Did thinness caused the Note7 to explode ?

In September, the first reports of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 batteries exploding hit social media.  At first, Samsung identified the issue as one relating to the lithium polymer battery manufacturing process by Samsung SDI, where too much tension was used in manufacturing, and offered to repair affected phones. This Caused Samsung to recall all the phones and stop the product line completely.

Instrumental engineers analysed in the incident independently and claims that the “Aggressive Design” caused the Note7 batteries to explode.

It explains the reasons why the phones continued to explode after the phones “defective” batteries has been replaced.

All phone batteries swell during every charge. Usually there will be decent amount of space left to accommodate the swelling of the battery. Instrumental claims that Samsung engineers compromised it for thinness of the phone using every space within the phone thus leaving very little space for swelling of the battery.

Why does this matter?  The Note 7’s lithium-polymer battery is a flattened “jelly-roll” consisting of a positive layer made of lithium cobalt oxide, a negative layer made of graphite, and two electrolyte-soaked separator layers made of polymer.  The separator layers allow ions (and energy) to flow between the positive and negative layers, without allowing those layers to touch.  If the positive and negative layers ever do touch, the energy flowing goes directly into the electrolyte, heating it, which causes more energy to flow and more heat — it typically results in an explosion. Compressing the battery puts pressure on those critical polymer separator layers that keep the battery safe.  Samsung stated that these separator layers may have been thin to start with due to aggressive manufacturing parameters.  Add some pressure due to normal mechanical swell from the battery or accumulated stress through the back cover (e.g. from being sat on in a back pocket), and that pressure could be enough to squeeze the thin polymer separator to a point where the positive and negative layers can touch, causing the battery to explode.

For something that is innovative and new, you design the best tests that you can think of, and validate that the design is okay through that testing.  Battery testing takes a notoriously long time (as long as a year for certain tests), and thousands of batteries need to be tested to get significant results.  It’s possible that Samsung’s innovative battery manufacturing process was changing throughout development, and that the newest versions of the batteries weren’t tested with the same rigor as the first samples.

This problem could have been solved by making a smaller battery under standard manufacturing processes.But this would have made the Note7 battery to be significantly smaller in capacity considering to its predecessor Note 5 ,even iPhone 7 for this case.

What do you think about the issue? Are Companies sacrificing the safety of the product to make the product thinner and sexier ? Comment your thoughts below.

Source : Instrumental