Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was slated to be a smashing success with its Aug. 19, 2016, release. Some 200,000 phones were sold during the first two days of pre-orders, which doubled the record-setting Galaxy S7 that had been released five months prior. The record sales were a great sign for Samsung, which is in the middle of a battle for smartphone supremacy with Apple.
The projections for the Galaxy were correct, and more than 2.5 million phones were sold. Apple immediately had a lot of catching up to do. But at a moment’s notice, everything changed. Reports surfaced that some of the new Galaxy phones were bursting into flames.
The explosions sparked from the battery and caught many Galaxy users off guard. It wasn't just that the phones were catching fire, but also that the flames were spreading quickly from the phone to surrounding property. Reports of personal and property damage began to trickle in. Flames caused one smartphone owner’s Jeep to burn faster than a marshmallow. In Australia, a phone caught fire in a hotel room and caused $1,300 worth of damage.
So many reports of exploding phones came out that Samsung had to issue a recall and offer to replace every single one of the 2.5 million units already sold. The phone has been permanently removed from the market.
Samsung isn’t the first company to experience issues with batteries exploding into violent flames – it’s just the latest. Lithium batteries are built to store energy efficiently and then release it through controlled chemical reactions. That’s if all goes according to plan.
Uncontrolled, a chain reaction can go in an entirely different direction. The results can be an explosion or fire that occurs when the product overheats, is made with faulty parts or experiences chemical instability. Once a fire starts, it quickly spreads, leaving a trail of melted plastic in its wake.
Brand owners must be prepared for an uncontrolled chain reaction when working with electronics. Since the potential for fire is not always preventable, it’s important to limit the plastic parts’ ability to burn. Slowing the burn rate and decreasing the spread of flames can give a consumer time to extinguish the flames and prevent the fire from spreading.
FlamaSol is available as a flame-retardant compound or concentrate, and is used in applications where flammability or ignition is a concern. Brand owners can have flame retardants added to their electronics to help decrease the possibility of ignition, burn rate, flame spread, fuel contribution and intensity of burning. Evaluation by an independent third party is often the best way to ensure the flame retardant is capable of meeting expectations. FlamaSol can be formulated to meet or exceed the standards set by independent agencies, including UL 94.
FlamaSol helps create flame retardant plastic and is the best call for any electronic device designed with PP, PE, Nylon or PET – whether just the additive masterbatch or color and flame retardant package. If you would like to speak to a representative about how FlamaSol can specifically benefit the plastics for your electronics, contact Plastics Color today.