New film wrap puts a damper on lithium-ion battery fire risks

We are all used to struggling to get into those little blister packs containing AAA batteries for our TV remote and most kids toys, or pondering why the shrink-wrapped battery pack contains 3 of them when we only want to buy two! But the advent of the lithium-ion battery has brought a whole new set of issues to think about. Remember the famous story of a major mobile phone brand’s latest model self-combusting?

Well now Toppan Printing, an AIPIA member providing integrated solutions in the fields of printing, communications, security, packaging, décor materials and electronics, has developed a fire extinguishing film wrap  that responds to heat by emitting aerosol particles.

The new film is an addition to Toppan’s “SMART LIFE-VALUE Packaging” line-up, which is part of the recently launched “TOPPAN S-VALUE Packaging” range. It will be on sale from February 2021 and will be targeted at manufacturers of batteries and electrical appliances.

With applications for rechargeable batteries expanding to such fields as mobile devices and mobility, lithium-ion batteries are becoming more widely used and can offer higher power levels. However, this increases the risk of fire-related accidents, not only during use but also after disposal.

Toppan has combined its advanced coating technologies and transparent vapor-deposited GL BARRIER film with a fire extinguishing agent from Yamato Protec Corporation to produce an adhesive film that it says has “outstanding” long-term durability and workability.

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The company reports that its film is effective in extinguishing fires at an early stage or preventing their spread in the event of equipment problems and short circuits.

Potential applications include attachment to the inside of lithium-ion battery cases, switchboards, outlet covers, or waste containers at public facilities. The film apparently uses no substances that pose a risk to humans or the environment and produces no harmful gases when it is activated.

The solution works by filling an enclosed space with fire extinguishing aerosol particles in response to the heat generated by a fire. The aerosol particles extinguish the fire through negative catalysis.

“This film enables greater fire safety without any negative impact on people or the environment,” said Yoshimitsu Anamizu, managing executive officer of Toppan’s living and industry division. “We intend to develop more products based on this technology to contribute to accident and disaster prevention and a safer, more sustainable society for everyone.”

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