Samsung previously stated that its initial findings point to a production error on the plates within the Galaxy Note 7 battery cells, making it possible for both opposite poles to make contact, which then leads to excessive heat and, ultimately, to the phone catching fire or exploding. Samsung’s statement to Korean authorities may have given the general picture on what’s causing some handsets to explode, but here’s another explanation behind the controversial batteries.
As it turns out, even without the production error, Lithium-ion batteries — like the ones found in Galaxy Note 7 devices — are very much prone to bursting into flames. CNET says that the reason behind this is the fact that the liquid inside the batteries is quite flammable, such that when the battery pack short-circuits, it can explode.
The tech site’s explanation also coincides with Samsung’s statement, because according to the former when the very thin plastic sheet that separates the two poles within the battery is punctured, the liquid electrolyte violently heats up when both charges come into contact, causing the device to burst into flames.
Despite having this disadvantage, however, many companies turn to Lithium-ion batteries due to its many advantages that outweigh its risks. HowStuffWorks says this type of battery is lighter and the highly reactive Lithium is what makes it capable of storing lots of energy. Furthermore, the site states that Lithium-ion batteries do not have memory effect, so there isn’t a need to totally discharge its energy before recharging. Finally, aside from the fact that it loses only around 5 percent of its charge per month, this type of battery can handle hundreds of charge and discharge cycles.
Lithium-ion batteries are also found to have very little probability of bursting into flames, with CNET pointing out that the defect in Galaxy Note 7 batteries only account for 0.01 percent of all handsets sold. In fact, when Samsung announced its global recall, there had only been 35 reported incidents of overheating devices, while the South Korea tech giant has manufactured 2.5 million Not 7 handsets.
For now, as Samsung tries to contain the situation, the company is said to be releasing an update that provides a temporary fix to problematic batteries, while Galaxy Note 7 owners are still holding on to their devices amid the global recall program that aims to provide replacements. The update restricts Note 7 devices from charging over 60 percent of their total capacity to prevent batteries from overheating, according to CNN Money.
However, there is no word yet if the tech giant is planning to release the update, which is going to be available in its homeland, to other countries including the U.S.