What??? No More Exploding Laptop Batteries?

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What??? No More Exploding Laptop Batteries?

laptop-exploding-battery-fire.jpgAww darn, no more cool explosions from exploding laptop batteries! STOBA, a new material technology will steal the joy of seeing your laptop explode from faulty batteries. Boy, it seemed like a week didn't pass without Apple, Toshiba, Sony, Dell, Sanyo, Lenova, or some other laptop manufacturer issuing a battery recall due to exploding batteries. Well, apparently STOBA will make consumer electronics safer.

Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has developed STOBA, a material technology that prevents lithium-ion batteries from overheating, catching fire or exploding.

beavis-fire.gifCheck out a video of how the technology works, including a demonstration on why lithium-ion batteries explode. There is an animated explosion in the demo, so enjoy.


Release after the break:
ITRI's STOBA material technology for Lithium-ion batteries has received a 2009 R&D 100 Award.

Innovative Technology is First to Ensure the Safety of Lithium-ion Batteries
Used in Many Consumer Electronics and Electric Vehicles

HSINCHU, Taiwan, Nov. 12, 2009 - ITRI (Industrial Technology Research Institute), Taiwan's largest and one of the world's leading high-tech research and development institutions, will accept a "2009 R&D 100 Award in Energy Devices" today, in Orlando, Fla., for developing STOBA (self-terminated oligomers with hyper-branched architecture), the first technology to enhance the safety of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries.

"It is a great honor to be recognized by a publication as prestigious and influential as R&D Magazine," said Dr. Alex Peng, senior research scientist and deputy general director at ITRI's Material and Chemical Research Laboratories (MCL). "During the past five years, the STOBA team worked diligently to develop this technology. They have truly earned this achievement." 

Li-ion batteries, the power source for many consumer electronic devices, including cell phones, laptops, MP3 players, cameras, and hybrid and electric cars, are susceptible to overheating, which can cause fires and explosions. In the past, safety standards for Li-ion batteries could not be raised because there was no solution available.

To meet the growing demand for high-safety lithium batteries, ITRI successfully developed STOBA, which has fundamentally resolved the safety issue. By integrating a nano-grade high-molecular polymer, which forms a protective film, into the Li-ion battery, a locking effect is generated when the battery encounters excessive heat, external impact or piercing and interrupts the electrical and chemical action, preventing explosions. In 2008 and 2009, STOBA passed the mandatory shorting and piercing experiments conducted by battery manufacturers in Japan and Taiwan. These intensive nail penetration and impact tests confirmed STOBA's effectiveness in preventing internal shorting and overheating in Li-ion batteries.

For the past 47 years, The R&D 100 Awards have annually identified and recognized the 100 most significant and revolutionary technologies newly introduced to the market. Past winning technologies include the printer (1986) and HDTV (1998). An R&D 100 Award serves as a mark of excellence to industry, government and academia and confirms the technology is one of the top innovations of the year. This year's winners will be honored at a ceremony this evening in Orlando, Fla.

About ITRI (www.itri.org.tw/eng) 
The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) is a nonprofit R&D organization engaging in applied research and technical services. Founded in 1973, ITRI has played a vital role in transforming Taiwan's economy from a labor-intensive industry to a high-tech industry. Numerous well-known high-tech companies in Taiwan, such as leaders in the semiconductor industry TSMC and UMC, can trace their origins to ITRI.

Innovative Research
ITRI is a multidisciplinary research center, with six core laboratories, five focus centers, five linkage centers, several leading labs and various business development units. The six fields ITRI focuses on include Information and Communication; Electronics and Optoelectronics; Material, Chemical and Nanotechnologies; Biomedical Technologies; Advanced Manufacturing and Systems; and Energy and Environment. ITRI has aggressively researched and developed countless next-generation technologies, including WIMAX wireless broadband, solar cells, RFID, light electric vehicles, flexible displays, 3-D ICs and telecare technologies. In addition, ITRI's Flexible Electronics Pilot Lab and Nanotechnology Lab provide international-level research platforms where R&D can be conducted jointly with partners. ITRI has also seen significant growth in intellectual property business and new ventures in recent years and is devoted to creating a model that would make Taiwan manufacturing even more competitive in the international arena.

Fostering Entrepreneurship and CEO Leadership
ITRI employs 5,800 personnel, including 1,112 who hold Ph.D.s and 3,206 with master's degrees, resulting in an average of five patents produced every day. By disseminating both technology and talent, ITRI has led the technology industry into the 21st century and has cultivated 70 CEOs in the local high-tech industry. In addition to its headquarters in Taiwan, ITRI has branch offices in the California Silicon Valley, Tokyo, Berlin and Moscow.


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