Lithium ion battery cells and small battery packs (8 to 10 cells) are in wide consumer use today. Superior capacity has driven the demand for these batteries in electronic devices such as laptops, power tools, cameras, and cell phones. In 2011, the Foundation conducted a hazard and use assessment of these batteries, with a focus on developing information to inform fire protection strategies in storage. Since that time, the Foundation has conducted a survey of storage practices and developed a multi-phase research strategy.
The objective of this program phase is to provide a comparative flammability characterization of common lithium ion batteries to standard commodities in storage.
Based on the previous hazard assessment, and the recently completed storage survey, the scope of this program will include three different battery types:
- 18650 format cylindrical lithium ion batteries
- Prismatic lithiumion batteries in polymer gel packs
- Packaged power tool rechargeable battery packs with cylindrical
The results will be analyzed in comparison with the flammability performance of standard commodities and, if appropriate, sprinkler protection criteria will be developed to inform NFPA 13.