Lithium-ion batteries are already indispensable today. Battery-powered devices play a role both in the private environment and in industry and commerce. It is often forgotten that rechargeable batteries pose a risk. Batteries can catch fire – due to damage, thermal influences such as high heat, or technical errors, for example during charging.
A chemical reaction occurs inside a battery cell. This can no longer be stopped. Because so much pressure has built up in the first cell that it finally explodes, then the next one reacts due to the great heat. The so-called thermal runaway is set in motion.
A battery fire is a violent event, parts fly through the air for meters and possibly ignite objects in the surrounding area. Water does not help; in fact, it can fuel the fire. So what to do?
Silicone-coated fiberglass blankets are capable of limiting fire. Cutting off the oxygen supply extinguishes a conventional fire. And a battery fire clearly loses speed, tests have shown.
The battery burns out under the blanket, a process that can last for several hours. Much less smoke is produced. The blanket retains flames, heat and also flying debris, protecting the surrounding area.
And: No additional conventional extinguishing agents are required. Thus, no extinguishing agent contaminated with fire residues can enter the environment. A big advantage of this method compared to extinguishing with foam or water – because actually all extinguishing agents must be collected and cleaned elaborately. Hardly representable in practice.