Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Featured image by US Forest Service.


UL Introduces Safety Test For Battery Fire Protection

Having a great electronic device or a great car is nice, but it’s easy to forget that having those devices be safe can mean the difference between enjoying new technology and suffering (or dying) from it. Few things can ruin the rest of your day faster than having a gadget blow up in your face, or having an EV catch on fire.

Fortunately, UL (a well-known electronics safety testing company) recently announced the Battery Enclosure Thermal Runaway (BETR) evaluation, the first material screening test method at UL Solutions to evaluate electric vehicle (EV) battery enclosure material. The UL 2596, Test Method for Thermal and Mechanical Performance of Battery Enclosure Materials, standard was published on Jan. 27, 2022 by the UL Standards and Engagement organization.

“As the electrification of mobility continues to grow, thermal runaway has become a critical safety issue in the automotive industry and has heightened attention concerning how optimal enclosure material is used for thermal runaway protection,” said Eric Bulington, director of product management in the Engineered Materials group of UL Solutions. “With this offering, we are helping manufacturers navigate one of the e-Mobility industry’s most complex challenges while meeting the market demand for innovative and trustworthy automotive products.”

UL Solutions uses a thermal runaway test to evaluate material performance. Material plaques are tested against the entire battery assembly, saving resin manufacturers and materials suppliers time and money in the process. The purpose of material evaluations is to ensure that producers have access to a variety of options so they can provide original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with solutions that fit their needs while also evaluating the performance of materials.

“UL Solutions has a long history of thought leadership with respect to batteries of all shapes and sizes, so it’s fitting that we continue that legacy with EV batteries,” Bulington said. “With this offering, UL Solutions addresses industry concerns by providing automotive OEMs and suppliers, and automotive component and system manufacturers, testing and advisory solutions to meet multiple standards and regulations.”

Why This Matters

UL and its spokespeople made this sound a lot less interesting than it is. Unlike most safety testing, they intentionally make the batteries go up in smoke. This is a good thing, because they want to make sure the outer casing for the batteries can keep people from getting hurt in the event of a thermal runaway event (aka a battery fire).

Lithium battery fires are particularly dangerous because they can reignite after being put out. That’s why we see news about electric cars burning up long after they’ve been extinguished. With the new BETR test, the goal isn’t to prevent these hot, difficult to extinguish fires as much as make sure nobody gets hurt while dealing with the situation.

Electronics battery fires are more common than many people think. A cursory Google search can find many stories of cell phones catching fire, or airliners experiencing in-flight emergencies because somebody’s device caught fire or started smoking. Making these incidents even just a little safer can make a big difference.

Featured image by US Forest Service.

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Written By

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.


You May Also Like


The popularity of e-bikes is increasing rapidly. Here are a few tips on how to protect yourself from e-bike battery fires.


It all started with a bushfire. Emma Sutcliffe is a committed operational firefighter with the Country Fire Authority in Victoria. She was so committed...


General Motors has all but ceased production of its Chevy Bolt electric car after 16 of them were destroyed by battery fires. Right now,...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.