lithium-ion batteries

Business
4:04 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

How do engineers safely test potentially-explosive batteries?

NTSB Materials Engineer Matt Fox examines the casing from the battery involved in the JAL Boeing 787 fire incident in Boston.
NTSB

Boeing will soon start testing its redesigned Dreamliner battery. Battery experts say that means engineers will have to experiment with flammable lithium-ion batteries to see if, well, they explode. 

Engineers subject the batteries to something called safety abuse testing — crushing them, sticking nails in them — to see what happens.

So how do engineers manage to stay safe? 

The trick, according to battery expert Dan Doughty, is to not get too close.

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