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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is slightly off-topic, but I suspect you are also the more informed audience available on this site. There are two possible causes of battery swellings: solid and gas.

According to one site, "with gas swelling, sometimes the wrap can be repositioned so all the gas can escape normally ... air swelling is not dangerous to a person."

Below is not a picture of my battery, but mine appears equally puffed. It is also crinkly and squashy to the touch as though air is trapped on the inside. Is it literally mixed air, or a specific environmentally impactful gas?

The site says "normally", and clearly my type of battery is "normally" air tight! Can I safely pierce the outer membrane of my swollen battery, squeeze the air out, and then seal it with electrical tape?

130150
 

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... Can I safely pierce the outer membrane of my swollen battery, squeeze the air out, and then seal it with electrical tape?
For what possible reason? Take it to the tip for disposal asap. I wouldn't want to even keep it indoors anywhere, for fear of a 'thermal event'.[/QUOTE]
 

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For what possible reason? Take it to the tip for disposal asap. I wouldn't want to even keep it indoors anywhere, for fear of a 'thermal event'.
[/QUOTE]
Totally agree. Any li-ion battery that is swollen is a bin job and unsafe. Recycle it properly ASAP and in the meantime put it outdoors in a non combustible container.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
For what possible reason? Take it to the tip for disposal asap. I wouldn't want to even keep it indoors anywhere, for fear of a 'thermal event'.
Reason - I want to use the phone and its battery has popped the screen off. Now we know how to remove screens on iPhones/iPads!

I have ordered an aftermarket replacement battery, but it just looks so tempting to break the seal and let the air out of the current one (less effort too).

From what I have read its just a gradual build-up of gasses that all batteries release when they recharge. Some batteries have a seal around them that prevents gasses leaking, others just release it.

My fingers observe the loose wrapping moves like a crinkly balloon made of foil and filled with air. The hard battery inside does not feel swollen. A solid swelling would be different and indicate leaking chemicals (imho).

No @cah197, it's an Apple battery. This might happen when batteries get hot.
 

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Batteries swelling or exploding is no laughing matter. A battery in my old macbook went off with such force it fired the macbook screws out the case and in to the ceiling totally embedding them like little bullets.

Get that thing out your house now.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
It’s a copy of an Apple battery. Even the blatant copiers are fearful of Apple logo use.
I cannot say its not-OEM from looking at it. I have opened iPhones bought direct from retailers such as O2 and components inside are not clearly branded. On the other hand, I have never needed to open a device bought direct from Apple.. 🤔

It seems I question the supply chain security in UK retail, but given the Apple logo is effectively leased to Foxconn for them to stamp on iPads and iPhones, I am not sure what your point is?

 

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It's not at any risk of thermal runaway, so it's safe as it currently is.

But, piecing is a no-no. Likely a bit of Hydrogen Fluoride that will be nicely propelled by the more benign gas also in there. Most batteries of any size will have a vent tube for such occasions, but obviously not in a handheld device.

It wouldn't be usable once you pierced it, as you'd have to purge the air inside of moisture before you attempt to reseal it.

Dispose of it as per your local council guidance.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It wouldn't be usable once you pierced it, as you'd have to purge the air inside of moisture before you attempt to reseal it.
Thank you.

Incidentally, the swelling seems to be gradually going down so its not quite air tight?!
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
It'll be as good as new by tomorrow!! :unsure:
Since all batteries release gasses when they recharge, your insincere statement is aligned to my questioning!

Obviously the capacity will be reduced, but after-market replacements have lower capacity anyway (irrespective of what is claimed on the packaging). This leads me to suspect the cheapest after-market batteries could have been rewrapped/remade. Apparently recycling and rebadging other components in untrusted supply chains is common practice so I am sure cheating happens.

My query was along the lines of: If after-market batteries from China are possibly recycled with replaced outer layer, then what is wrong with DIY sticky tape?

I accept @RunningStrong's point that moisture could be a show stopper. I did briefly think of desiccant and a plastic bucket, but that probably costs the same as an after-market battery. Comparable costs make me even more suspicious that the cheap imports are rewrapped/remade in precisely that way!
 

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Since all batteries release gasses when they recharge....
Huh? Where have you picked up THAT urban myth, or are you trying to invent one?

It might be true to say for aqueous battery chemistries, but the main sorts of stuff an li-ion can vent are seriously toxic shit like HF. That's why any venting is Bad Bad Bad.

What do you suppose this 'gas' in there actually is? Pixie laughing gas?
 

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I wouldn’t trust any battery other than the OEM ones and even then that’s a risk, but smaller.
Just buy a new Apple one. Everything in life fails, whether it’s man made or nature.

Seems people have forgotten the Samsung issues a few years ago already...

Nothing compared to this spectacular fire though...
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
@donald, my reading of this is that if cell pressure can increase, then cell pressure can decrease, which naturally indicates that a gas will be pushed out (and drawn in) throughout a battery's usage cycle.

If pressure increases quicker than the vent can release it, then the battery outer wrapping will swell.

This conveniently explains why the wrapping has deflated.

batteryuniversity said:
... battery manufacturers achieve this high reliability by adding three layers of protection ... the circuit interrupt device (CID) opens the electrical path if an excessively high charge voltage raises the internal cell pressure to 10 Bar (150 psi); and the safety vent allows a controlled release of gas in the event of a rapid increase in cell pressure...
The question then becomes, is there a fault when pressure rapidly increases, or do rapid changes occur within normal operating parameters?
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Just buy a new Apple one
Apple do not sell loose batteries direct to consumers. My guess is the panel is not meant to pop off and temptingly expose the battery inside 🥴

... and we are in lockdown so cannot take it to a store (red herring excuse)
 

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@donald, my reading of this is that if cell pressure can increase, then cell pressure can decrease, which naturally indicates that a gas will be pushed out (and drawn in) throughout a battery's usage cycle.

If pressure increases quicker than the vent can release it, then the battery outer wrapping will swell.

This conveniently explains why the wrapping has deflated.



The question then becomes, is there a fault when pressure rapidly increases, or do rapid changes occur within normal operating parameters?
You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding. The vent is only there to permit a 'safe failure'. It is a safety feature AFTER failure, not as a functional process of the part before it goes back to normal. Like saying deployed air bags are OK after an accident because they are supposed to do that, just stuff them back into the dash board, all good.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
@donald 🤷‍♂️

Extracts from a research paper comparing gasses collected in the pouches of four types of Lithium-Ion battery, starting from their first charge. I copy results for couple a batteries and I do not know which type Apple use.

Left: Green circles indicate samples taken on a charge/discharge cycle.
Right: Samples showing accumulation of gas under a battery pouch.

130209


"No gassing was observed in the first cycle when strictly dried battery components were used, while H2 and CO2 were detected in cells containing water by on-line electrochemical mass spectrometry."

130210

"Gas evolution reactions start almost instantly upon charging the pouch cell."

 
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