Firefighters gave a new electronic battery wrap the highest safety rating after a true trial-by-fire. Specifically, testers at the Polk County Fire Central Station in Oregon, drove a nail through a lithium-ion battery cell wrapped in PACT® Thermo ShieldTM TR SleeveTM to blow it up to prove the paper wrap would contain the fire. Packaging and Crating Technologies (PACT®) created the specially-coated, fire-suppressant paper to prevent thermal runaway, a dangerous and difficult battery fire to extinguish.
“We conducted two tests in which we a punctured battery within a battery pack of (96) 18650 batteries charged to 100% in a sealed metal container,” says Rodger Mort, President of PACT®, LLC. “The cell exploded and blew the lid off the container instantly, but no other batteries went into thermal runaway thanks to our fire-suppressant wrap.”
Mort and his product development team from the Watertown, Connecticut manufacturer flew across the country for independent testing of its patented, fire-suppressant product line on October 9, 2023 to improve transportation safety of lithium batteries that have become the world’s preferred energy storage source, as well as comply with pending regulations.
“Mort explains that Packaging and Crating Technologies (PACT) is developing a means for making lithium batteries safer and less susceptible to thermal runaway events which have resulted in numerous fires, injuries and loss of life. Consistent with the work of the United Nations Subcommittee on the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (UN TDG Sub-Committee – Dangerous Goods | UNECE) to create a hazard based classification system for lithium batteries and incentivize industry to design safer batteries, PACT has a solution to improve battery design. The UN TDG Sub-Committee’s new classification system will assign lithium batteries based on a safety scale of 1 to 9 with 9 being the most dangerous. As evidenced from this test, the use of the PACT TR Sleeve will prevent propagation regardless of cell size. The testing being proposed by the TDG Sub-Committee is based on whether the cells comprising a battery pack will propagate from cell to cell. PACT’s battery design solution will prevent cell to cell propagation resulting in safer battery packs such as those used in plug in EVs.
“We are committed to leading innovation in the industry for battery safety, and welcome the new measures,” says Mort. “With lithium batteries powering everything from cell phones and laptops to electric cars and buses, the need for safety regulations is crucial.”
Testers also ran the PACT Lion-X fire extinguisher through a battery of tests, putting out three e-bike battery blazes. Firefighters drove a nail into the fully charged batteries and once they exploded, the testers sprayed them with the pre-mixed, water-based solution that quenches lithium-ion fires upwards of 1,600 F degrees until completely extinguished.
“We appreciate the firefighters who put our materials to the test, since they are the ones who have to battle these difficult fires,” Mort adds. “Our product’s ability to extinguish lithium battery fires and limit smoke is crucial for firefighter and public safety.”