BATTERY DANGERS

Batteries, Chargers, and Battery Management Systems.
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safe   100 GW

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BATTERY DANGERS

Post by safe » Dec 28 2007 1:46pm

BATTERY DANGERS

Just for the heck of it I decided to take a regular "D" cell battery apart so that I could look inside. It wasn't a rechargeable cell so nothing too exciting as far as technology, but I did want to get into it.

In the process of popping the top cap off of the cell the small spot welds gave way and a small hole opened up. Either the cell was under pressure or the action of popping it off somehow shook the battery and forced this (I'm not sure how) but what happened is that a focused jet of battery acid shot out of the cell and straight into my left eye from about a foot away.

I raced into the house and flushed my eye, but most of the damage had been done. Fortunately I closed my eye really fast and most of the acid got onto my eyelid and not inside, but it's been about three days and the pain and swelling is still going down. My eyelid actually had blistered skin. :shock:

So this is just ONE of the dangers of batteries.

:arrow: Can you list others?

(shocks being the obvious threat)

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TylerDurden   100 GW

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Re: BATTERY DANGERS

Post by TylerDurden » Dec 28 2007 2:03pm

Do not puncture.
Do not incinerate.
Do not eat.
Do not drop.
Do not crush.
Read manual.
Keep battery dry.
Do not overcharge.
Do not overdischarge.
Keep battery terminals clean.
Acid may cause serious burns.
Do not connect positive and negative.
Do not dispose of in garbage (recycle).
Keep away from pets and children.
Wear ANSI-approved safety goggles and gloves during use.
Battery may cause injury or explode if disassembled or exposed to fire.
Use only reccomended battery charger.
Have a Nice Day,

TD

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Ypedal   100 GW

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Re: BATTERY DANGERS

Post by Ypedal » Dec 28 2007 2:30pm

:shock: ouch...

Eye protection should always be worn during experients like this ( and before i get crusified for suggesting it.. yes.. i am also guilty of not wearing protection before i do things like this as well :mrgreen: )

I might suggest dead-shorting any cell for a while before doing open heart surgery.. kill off some energy lol...

But daym.. that could have suckethed even more than it did !!!
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safe   100 GW

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Re: BATTERY DANGERS

Post by safe » Dec 28 2007 2:39pm

My vision is fine... most of the acid hit my eyelid which swelled up and blistered. The first night was sheer pain all night long. (good for the soul I guess... :twisted: ) Had more of it gotten into my eye nearer to my visual areas it might have caused some serious and permanent damage. I really got lucky. :shock:

I figured that there would be caustic acid inside, but I didn't anticipate that it would be like popping the top off of a coke can which had been shaken up a little. There was a jet of acid that shot out and this happened in an instant because the spot welds broke and the cap flew off all at once. So it all happened very fast... it wasn't like I had my eye right over it either, I was a full foot away trying to be somewhat careful.

What I learned is that the cells are all made of metal and so if the plastic protective layer gets scratched off and comes into contact with something metal it will short out. So it's making me more inclined to want to build any sort of pack so that the cells themselves are surrounded by something plastic or insulating. All it takes is one small scratch on the outside of the cell and you might get a short. :(

I had figured there was a larger margin of error, but apparently there isn't.


:arrow: So on the positive this had taught me that the design of a pack should make an effort to isolate the cells from any potential threat of penetration from the mounting system. Even simple things like vibration could break the thin plastic seal and create a short. I would not be surprised if some packs die because of a very small break in the surface of a cell. (even if they are inside a shrink wrap) The idea of using PVC tubes or acrylic flat plates seems the better way to deal with this because they are stronger than a thin shrinkwrap. If using a flat acrylic plate design you would want to insert little spacers in between the rows to protect from side to side contact.
Last edited by safe on Dec 28 2007 2:50pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: BATTERY DANGERS

Post by deardancer3 » Dec 28 2007 2:43pm

Add: when working on batteries, remove all metal and jewelry, make sure you are working on a non- conductive surface.

And no smoking.
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Lessss   10 MW

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Re: BATTERY DANGERS

Post by Lessss » Dec 28 2007 2:54pm

Safe, that was not very - - -safe.
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What no digital camera documentation? 'cause that diserves a dancing chicken!
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Perhaps a chart. Pain vs embarrasment.

You are going to have some interesting scarring. I wonder what effect it'll have on women when you wink at them?
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safe   100 GW

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Re: BATTERY DANGERS

Post by safe » Dec 28 2007 3:40pm

Lessss wrote:I wonder what effect it'll have on women when you wink at them?
It's not going to leave anything permanent. And at nearly 47 years old and gray hairs the women don't pay much attention anyway so it really wouldn't matter too much. (it'll just blend in with the other wrinkles :lol: )

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Re: BATTERY DANGERS

Post by fechter » Dec 28 2007 5:14pm

If it was an alkaline battery, they're full of potassium hydroxide (opposite of acid). Same as lye.
That stuff is particularly corrosive to eyes. It can eat through the outer layer of your eyeball in seconds. Really nasty stuff. Not too bad on clothes or skin if washed quickly.

If you put a drop of it on a piece of aluminum foil, it will sizzle and eat a hole through quickly. That reaction gives off hydrogen, which is explosive. As a kid I learned how to get more bang for the buck.

Next time, wear safety glasses, eh?
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safe   100 GW

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Re: BATTERY DANGERS

Post by safe » Dec 28 2007 5:47pm

fechter wrote:Not too bad on clothes or skin if washed quickly.
Yeah I noticed that... it has no effect on your fingers, but on softer skin like your eyelid it goes right to work on it.

:arrow: It was a bad, bad, bad mistake and I'll never do it again. (I feel I got VERY lucky not to lose my eyeball)

I just never imagined the stuff was going to shoot out like that... it was like it was under pressure.

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Re: BATTERY DANGERS

Post by Link » Dec 28 2007 6:17pm

Damn! You got owned :shock:!

I wonder what happened. I've hacked up loads of alkalines for their electrodes and that's never happened to me! Granted I made sure to dead short the cells for a good half hour first, and they were dead to begin with. And I didn't try to pop the top off. I hacksawed mine.

Still, it'd be good to know what you did. I wonder if I can replicate what happened :twisted:...
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TylerDurden   100 GW

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Re: BATTERY DANGERS

Post by TylerDurden » Dec 28 2007 6:42pm

Link wrote: I've hacked up loads of alkalines for their electrodes and that's never happened to me!
In case you other folks are curious, you do not have to try this yourselves:
http://godlovesmeat.com/spatulatzar/alkaline_battery/

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Re: BATTERY DANGERS

Post by vanilla ice » Jan 02 2008 1:07am

Goggles. Gloves. Never hurts to have them. I was torching and scooping the controller out of a koll back plate when one of the caps let loose some steam or or something towards my face. Luckily it didn't get me, but if I were smarter I would have had on goggle and gloves.

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Re: BATTERY DANGERS

Post by magudaman » Jan 02 2008 3:16am

Similar capacitor story: I had a dc-dc converters that wasn't working and I could hear what I thought was some arcing, I put my ear down to the PC board to listen and BOOOOM!!! A capacitor exploded right into my ear and side of my face. I wash down with water for a good 15 minutes and turned out to be okay. But just goes to show you can get lucky sometimes but just learn from your experiences.
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Re: BATTERY DANGERS

Post by ngocthach1130 » Jan 02 2008 3:28am

Hahaha i had something similar happened to me involving capacitor. I was in one of my engineering lab class when our project wasn't turning out well. I decided to play around with a small capacitor someone left behind. Cranked the power supply to max voltage (30) and max amperage (5). Then alligator clipped the 2 side of the capacitor. Got a call from my partner about the lab so i left it unattended. Heard some hissing sound so i picked it up just as it exploded in my face in a big ball of fire. The insulation caught fire and i was fine. I was lucky i didn't get kickout or failed the class haahaha.

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Re: BATTERY DANGERS

Post by monster » Jan 04 2008 5:21pm

why are people taking batteries apart? can we make a bigger battery our selves? -cos that would be cool. or recycle dead cells?

is any of this possible? i want a DIY 40AH NiMH battery

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Re: BATTERY DANGERS

Post by Jay64 » Jan 04 2008 7:26pm

:shock: I would go for the full face shield next time with the goggles.
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Re: BATTERY DANGERS

Post by Link » Jan 07 2008 6:32pm

monster wrote:why are people taking batteries apart?
Uh, actually, I have no idea why I was taking them apart. My inner pack-rat must have got the best of me.
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Re: BATTERY DANGERS

Post by Lessss » Jan 07 2008 7:33pm

I predict that the next move of the oil industry with their next super spike in gas prices this summer will be to extoll the DANGERS of batteries in electric vehicles. How they are a danger to the fire department at crash sites, how they can burn down your house etc.. etc.. etc..

I predict that FOX news will be the spearhead channel for these stories.

Of couse all cars have batteries, EVs just have more and higher voltages. Any emergency response team worth it's salt will have proper training on how to deal with EV crashes.
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Re: BATTERY DANGERS

Post by tailwind » Jan 08 2008 2:59am

Came across a three car collision a couple of weeks ago. Decided to lend a hand with some firstaid. Fortunately nobody badly hurt. The first thing the fire brigade did was disconnect and physically remove the batteries from two of the vehicles.
In Australia electric vehicles like the Prius and Insight have a green hybrid sticker on the number plate. LPG cars have a red LPG sticker to warn the emergency personnel.
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Re: BATTERY DANGERS

Post by ngocthach1130 » Jan 08 2008 3:10am

Wow i have never thought about that. Sound interesting and pretty logical too. If an electric car get into an accident and caught fire, the fire fighter can't just douse it with water. Some of these car run on 200V. Yike can't imagine being a firefighter who try to pull you out and ended up being electricuted.

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