Customers mustn’t purchase or use particular person 18650 lithium-ion battery cells because of attainable hearth danger, in response to a warning simply issued by the Client Product Security Fee (CPSC). The fee says it’s working with e-commerce websites like eBay to take away listings of free 18650 cells, that are generally utilized in vapes, e-cigarettes, flashlights, and toys.
“[T]hese battery cells might have uncovered steel optimistic and destructive terminals that may short-circuit once they come into contact with steel objects, resembling keys or free change in a pocket,” the company wrote Friday. “As soon as shorted, free cells can overheat and expertise thermal runaway, igniting the cell’s inner supplies and forcibly expelling burning contents, leading to fires, explosions, critical accidents and even loss of life.”
Accidents associated to exploding 18650 cells have been documented for a number of years now, however the frequency appears to have elevated together with their availability on websites like Amazon or from wholesale retailers.
One of many firms that makes 18650 cells, LG Chem, requested distributors of e-cigarette tools in a late 2018 letter to cease promoting them, warning that “[i]ndividual client use and dealing with” that would “result in extreme burns and disfigurement,” in accordance to a report in The Atlantic. Samsung and Sony additionally warn shoppers in opposition to utilizing the cells.
18650 cells are sometimes utilized in extra heavy-duty business settings, and even energy Tesla’s Mannequin X and Mannequin S automobiles — although the CPSC acknowledges that’s nice, because it’s their supposed use. That stated, there’s a small however rising DIY group arising round constructing custom battery packs for e-bikes and even electric cars utilizing 18650 cells purchased on the web.