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Exploding button batteries
Old 02-24-2016, 05:48 PM   #1
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Exploding button batteries

Just passing on an experience with one of the small button/coin/hearing aid type batteries... in this case, a one and a half volt battery.

I have a small pill container where I keep stray small parts, Small screws, nuts and bolts, and assorted bits and pieces of metal that i use for repairs. As I had the contents spilled out on a table to look for a "right size" screw, there were several small button batteries that had been mixed in with the pieces. I didn't see, but heard a sharp "CRACK!" and sensed something going by my face. It was the base part of the small battery. The little tin cap was there on the table, bent. Apparently a small piece of metal or wire or something had crossed the positive and negative terminals. This must have heated the battery and caused this minor explosion.

It never occurred to me that this could happen, and especially with such a small low voltage battery. Not an explosion like a bullet, but certainly enough to injure an eye... In some ways more dangerous than the explosion of a much larger higher voltage battery. Lesson for me? Separate and keep small batteries in a safe place.
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Old 02-24-2016, 05:51 PM   #2
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I agree, you created a short circuit, and the battery overheated. This can happen with larger batteries as well, especially 9 volt type with the contacts on the same end.
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Old 02-24-2016, 07:33 PM   #3
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Interesting. With those button batteries, the +/- terminals are so very close, so it's easy to accidentally short them out.

I wouldn't have expected them to explode either (unless it was a lithium, but those are 3 V , not 1.5V.

It kinda reinforces a theory I hold - if something is very dangerous, it can be safe (because you know it's dangerous, so you take precautions). But something assumed to be safe (like a low voltage, small battery), can turn out to be dangerous.

-ERD50
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Old 02-25-2016, 07:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post

It kinda reinforces a theory I hold - if something is very dangerous, it can be safe (because you know it's dangerous, so you take precautions). But something assumed to be safe (like a low voltage, small battery), can turn out to be dangerous.

-ERD50
+1 I would never have thought about this problem. When I read the title of the thread I thought I was going to read of a spontaneous explosion in a user's ear -- that would have been truly scary.
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