Research On Lithium-Ion Battery Flammability Characterization

October 5th, 2012

NFPA’s Fire Protection Research Foundation is conducting a research project on Lithium-ion battery flammability characterization. The objective of this research is to ‘provide a comparative flammability characterization of common Lithium-ion batteries (as compared) to standard commodities in storage’. This project is part of a multi-phase research effort to develop information for fire protection strategies in Lithium battery storage.


The Lithium-ion battery cells and small battery packs (8 to 10 cells) are in wide consumer use today. Superior capacity has driven the demand for these batteries in electronic devices such as laptops, power tools, cameras, and cell phones. In 2011, the Foundation conducted a hazard and use assessment of these batteries, with a focus on developing information to inform fire protection strategies in storage. Since that time, the Foundation has conducted a survey of storage practices and developed a multi-phase research strategy…

Based on the previous hazard assessment, and the recently completed storage survey, the scope of this program will include three different battery types:

  • 18650 Format cylindrical Lithium-ion batteries
  • Prismatic Lithium-ion batteries in polymer gel packs
  • Packaged power tool rechargeable battery packs with cylindrical form factor

The results will be analyzed in comparison with the flammability performance of standard commodities and, if appropriate, sprinkler protection criteria will be developed to inform NFPA 13.

For more information, please visit the Fire Protection Research Foundation website.

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