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Safer Laptop & Phone Batteries 2006-12-20

Posted by clype in Europe, Gizmo, Health.
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‘Matsushita Battery Industrial’ , a subsidiary of ‘Matsushita’ the company behind the ‘Panasonic’ brand, said that it has improved the safety of its ‘Lithium Ion’ batteries by adding a heat resistant layer of insulating ‘metal oxide’ on the surface of the ‘electrodes’.

‘Matsushita’ has produced 15 million ‘Lithium Ion’ batteries for laptops and 10 million for mobile cell phones, and holds a 13 per cent share of the global ‘Lithium Ion’ battery market, trailing ‘Sanyo’, ‘Sony’ and ‘Samsung‘.

The company plans to produce five million units per month, up from 100 000/month when the heat resistant batteries began shipping in 2007-04, and hopes to ‘step up’ production of heat-resistant batteries to half of all ‘Lithium Ion’ batteries it makes in 2009.

Unsafe batteries have made headlines this year with a series of incidents where batteries overheated or caught fire. ‘Dell‘ recalled 4.1 million batteries, the cells of which were made by ‘Sony‘, following reports of overheating problems, and ‘Matsushita‘ and ‘Sanyo‘ also have had problems with overheating.

All battery manufacturers are under pressure to develop safer batteries. ‘The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers‘ is expected to produce new standards for batteries by the end of 2007.

The US American-based ‘Consumer Product Safety Commission‘ has identified 339 cases between 2003 and 2005 in which batteries used in laptops and cellphones have overheated.

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