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PACT's lithium-ion battery fire suppressant packaging passes firefighter tests

Lithium-ion fire suppressant packaging
PACT's Thermo Shield electronic battery wrap PACT

Firefighters gave a new electronic battery wrap the highest safety rating after a trial by fire. Testers at the Polk County Fire Central Station in Oregon, drove a nail through a lithium-ion battery cell wrapped in PACT Thermo Shield TR Sleeve to blow it up to prove the paper wrap would contain the fire. Packaging and Crating Technologies (PACT) created the specially-coated, fire-suppressant paper to prevent thermal runaway, a dangerous and difficult battery fire to extinguish.

"We conducted two tests in which we a punctured battery within a battery pack of (96) 18650 batteries charged to 100 percent in a sealed metal container," says Rodger Mort, president of PACT. "The cell exploded and blew the lid off the container instantly, but no other batteries went into thermal runaway thanks to our fire-suppressant wrap." 

The team at PACT flew across the U.S. for independent testing of its fire-suppressant product line. The technology aims to improve the transportation safety of lithium batteries that have become the world's preferred energy storage source, as well as comply with pending regulations.

Mort explains that PACT is developing a means for making lithium batteries safer and less susceptible to thermal runaway events which have resulted in numerous fires, injuries, and loss of life.

The United Nations Subcommittee on the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (UN TDG Subcommittee) has created a hazard-based classification system for lithium batteries that aims to incentivize the industry to design safer batteries. The UN TDG Subcommittee's new classification system will assign lithium batteries based on a safety scale of one to nine with nine being the most dangerous. As evidenced by this test, the use of the PACT TR Sleeve will prevent propagation regardless of cell size. The testing being proposed by the TDG Subcommittee is based on whether the cells comprising a battery pack will propagate from cell to cell. PACT's battery design solution will prevent cell-to-cell propagation resulting in safer battery packs such as those used in plug-in EVs.

Testers also ran the PACT Lion-X fire extinguisher through a battery of tests, putting out three e-bike battery blazes. Firefighters drove a nail into the fully charged batteries and once they exploded, the testers sprayed them with the pre-mixed, water-based solution that quenches lithium-ion fires upwards of 1,600 F until completely extinguished. 

"We appreciate the firefighters who put our materials to the test since they are the ones who have to battle these difficult fires," Mort adds. "Our product's ability to extinguish lithium battery fires and limit smoke is crucial for firefighter and public safety."

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