The Inquirer-Home

The science of exploding laptops

Fri Jun 23 2006, 01:53
Subject: Lithium is dangerous

Now you know what happens when Lithium gets a bit too energetic. Though I can not say for sure it appears that the built in cuttouts for the battery failed. Lithium Ion batteries are supposed to stop delivering power if the internal temperatures get to high. It looks like this one failed. The multiple explosions would likely be the individual batteries inside the battery pack igniting as there internal temperatures rose past there flash point. You can almost certainly expect that dell will be doing some battery recalls in the near future. When you buy the cheapest sometmes thats exactly what you get.


Subject: Lattop model

Ya I fix those bastards all day at work, its either a D600, or D610, they both look the same.

Never seen one blow up though.


Subject: Dell laptop explodes at Japanese conference

This is a known problem not specific to Dell: [url=]

But lithium ion in most cases uses cobalt oxide, which has a tendency to undergo "thermal runaway," explains Joe Lamoreux, vice president of research and development at Valence Technology. "When you heat this material up, it [can] reach an onset temperature that begins to self-heat and progresses into fire and explosion."

There is an alternative battery which is replacing the one, above.


Subject: Dell laptop explodes at Japanese conference


Is this a legitimate article and what company is the owner of the laptop working for?



Subject: Dell laptop explodes at Japanese conference

From the colour and look of that Dell laptop I reckon it was a D800 or D810. There was a battery recall for these a while back :


Subject: Dell laptop explodes at Japanese conference

In case you missed it, during the last presidential campaign John Edwards plane made an emergency landing after a camera battery exploded, starting a small fire and creating a lot of smoke in the cabin. (I tried to find a link for you, but to no avail.) Also, just a couple weeks ago there was this story:

which I saw reported on local TV news. What all have in common is Li-ion battery technology. Li-ion batteries give you the most power for the least size and weight, but they fail in dangerous ways. The liquid electrolyte inside them is flammable, especially when ejected from a boiling-hot ruptured cell. That's where the sudden flame-thrower behavior comes from. Li-ion batteries should probably be banned from not only aircraft but trains, buses, ships, and theaters. I distributed your laptop article throughout my office today--it opened some eyes. We design Li-ion batteries into new products here for our clients. They generally ignore our warnings about safety issues. Publicity is necessary to get this hazard under control. Thanks for doing your part.

Rick Aparo

Subject: Dell laptop explodes at Japanese conference

It looks like a Latitude D500 or a D505, but to be honest it looks very much like the D500. at my work we have alot of these, they do get hot around the harddrive area but I've never even heard about this.

harddrive is placed on the left site of the mousepad if you are facing the monitor.

I don't mean to offend anyone i just thought i should tell you guys.


Subject: Burning laptop


I'm new to your newspaper. I just followed a link and got the news with the exploding notebook. I was planning to buy a Dell laptop but the article made me change my mind and I bought a Toshiba. However my cousin said that "don't believe everything the inquirer says;..." Do you have more materials on this one like suing Dell for their terrorist laptop? Can you give me some trails to follow for the trial and the people involved?

Best regards,

Subject: Dell laptop explodes at Japanese conference

> our astonished reader reports: "The > damn thing was on fire and produced several > explosions for more than five minutes".

Interesting story, but it seems somewhat suspicious.

The machine was on fire for 5 minutes, producing "several explosions" yet the screen and keyboard are mostly intact?

Subject: Dell laptop explodes at Japanese conference

This "article" is sensational, vague and completely unresearched. There could have been an explosive in the computer, for all we know. The "reporter" had nothing but excited comments to report.

My belief that computers are incapable of spontaneous combustion still stands after reading this.


Subject: Dell laptop explodes at Japanese conference

Did they bring in marshmellows to roast over the Dell Laptop? They could have used a laser pointer as a stick to put them on for the roasting. Yummmm.

I hate to see a good fire go to waste!! 8>)


See Also
The INQUIRER Guide to Exploding Batteries


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