Lithium-ion batteries: Innovative protective textile brings fires under control

Excellent cooperation between KIT and medium-sized companies makes handling batteries safer

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Burned out: KIT researchers, together with Planex GmbH, have developed a protective textile that can effectively fight battery fires. (Photo: justoomm - stock.adobe.com)

Burned out: KIT researchers, together with Planex GmbH, have developed a protective textile that can effectively fight battery fires. (Photo: justoomm - stock.adobe.com)

From smartphones to electric vehicles - lithium-ion batteries are ubiquitous. Less well known are the dangers posed by a fire in such energy storage systems. The resulting smoke gases, for example, are acutely hazardous to health, especially hydrofluoric acid. A protective textile developed by the Research Center for Fire Protection Technology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) together with Planex GmbH in Ludwigshafen opens up new options for fire fighting .

This protective textile is pulled over a small inflamed device like a bag. The gas-permeable layers of the bag prevent the flame from escaping, and a core made of mineral earth binds the poisonous smoke. If necessary, the bag can also be unfolded as a blanket. In the XXL version, this completely covers e-vehicles whose batteries can no longer be erased.

“From more than 50 textiles and absorber materials, we used our test rigs to identify those that best meet the requirements,” report the heads of the research center, Dietmar Schelb and Ilian Dinkov. Series of tests with the protective textile configured in this way showed that up to 97 percent of the smoke gases are retained. Fire brigades, airlines, car park operators and car manufacturers are very interested in this. The two-year cooperation was funded by the Central Innovation Program for SMEs of the Federal Ministry of Economics and recognized as a "successful example".

More about Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

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KIT is one of the biggest research and education institutions worldwide and has the potential of reaching a top position in selected research areas on an international level. The objective is to turn KIT into an institution of top research, excellent scientific education, and a prominent location ... learn more

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