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Smartphones: why do they crack mobiles? Will it burst mine?

We have heard too many times about sudden smartphone explosions. Of course, if these news always impress, these accidents are extremely rare, but also difficult to understand.

Why do smartphones explode? How can I know that my phone will not explode?

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A customer inspects a new iPhone 7 plus smartphone inside Apple Inc. Covent Garden store in London, UK, on ​​Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. Consumers buying Apple Inc.'s new iPhone 7 smartphones are not so grumbling about the lack of a headphone jack. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Every time a lithium-ion battery explodes or gets fire, there is a process called heat escape from the thermal runaway. This process may be a little difficult to understand, so we will try to explain it simply without scientific terminology.

Lithium-ion batteries contain lithium-ion cells. Each of these hives also has a critical temperature - think of it as a crucial boiling point.

When a critical cell temperature is reached (due to external heat, overload, damage or poor manufacturing), it enters into exothermic breakdown. Basically, the cell itself starts releasing very high heat.

This initiates the thermal escape process. Once a cell enters into exothermic decay and releases heat, its neighboring cells will also raise their own critical temperatures. Depending on the speed of this process, a battery could burn "quietly", catch fire or create a small explosion.

Now that we understand the process of thermal leakage, it is much easier to track how, when, and why smartphones (or other Li-ion devices) explode.

Do not leave your phone in the car

If you live in a snowy area, you may know that car batteries work better when they are a little warm - say at 26 ℃. You may also know that too high heat can ruin a battery, along with other accessories in a car. The same applies to the batteries in the phone.

When a lithium-ion battery is at high temperature (in a car), its cells may be unsteady.

They may not exhibit exothermic breakdown, but they can suffer permanent damages that produce slowness, produce gases (!) Such as oxygen and carbon dioxide. These gases can cause the battery to bulge (as a balloon), which creates pressure (an energy that can cause an explosion) or spoils the battery structure.

Of course, this process can be accelerated if a battery is charged Li-ion while being at a high outdoor temperature. That is why most phones will stop the charging process or automatically turn off when it's too hot.

Let's say that your phone will probably not explode if you forget it in a hot car for a day. Pressure build-up can lead to thermal leakage, but it usually causes mechanical damage to the battery before it explodes. In addition, lithium-ion telephones and batteries incorporate certain security features that prevent a problem from being magnified by disabling the device.

Use reliable or certified charging devices

In general, each charger can charge your device. An old or cheap micro-USB cable can charge newer phones and a new charger works with old devices.

However, you should use reliable chargers or chargers certified by your phone manufacturer.

Cheap or non-certified chargers (especially wireless chargers) can produce excessive heat and damage the battery of a phone. Typically, this damage leads to "bubbles" in your phone's battery. Again, however, the damage can be dealt with by the phone itself before an explosion occurs.

So do not worry, a cheap charger will not "overload" your phone (although this can undoubtedly cause an explosion). Smartphones have built-in voltage limiters to prevent overcharging or charging that is "too fast" and can not handle a battery.

Using a good charger for your phone will save you from adventures.

Do not bend your phone

When a lithium-ion battery is physically damaged, it may short-circuit, create gas or explode on the spot. Unless you separate your phone or break it for fun, this is not an issue to worry about. When you drop a phone, important parts such as the screen will usually break before the battery fails.

Why is this happening; Well, lithium-ion batteries contain a thin sheet of lithium and a thin sheet of oxygen. An electrolyte solution separates these two sheets. When this solution breaks or pierces, the layers of lithium and oxygen react, which causes exothermic breakdown and thermal leakage.

In some cases, this can happen when replacing a phone's battery. Poor installation or bending of a Li-ion battery can cause mechanical damage or fire (either immediately or over time). Recently, a woman's iPhone fell off when replacing the battery in an unofficial repair shop.

Also, do not worry about smartphone batteries for plaque. You can avoid an explosion, but you can not save the toxic gas released by a lithium-ion battery that burns or smokes.

Most phone blasts are due to poor construction

Although an explosion is always dangerous, batteries, rarely cause fires or explosions.

Lithium-ion batteries, however, contain lithium, an incredibly unstable metal. This instability is great for storing and transporting electricity, but it can be devastating if mixed with other unsuitable metals. Unfortunately, lithium-ion batteries should also contain nickel, cobalt and graphite.

Poor assembly may cause problems. Like a car, lithium-ion batteries are made up of several pieces and a bad fit can cause great problems. Friction generates heat, and can cause short circuits and other mechanical problems in a very short time.

Relax, your phone will probably not explode

During the explosions of Galaxy Note 7, explosions at 90 to 100 Notes 7. This is less than the 1% of 2,5 million Note 7 sold by Samsung in stores. Certainly, Samsung's global recall probably helped but it is clear that phone blasts are extremely rare.

Having said that, you should beware of explosive smartphones. Avoid buying phones that are new and untested and do a quick Google search for any "explosive news" before you get a new device.

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