Sunday, January 8, 2017

Are You At Risk with Lithium Ion Batteries?

Consumers were shocked after finding out that the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was overheating and catching fire. This news was a major revelation for the tech world as well as for the promotional products industry. Item that include lithium ion batteries like rechargeable power packs are widely used among distributors but are now under serious examination because of the potential hazards they can cause.

What is a lithium ion battery?
·         Positive electrode- Lithium iron phosphate
·         Electrolyte (Flammable)
·         Negative electrode- Carbon (graphite)

What does this mean? In layman’s terms, lithium ion batteries are considered high energy density, meaning the cells within the battery are pressurized. If one of the cells becomes thermally unstable, this can create a domino effect causing all other cells to become overheated. These cells contain the flammable electrolyte and if tampered with or exposed to high heat, can cause battery failure or an explosion.

Consumers should be aware that most of these products are imported into the U.S from Hong Kong, so the products are not held to the highest standard as other countries may be. Per Rick Brenner, former CEO of Prime Line, states that some factories adhere to the UL regulations and perform proper testing but believes that many factories out of China do not adhere. Promotional Partners makes sure to provide clients peace of mind by partnering with supplier that perform rigorous testing such as: Prime Line, Leeds and Hirsch Gift- our “go to” sources for technology items.

Starting January 1, 2017, new regulations will be enforced in regards to shipping multi-cell power packs. They are now considered a battery rather than “equipment in a battery.” Products that contain lithium ion batteries do come at a risk but providing customers with a useful product is profitable all around. Keep in mind the potential hazards and safety standards involved in choosing power packs that contain a lithium ion battery.

Promotional Partners stays on top of safety for our clients!

                                                            Sara Adam- Promotional Partners Team Member

Source PPAI and ASI Publications