cell phone blows up

Why Cell Phone Blows Up and How Can Prevent It?

The most common cause of a cell phone blast or explosion is a mobile battery burst. Let’s try to figure out what causes a battery to explode and burst a cell phone.

Why Does a Cell Phone Blow Up?

Lithium batteries are used in almost all mobile devices because they are the most energy-efficient.

In recent years, however, there have been several reports of cell phone blows up caused by battery rupture.

A few years ago, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 caught fire due to a faulty battery and had to be recalled from the market.

Xiaomi responded after a video of someone seeing fire on a Redmi phone went viral. They made the absurd claim that a ‘non-standard’ charger caused the phone to fire, without even confirming that their phone explodes.

The vast majority of cell phone explodes were caused by a mobile battery explosion, which was discovered in the vast majority of cases.

The explosion of lithium batteries is as old as lithium batteries themselves. The previous generation of lithium batteries was well conscious that charging them at higher voltages after they had reached full charge would cause them to heat up and ignite.

As a result, there were several phone blowing-up hazards in the early years because we did not use proper chargers.

Related: Does Fast Charging Kill Your Battery? Realities

The Truth About Battery Explosions

Modern Lithium-Ion batteries, such as those found in cell phones, have a large charge capacity and are thus quite explosive. As a result, a phone battery explosion might occur at any time if we handle the battery incorrectly.

A battery explosion can happen at any time if the conditions are right.

  • The heat generated by Li-Ion batteries starts the sequence of events that leads to a mobile phone explosion or mobile battery blast.
  • This could be caused by heat generated in the charging circuit or by the battery itself.
  • In addition to this heat, the battery generates heat through chemical activity, which may be transmitted to the electrolyte region.
  • Because of the high temperature, the electrolyte expands, causing the battery cover to explode. The battery temperature may be quite high while charging the phone, which is why phones are exploding while charging.
  • The heated liquid ejected is highly combustible, causing the environment around the battery to burn or melt, potentially resulting in a mobile phone blowing up. It can also be hazardous to the user’s health.

Safety Measures in Modern Batteries

If the connections to lithium batteries are shorted, they can catch fire and burn. To avoid the dangers of nonstandard chargers or unintended terminal line shorting, battery manufacturers began to include a small protective circuit within lithium batteries.

A similar protective circuit will be included in all lithium batteries, including smartphone batteries already on the market.

This protects the battery by preventing an external/internal short circuit as well as overcharging.

Separators, a type of insulator used between the positive and negative electrodes, are used to prevent short-circuiting of cell electrodes.

Related: 9 Bad cell phone battery symptoms to be addressed immediately

Other safety features of the batteries include, for example,

  • The circuit eliminates high-current spikes.
  • Because the electrolyte contains non-flammable components, the risk of a large phone explosion is reduced.
  • When the pressure in the battery exceeds a certain level, the device shuts down the circuit.
  • Thermal fuses are circuit breakers that trip when the temperature exceeds a safe level.
  • Excess gases generated within the battery can be vented through safety exhaust valves.

What Is the Source of the Fire in Batteries?

Why do batteries catch fire despite all of these safety precautions?

Is the issue with the charger or with the battery?

Here’s the role of the nefarious battery in action. The primary reason for this is that manufacturers are attempting to reduce weight and thickness by omitting critical safety features, which results in mechanical instability.

In some cases, however, the mobile phone blast was caused by battery electrodes shorting through low-quality chargers.

There is also a risk that the phone explodes while charging and speaking simultaneously.

Mobile phone batteries, including the Galaxy Note-7, Mi, and Oppo phones, have exploded due to mechanical instability of the batteries and a faulty separator that failed to withstand the internal short circuit.

cell phone blows up

We’ve already covered the primary cause of the mobile phone battery explosion. Numerous other causes can result in a battery explosion and the destruction of mobile phones, which are listed below.

1. The Phone Has Been Dropped Accidentally

When the phone falls, all we want to know is whether or not the display has been damaged. However, if it falls hard enough, the internal structure of the battery, as well as the electrode and electrolyte alignment, may be harmed.

A significant mechanical impact on batteries may also cause the battery’s protection circuit to malfunction or fail.

As a result, the cell may swell, distort, or overheat. When a phone is dropped from a great height, it is critical to check the battery.

It is a good idea to use a nice protective case with your phone, which will safeguard the phone to some extent if it falls from a height accidentally.

2. Overheating of a Mobile Phone

Even though almost all recent model smartphones have an automatic temperature-sensing shutdown feature, we should avoid the causes of overheating.

The phone should be used in a low-temperature environment.

Excessive gaming or other CPU-intensive programs, long phone conversations, and trying to connect to Wi-Fi or cellular network are all common causes of overheating in our daily lives.

Related: Life Span of Lithium batteries

When the battery is being charged, it already has a slight temperature rise. Keep the following factors in mind when charging a mobile phone.

  • The phone should be kept out of its case to allow for natural air circulation.
  • Keep the phone away from any other cover or bag.
  • Keep your phone away from heat, especially if you’re in a heated car.
  • Avoid placing the phone in direct sunlight.

In the same way that you should avoid using your phone in extreme heat, you should also avoid using it in extreme cold. It is important to avoid storing your phone in places like freezers.

3. Low-Quality Chargers or the Incorrect Charger

It’s worth noting that the phone’s charger meets the requirements for charging the specific battery. Replacing it will result in incorrect charging and further deterioration of the phone.

Always use a charger that has the recommended voltage and current specifications.

Once you have a charger, you must take care of your cables. Broken wires can cause charging troubles and possibly create a fire danger.

When handling your phone charger, or any cable that connects to your gadgets, there are a few recommended practices you should keep in mind.

Avoid overwrapping wires and remember to disconnect the charger from the actual plug rather than ripping it out of the cable.

If your present charger is frayed or seems to be melted, it’s time to replace it.

4. Punctured Battery

When exposed to water or oxygen, lithium becomes extremely reactive. As a result, a punctured battery will enable direct interaction of lithium with water/oxygen.

This could result in anything from minor gas emissions with an unpleasant odor to a full-fledged explosion.

5. Wet Phone Might Result in a Mobile Explosion

When lithium comes into contact with water, it ignites due to a chemical property, resulting in a cell phone blowing up. As we all know, modern phones are water-resistant, and a healthy battery case is also water-sealed.

This is not the case, however, when a low-cost phone is combined with a punctured battery. In any case, extreme caution should be exercised to avoid water entering the phone.

6. Low-Quality Phones

Even though current cell phones and batteries include the above-mentioned safety measures, there may be some exceptions. The majority of the time, well-known manufacturers try to incorporate safety features.

However, some local manufacturers are skipping these safety features to save money on production. They are attempting to reduce costs by incorporating low-quality electronic components and other parts.

These low-quality components may not be able to handle the regular load on the phone, causing the temperature within the phone cover to increase. This might cause a fire on the phone’s motherboard or battery, resulting in the entire cell phone blowing up.

So stay away from those kinds of low-cost low-quality phones.

7. Keep an Eye Out for Malware

Is your phone running slower than usual? Is your phone getting hot for no obvious reason? Are you constantly annoyed by pop-ups?

You may have been infected with malware. If your phone is infected with malware, the malicious software may consume all of your phone’s resources for operations such as crypto mining, which can overheat and damage the battery.

Because of the App Store’s restrictions, the iPhone is less vulnerable to malware.

Although the Google Play Store does not offer that level of security, numerous well-known antivirus vendors do provide antivirus software for Android as part of multi-device subscriptions.

In this category, we recommend Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Norton, and McAfee.

8. Properly Charge your phone

Most of the time, keep your phone charged between 30-80%. There’s no need to constantly require a fully charged battery.

We also recommend that you avoid fast charging overnight if possible. However, don’t be alarmed by the rapid charging.

It will take a few years for your battery to degrade naturally. You’ll be alright if you replace your phone every 2-3 years or such.

Related: Does Fast Charging Reduce Battery Life? Realities

The Signs That Your Cell Phone Is About to Explode

If you hear hissing or cracking sounds coming from the phone, or if you smell burning plastic or chemicals, it might be damaged and about to explode.  

Similarly, keep an eye out for excessive heat coming from the device, especially when it’s charging. If it’s burning hot to the touch, unplug it straight immediately.

Another key danger sign is a bulging battery, which can develop if it has been damaged or if internal components have degraded.

Any modifications to the design of your smartphone, such as a projecting screen, a wider gap, or a distended chassis, may cause the phone to no longer sit flat on a level surface.

Most new smartphones no longer enable you to remove the battery, so if you have any concerns about your device, switch it off and take it in for servicing as soon as possible.

When It Comes to Mobile Phone Batteries, Be Cautious

Keep in mind that you’re dealing with a gadget that can explode rapidly in severe circumstances. So try to stay away from situations that cause the battery to overheat and be safe.

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