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Battery swelling question

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#1
Because I saw a thing that puzzled me:

I had an old phone (Sony Ericsson T100) stored for 4 years more or less in a drawer, in a perfectly working state, nobody touched it since, and when I come to it I saw the phone almost destroyed, due the battery (Li-ion), that it was inside, was very swollen but not exploded or anything.

How is it possible a battery to swell if it was resting during that time?????????????? after seeing this, I am now charging a very old laptop that was resting too without any use with its battery inside but it seems fine.

Many thanks!

EDIT: Here are some pics of the battery


 
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temp02

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#2
Funny thing, I also let a couple of batteries from my previous phone, Ericsson R600, die as a result of not being used used for longer than a month. My guess is that the phone completely dried the batteries charge and then the small amount of humidity naturally existing on air ruined it.
 

brandonwh64

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#4
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#5
Many thanks,that article points to overcharging but mine wasn't, it was resting without any use during that time, that's what shocked me

Is that because batteries *need* to be used or something?
batteries may also swell due to heat. what was the storage temps?
also, store batteries with 30 - 40% of charge, and make sure you remove / disconnect them from the device.
 
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#6
batteries may also swell due to heat. what was the storage temps?
also, store batteries with 30 - 40% of charge, and make sure you remove / disconnect them from the device.
Thanks, the battery was at room temperature, inside of the phone, as of the charge, I do not remember exactly as it was 4 years ago more or less.
 

cadaveca

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#7
Leaving batteries installed is where things went wrong. If storing electronics for any lengthy period of time, abtteries should all be removed, no matter the device. I pull CMOS batteries from the boards I review before putting them into storage, even.

Ben Crutz here has the right advice.
 
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#8
The responses given are just a few of the many correct answers it could be.
What you are seeing is the result of the cause.
And, the results could have been be worse.
Those wonderful devices that supply power for your devices could be hazardous to you.

This final report from the National Fire Protection Association's web site, "Lithium-Ion Batteries Hazard and Use Assessment", covers many types of li-ion batteries and is a wealth of info on them.
you may want to read the section "Cell and Battery Failure Modes - Non-Energetic Failures" on page 62.

Quote from that section:
An increase of internal pressure within prismatic or pouch cells will cause swelling.
Swelling can be caused by a variety of non-ideal chemical reactions including: overcharge, elevated temperature aging, and moisture intrusion.
Cell swelling can ameliorate some failure modes making it less likely that a cell enters thermal runaway, but it can also result in enhanced cell leakage rates.
Swelling commonly results in damage to battery pack enclosures.
 
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#9
I also pull batteries from anything that is going to be stored for any length of time.
 
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#10
Many thanks to all specially 95Viper for the very helpful and interesting report :)