1. What does SSTB mean? See our glossary of acronyms.
    Dismiss Notice

18650 Battery Safety

Discussion in 'Vapor Related Equipment' started by TheDudeNextDoor, Jun 13, 2015.

  1. djurodjakovic

    djurodjakovic Active Member

    Messages:
    54
    Location:
    EU
    OMG
    is this what happens mainly with battery knock-offs and bad quality bateries or improper usage, exposure to heat, etc., or is this something that can happen to any vape/battery on the market?
     
  2. KeroZen

    KeroZen Chronic vapaholic

    Messages:
    2,171
    Location:
    On Air
    Hard to tell, but often in these cases further investigation revealed that the user had something seriously wrong in his setup and/or usage.

    The modern IMR/INR high discharge cells that we use are way safer than previous generations and than other notoriously dangerous chemistries. But there are still risks of course.

    It must be noted that all big name cells are tested under extreme conditions (including direct prolonged shorts) and are all designed to "vent gracefully" instead of exploding and catching fire. But you can still create easily a pipe bomb if your device doesn't have enough vent holes in the proper locations (I could point the finger on the Herbstick Eco here for instance which has a meager single small diameter hole at the bottom of a closed metal tube, the X-Max/Storm being only marginally better as there are more holes but the positive side of the cell is opposite to them...)
     
  3. djurodjakovic

    djurodjakovic Active Member

    Messages:
    54
    Location:
    EU
    I think that my portable vape doesn't have any vent hole so that's a ticking bomb if the battery goes "bad" :-(.
    I'm using original battery afcours. I think it's LG or Samsung.
     
  4. TheDudeNextDoor

    TheDudeNextDoor Abiding

    Messages:
    1,281
    I can almost guarantee you that most if not all of these people were using a sub-ohm tank on a hybrid mod, which is asking for trouble big time. These batteries are quite safe if maintained properly and used correctly. As long as you know and follow the basic safety considerations of the device and batteries you're using and buy legitimate cells from reputable sellers, the chance of something exploding on you like this are slim to none.

    Good detailed explanation about the dangers of hybrid mods and why, specifically, they should never be used with sub-ohm tanks. Personally, I just wouldn't use them at all.
     
  5. nomadicsoul34

    nomadicsoul34 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    105
    Just to give some perspective. Its rare for this type of thing to happen.
    Im a firefighter with 16 years experience in 2 of the UKs busiest fire stations. I have seen one fire caused by a battery. It was a replacement/chinese copy dell laptop battery.
    Consider how many batteries are in all the homes in my cities that Ive served in.
    It must be many millions.
    Millions of batteries over 16 years and i can recall 1 confirmed battery fire.
    So i would say yes it happens but be sensible and be careful, have a smoke detector and youll be fine!
    Youre much more likely to suffer a kitchen fire caused by carelessness.
     
    Zow237 likes this.
  6. Adobewan

    Adobewan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    986
    Location:
    So Cal
    Aaaggggh!! You guys have me all concerned over my batteries now:)
    Any good caps for 18650s? Like the MFLB battery caps.
    I've Google'd it with no results. Plenty of cases though.
     
  7. NYC5IKH5jabi

    NYC5IKH5jabi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    261
    how dangerous is a puffco pen. can i one day hurt myself while taking a draw? im contemplating throwing away my pen.
     
  8. little maggie

    little maggie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,631
    I had no idea until this week that these batteries are so potentially dangerous. I've always just left my batteries on the charger until ready to use- days or sometimes weeks. Now I'm not even sure where to keep them between use- I don't have enough of those little plastic containers. I'd be so tempted to just switch to butane and desktop but between the tubo evic, zion and milaana it would be hard to give up batteries.
    We all should have this info.
     
    KeroZen likes this.
  9. pakalolo

    pakalolo RoboMod v4.0a (unstable) Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,538
    Location:
    Other side of your screen
    Keep them in a drawer, or a box, or just leave them on top of your desk like I do. Leaving them in the charger for more than a few hours isn't good for the batteries. Other than that, there's no reason to worry about storing them as long as there's no way they can accidentally discharge. They don't need special containers. They are no more dangerous to store than any other kind of battery. The potential for danger comes during charging or discharging, not from lying around. While 18650s should be treated with respect, the actual danger from them is not nearly as much as the hype would have you believe.
     
    vbeazy, SSVUN~YAH and KeroZen like this.
  10. muunch

    muunch hotboxing the cockpit

    Messages:
    1,142
    @Ratchett has them at his site. They work great but I actually prefer the plastic containers after buying both.

    @little maggie , said plastic containers are <$1.00 each and can be bought locally at any vaporizer shop, way worth it. I just put a piece of duct tape on a few, and those marked containers signify my drained batteries that need to be charged - fresh ones go in unmarked containers.
     
    Ratchett and SSVUN~YAH like this.
  11. KeroZen

    KeroZen Chronic vapaholic

    Messages:
    2,171
    Location:
    On Air
    You could replace "not" by "no longer" in your sentence. Earlier chemistries were definitely more dangerous but the IMR/INR and other relatively recent developments that we use are indeed way safer now.

    (cf. my previous remark about "vent gracefully" instead of catching fire)
     
    muunch and SSVUN~YAH like this.
  12. pakalolo

    pakalolo RoboMod v4.0a (unstable) Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,538
    Location:
    Other side of your screen
    You bring up a good reason to use some kind of container: battery management. Mine are numbered with a Sharpie, in pairs if for the Zion. I don't use containers to separate used from fully charged because I put depleted batteries on the charger as soon as I remove them from the device. If you can't do that, then plastic containers are a good idea.

    Agreed.
     
    muunch likes this.
  13. TheDudeNextDoor

    TheDudeNextDoor Abiding

    Messages:
    1,281
    These are my favorite 18650 cases for single battery storage. What I do is place them positive side up when charged and negative side up when discharged. Only .55 each through Illumn.

    [​IMG]
     
    Adobewan and KeroZen like this.
  14. Rise&Solo

    Rise&Solo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    52
    All of the info on safety and good practices is very welcome. But what about a situation where the vape maker says only use our batteries, but 'their' batteries turn out to be not particularly high quality generics anyone can buy from Ali baba by the thousands. I understand the real experts aren't ever going to say anything besides heed the vape makers warning, but the chances that this generic is actually engineered for that vape, or that vape is optimized around this generic battery, seem miniscule.

    How crazy would it be to just go ahead and use a high quality lg or Samsung battery, or one of the other name brands off of Mooch's chart?
     
    KeroZen likes this.
  15. KeroZen

    KeroZen Chronic vapaholic

    Messages:
    2,171
    Location:
    On Air
    Not crazy at all and actually something I would recommend: ditch the OEM rewraps and get the real deal! :tup:

    Especially anything with "fire" in the name...
     
    TheDudeNextDoor likes this.
  16. cybrguy

    cybrguy Patience Rewards

    Messages:
    4,392
    So, none of the reportedly custom batteries are anything other than rewaps of standard batteries? I can think of at least a couple vapes that imply that you should only get batteries from them. I suppose if your vape is very sensitive to voltage or output that might be a way to prevent problems...
     
  17. DDave

    DDave Vape Wizard Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    3,799
    Location:
    Judge the Vaper by the Vapor
    Hey FC,

    I know there's other threads dedicated to batteries, but upon searching within, didn't find any notes on offgassing. If I missed them, please direct me! (and Mods, please delete this thread if one already exists).

    Has it been discussed whether or not 18650s offgas under normal use, or if pushed to the extreme?

    I've researched a bit and found... "The gas released by a venting Li-ion cell is mainly carbon dioxide (CO2). Other gases that form through heating are vaporized electrolyte consisting of ethylene and/or propylene. Burning gases also include combustion products of organic solvents."

    Ethylene glycol is the major ingredient of almost all radiator fluid products in the United States. It is used to increase the boiling point and decrease the freezing point of radiator fluid, which circulates through the automotive radiator. These changes to the boiling and freezing points result from the colligative properties of the solute (ie, they depend on the number of particles in the solution). Hence, ethylene glycol is added to prevent the radiator from overheating or freezing, depending on the season.

    Initially, patients with ethylene glycol intoxication may be asymptomatic; with time they will develop altered mental status and dyspnea. The classic laboratory profile is an early osmolar gap that later transitions to an anion gap metabolic acidosis. Initial treatment includes infusion of crystalloids to enhance renal clearance of the toxic metabolites.

    Propylene glycol (often referred to as PG) is the third “product” in a chemical process beginning with propene, a byproduct of fossil fuel (oil refining and natural gas processing) and also found in nature as a byproduct of fermentation. Propene is converted to propylene oxide, a volatile compound used frequently in the creation process of polyurethane plastics (and to create propylene glycol). Propylene oxide is considered a “probable carcinogen.” Finally, through a hydrolyzation process (separating molecules by the addition of water), you get propylene glycol.

    It’s certainly less dangerous than, for example, ethylene glycol, a toxic chemical compound still used in many types of antifreeze and other household products. Ethylene glycol is considered poisonous and sometimes ingested (purposefully or by accident), requiring immediate medical attention. Because of its sweet taste, ethylene glycol in antifreeze has been responsible for the deaths of many household pets who would lap it up when it collected on the ground. When propylene glycol is used in antifreeze products in place of ethylene glycol, it’s considered “non-toxic antifreeze.”

    That doesn’t necessarily quell concerns, however. Many people are extremely concerned by the presence of an ingredient in antifreeze (one that’s used to deice airplanes, no less) in their food, which has sparked uproar in recent years, especially when three European countries pulled a popular alcoholic drink off the shelves for an illegal level of propylene glycol. (1) The mix-up apparently occurred when the company sent the North American formula instead of the European formula, which contains six times less propylene glycol.


    For me, safety has always ranked #1! So even on the chance that this could happen when only using cheap 18650s, I'm gonna pass. These batteries get somewhere between warm and hot during use. So, are they sitting in your vaporizer's air path? Does the plastic wrap, ink used in the label, or other substances on the outside of the battery bleed off into your air path? Not gonna chance it.

    How many of you use the highest quality batteries they can find? Or do you order yours by color, or off-brand best-priced cheapies? If your vape came with these batteries, do you think they were top quality or best cost for the vendor?

    Either way, something to think about, discuss, maybe even argue a bit!

    Off to have a session with a VapCap M... lean, mean and "CLEAN" machine!

    Let the games begin!
     
    KeroZen, Receptor, Morty and 2 others like this.
  18. DDave

    DDave Vape Wizard Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    3,799
    Location:
    Judge the Vaper by the Vapor
  19. WarpaintFree

    WarpaintFree Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    41
    If you want to go way down the rabbit hole on battery info, look for Mooch's Blog and the encyclopedia of related battery tests on the E-Cigarette Forum, or various posts by the same author on Reddit.
     
  20. DDave

    DDave Vape Wizard Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    3,799
    Location:
    Judge the Vaper by the Vapor
    That's exactly where I went and Mooch already replied on Reddit!
    Good info and I agree with what he says about the battery wrapper offgassing. Also about same from extreme pushing of these batteries. And I'd like to add my own input about some manufacturers rewrapping / rebranding cheaper batteries as their own. Not cool.
    I breath enough stuff in that I do not wish to already, so am going to lower my intake of any toxins where-ever possible.
     
    Receptor, Morty, Andreaerdna and 2 others like this.
  21. KeroZen

    KeroZen Chronic vapaholic

    Messages:
    2,171
    Location:
    On Air
    Hippie Dickie likes this.
  22. DDave

    DDave Vape Wizard Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    3,799
    Location:
    Judge the Vaper by the Vapor
    Count me out!

    Batteries are identified as “articles with no intended release of the substances they contain” therefore they do not require a specific Safety Data Sheet. Really? Cause I've seen a few of these explode in videos... :hmm:

    This warning is of concern! ==> Do not use the unit (battery) without its electronic management system! (Do unregulated 18650s have management systems?)

    [​IMG]

    ^^^^^^^ You know the salt in that electrolyte is acid!


    [​IMG]

    I gamble with various things in my life.... I buy lottery tickets. I hop in the carpool lane alone on occasion when an accident stops traffic on the freeway.
    I don't gamble with my health!

    Even if it's only "remotely possible" to run into any of the above substances by a quality battery that's slightly off, or a crappy battery relabeled as a quality battery that fails, it still means that someone's going to TAKE ONE and since this information is out there for anyone to find, they are not "taking one for the team"..... :doh:
     
    Alegre likes this.
  23. KeroZen

    KeroZen Chronic vapaholic

    Messages:
    2,171
    Location:
    On Air
    @DDave : while I appreciate that your brought this question to the discussion, I think you are over-reacting and should not be concerned too much.

    For one, we've been doing quite a good job at educating users on FC about the safety risks of these batteries, as well as preventing members from buying counterfeit items. We are present and active in all device threads where Li-Ions are used in non-internal form, sometimes repeating ourselves ad-nauseam... but it paid so far, and it's been worth it.

    If you buy your cells from reputed sources and they are from one of the 4 major manufacturers, then most of the problems should be avoided already.

    For sure your vape can still develop a short of some kind, but it's rarely out of the blue and would be most often after a severe shock/impact. Problems during charging are more frequent (hence the recommendation to never let them charge unattended) but you wouldn't be vaping when it happens.

    These cells vent only when they die, and it's usually so spectacular and frightening that the first reaction you would have would be to move the vape away from your face (I recommend to just throw the thing away without thinking twice!)

    Sure they release nasty stuff at that point, but trust me that is the least of your worries! The real danger is the possibility of explosion (especially with metal can holders and insufficient venting holes, perfect recipe to create a pipe bomb) and the risk of setting stuff ablaze and burning your room down to flames...

    To my knowledge they don't release anything under normal operating conditions, hence the "no intended release of the substances they contain" you cited above.
     
  24. DDave

    DDave Vape Wizard Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    3,799
    Location:
    Judge the Vaper by the Vapor
    No sweat and I'll close off pursuing further.

    Just thought it worthwhile to point out "possibilities" to a vaping community that has shown concern over much smaller possible health risks (ex. Small piece of mica used in a vaporizer heater, a smell of glue or manufacturing residue, or a bit of silicone used as a gasket in the airpath..).... The three examples I cited seem far less risky than a simmering can of chemicals, some pretty toxic.... for which it would be very difficult to identify a good quality piece vs a re-wrapped cheapie...

    My :2c:

    :peace:
     
    Abysmal Vapor and KeroZen like this.
  25. KeroZen

    KeroZen Chronic vapaholic

    Messages:
    2,171
    Location:
    On Air
    It was definitely worthwhile @DDave, and indeed I wouldn't want to inhale any of that nasty shit if it happened.

    It's just that it's the kind of event that you can't miss. I mean, I don't think you can get just a partial and gentle venting and inhale the fumes without noticing.

    When it's working it should be sealed, and if it's not then by all means the cell should be disposed off and recycled.
     
    Abysmal Vapor likes this.

Support FC, visit our trusted friends and sponsors