Rajdeep Poddar tweeted images of a damaged Xiaomi power bank he received from Flipkart. He ordered a Mi 10,000 mAH power bank and received a piece with the top cracked. He tweeted images of the same, and it shows the top of the power bank cracked open.
While no internals is visible in the images, the power bank itself seems to have been exposed to impact and probably heat as well. Flipkart has started a return process, and we will update this story when it is completed.
Can damaged power banks explode?
Lithium-ion batteries power our phones, tablets, and power banks. Anything with batteries is a potential explosive hazard. We’ve learned our lesson from the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco that ended with the phone getting banned on planes by multiple airlines.
The New Haven Register says Li-ion batteries have caused roughly 200 fires from 2009 to 2017 in the U.S. alone. While companies generally take safety seriously, there are things that can cause a lithium battery to catch fire.
According to Powerbankexpert, “Li batteries in general explode might occasionally be due to atomic metal particles inside the battery cell that might interact with other parts of the cell.” It means a design flaw, impact, heat, or other types of stress could cause a power bank to explode.
This raises concerns as the power bank Rajdeep received was physically damaged. This could’ve been a hazard throughout the delivery chain, as a misfire could’ve hit the godown where it was kept, the delivery person, or the recipient. Thankfully, nothing like this happened, and Flipkart, the retail partner has agreed to return the damaged product.
We’ve reached out to Xiaomi seeking comment on the potential circumstances under which the said power bank could cause a fire. We’ll update this story if we receive a comment. However, power banks certainly need to be packed better to avoid damage in transit.