Samsung identifies battery failures in Galaxy Note 7

January 23, 2017 // By Nick Flaherty
Two types of battery failure were responsible for overheating batteries in Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 smartphone according to a report released today.

The independent investigation by test houses TUV Rhineland and UL identified short circuits in the battery packs rather than problems with the charging hardware or software algorithms.

Samsung voluntarily recalled its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones after a series of battery fires in 2016. This was followed by an official recall in the US, and the phones were remotely restricted on the amount of charge they would hold.

The batteries came from two suppliers: Samsung subsidiary SDI and Amperex Technology, a Hong Kong-based subsidiary of TDK. The failures identified in one battery saw the negative electrodes being too long and bending, increasing the risk of a short circuit (see above). In the other battery, an insulation layer was missing (see below). Samsung has not specified which faults occured in which battery, but acknowledged that they resulted from the design specification.

Thin insulation tape and welding burrs caused failures in some of the batteries used in Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 smartphones

The company has added new tests to its quality assurance programme and enhanced existing tests.

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