs.
It is a lot easier to figure out how, when, and why phones (and other Li-ion gadgets) explode now that we understand the mechanism of thermal runaway. To be safe, here are some reasons why Smartphone explode, as well as what you can do to avoid them:
The most common cause of phone explosions is a manufacturing flaw. Before the device is sent, the Lithium-ion battery that powers it must be thoroughly tested. A faulty component or a flaw in the manufacturing process can cause the battery to malfunction and explode. Thermal runaway occurs when the battery’s cells reach a critical temperature (due to external heat, overcharging, damage, or faulty construction). Cheaper batteries are said to have a larger likelihood of shorting out.
The second cause of phone explosions is the battery’s physical condition. The battery might be damaged when a phone is dropped. This can cause short-circuits, overheating, and other problems by affecting the battery’s internal mechanical or chemical structure. When a battery is broken, it swells, which is a good cause to replace it. By carefully inspecting the back panel of today’s Smartphone, you can detect swelling. If it is heaved, do not waste any time getting it replaced at the service center.
Using uncertified, third-party, or low-cost chargers is a common blunder made by the majority of us. It is risky to charge the phone with something other than the owner’s charger. Third-party chargers frequently fail to meet the handset’s specs. While they may appear to be identical, inexpensive or uncertified chargers can cause your phone to overheat, damage internal components, and cause “bubbles” or shorts in the battery. Cheap or uncertified chargers (particularly shoddy wireless chargers) can overheat a phone’s battery and cause harm. This type of slow-developing mechanical damage will almost always break your phone before it catches fire.
In general, any charger should work with any device. With newer phones, an old or cheap micro-USB cable will work, and with an older Smartphone, a brand new super-fast charger will work. However, you should usually stick to good-quality chargers or ones that have been certified by your phone’s maker.
It is surprisingly simple to get the correct charger for your phone. You may buy a charger directly from the maker of your phone, or Google your phone’s name to search for the charger that best suits your device before making a buying decision. If you have an Apple device, check for MFi-certified chargers, and if you are buying a wireless charger, make sure it is Qi-certified.
Aside from damage or the use of third-party chargers, there are other reasons why a battery overheats. The overnight charging is one of the most important. Most of us have the habit of charging our phones while in bed and sleep off, leaving the phone charging till the break of dawn. This takes a toll on the battery, as excessive charging can cause overheating, overcharging, short-circuiting, and, in extreme cases, explosion. When the battery level reaches 100 percent, many smartphones now have a chip that shuts off the current flow. However, there are still a few inexpensive cell phones that lack the function, which is why you read stories about phones exploding while the user was sleeping.
Leaving your phone in an airtight locked car is not advisable. Excessive heat might deplete the battery of your phone. The cells become slightly unstable, lose their exothermic disintegration, and produce gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide. These gases can cause the battery to expand, weaken its structure, and eventually explode. As a result, it is not a good idea to leave the phone in a hot car or expose it to direct sunlight for long periods of time.
If a Li-ion battery is charging at a high external temperature, this process will naturally speed up. As a result, if your phone becomes too hot, it will either stop charging or shut down.
When phones were not waterproof, it was common for batteries to break due to water contact. Even the cheapest handsets nowadays come with a splash-resistant covering that keeps water away from entering the internal components of mobile phones. That does not mean because your Smartphone is water-resistant, you should be dipping it in at the siting of every liquid available at your disposal. Who knows? Your phone’s charging point or earpiece hole might be damaged and those are the areas where water can easily slip inside your phone. It is advisable to keep your phone away from water as much as possible even though it is water-resistant.
Processor overheating is a common site for all smartphones as it is regarded as the “powerhouse” of the device. Your phone’s processor might potentially cause it to heat up. Even the most powerful chipsets have overheating difficulties when multitasking and running graphics-intensive programs like PUBG (Player Unknown Background). To combat this, OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) have begun to include a thermal lock feature or thermal paste to help keep the device cool. However, in many circumstances, the thermal lock fails and the phone explodes.
Worst of all is making or receiving a phone call while the phone is charging. The radioactive wave of a phone increases while a phone call is active. Now, imagine combining a radioactive wave with a surge current flowing through electricity. What will be the outcome? Well, it is better of imagined!
Lastly, using your Smartphone while the charger is plugged in into an electrical power socket is a habit you should desist from. The mobile phone emits current while it is charging and if a user is busy using his or her phone, the same electric current also flows in such a user’s body. And, if there happens to be an electrical surge, such phone, its battery, the charger might “pop” and the user might get electrocuted.
While the number of smartphones that catch fire has decreased dramatically, you should still be cautious. Swelling, a hissing sound, or popping are all symptoms that your battery is damaged and about to explode. Also, make sure you are using a first-party charger, avoid charging for long periods of time, and keep the phone away from water if it is not water-resistant. When the phone is really hot, do not charge it and put it under the pillow or anywhere near the head while it is charging.