The Investigation of a Lithium-Ion
Battery Fire Onboard a Boeing 787
- Aspects of the Laboratory Analysis
Joseph Kolly, Ph...
Overview of Presentation
• Background of Incident
• Battery Design
• Investigative Methods
• Summary

2
Participants
• Parties
• FAA
• Japan Airlines
• Boeing Commercial
Airplanes
• Thales Avionics
Electrical Systems
• GS Yuas...
JAL Boeing 787
Logan International Airport –Jan 7, 2013

4
Timeline
• 10:06am - aircraft arrived at gate in
Boston from Narita, Japan
• 183 passengers and 11 crew deplaned

• 10:32a...
Timeline, cont.
• 10:37am – Airport Rescue & Fire
Fighting notified
• 10:40am – Fire and rescue personnel
arrive on scene
...
Battery Failure as Captured on FDR

7
Li-Ion Battery Locations in B-787
(same model battery used in each location)

Main battery
location
Auxiliary Power Unit (...
Damage to Aft Electronics Bay

9
APU and Main Batteries
Exemplar (main) Battery

10

Incident (APU) Battery
Component View of Battery

11
Battery Specifications
Li-Ion 8 cell battery
Lithium Cobalt Oxide/Carbon
Electrode
Organic Solvent Electrolyte
Battery

Ce...
External Observations

13
Undamaged Battery with Cover Removed
Top Insulator
Removed Lid

a

14
Front View with Top Cover Removed

15
Side View with Top Cover Removed

16
External “Protrusion”

17
External “Protrusion”
Viewed From Outside
(Post-clean)

18

Viewed From Inside
(Post-clean)
SEM/EDS Inspection and Analysis
of Protrusion
CRES
Elements

19
Internal Observations (Battery Level)

20
Top View of Battery (cover removed)

Main Battery
21

APU Battery
Thermal Damage

1

7

2
3

5
22

8

6

Area of
most
thermal
damage

4
Radiography Specifications
• Nikon Metrology
• 450 kV Microfocus
scanner
• X-ray focal spot size
80 microns
• Scan volume ...
Mechanical Damage (Digital Radiograph)

8
7

2

6

3

5
24

1

4
Inside the Battery
Cells on the left side

8 7

6 5

Substantial thermal damage

25

Cells on the right side

4 3

2 1

Mo...
Wiring Harness of Battery

Visual
examination

Radiographic
examination

26
Initial Extraction of Cells

27
Copper Bus Bars

28
Micro-hardness Testing of Bus Bar

Sample Cut for Metallurgical Cross Section

29
Battery Monitoring Unit Circuit Boards

30
Internal Observations (Cell Level)

31
Li-Ion Cell Construction

32
Cell #6 External View (CT scan .wmv)

33
Side View of Cell 6 (CT scan .wmv)

34
Cell #6 CT Scan Showing Current
Collector Damage
Radiographic Image Showing
Breach in Cell Case

36
Using Dremel Tool to Open Cell Case

37
Opened Cell Showing Damaged Electrodes

38
Electrode Construction
separator

Carbon-based material

Cu
Carbon-based material
separator

Al

Not to scale
39
Two Sets of Electrodes Unwound in Lab

40
Two Sets of Electrodes

41
One Electrode “Jellyroll” Unwound

10 feet
42
Cell 6 Electrode Damage

43
Re-solidified Aluminum on Copper Foil
(SEM Image)

44
Laboratory Testing
• Battery Level
• Cell Level
• Electrode Level

45
Laboratory Testing – Battery Level
• Determine uniformity of charging
individual cells
• Examine thermal distribution
duri...
Laboratory Testing – Cell Level
• Examine
manufacturing
uniformity
(Destructive Physical
Analysis– DPA)
• Test for soft sh...
Laboratory Testing – Electrode Level
Assembly# of Coin Cell

SS can

SS wave
spring

Photograph of Coin Cell

Cu spacer
Cu...
In Summary,
• Investigation of Battery Required Resources Beyond NTSB
Internal Capabilities
• New Technology - Multiple So...
5
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Kolly787battery pres

  1. 1. The Investigation of a Lithium-Ion Battery Fire Onboard a Boeing 787 - Aspects of the Laboratory Analysis Joseph Kolly, PhD. Director, Research & Engineering Joseph Panagiotou Barbara Czech 1 The Seventh Triennial International Fire & Cabin Safety Research Conference December 2-5, 2013
  2. 2. Overview of Presentation • Background of Incident • Battery Design • Investigative Methods • Summary 2
  3. 3. Participants • Parties • FAA • Japan Airlines • Boeing Commercial Airplanes • Thales Avionics Electrical Systems • GS Yuasa • JTSB* • BEA* 3 • Consultants • NSWC Carderock • US DOE • TIAX
  4. 4. JAL Boeing 787 Logan International Airport –Jan 7, 2013 4
  5. 5. Timeline • 10:06am - aircraft arrived at gate in Boston from Narita, Japan • 183 passengers and 11 crew deplaned • 10:32am - Cleaning and maintenance crew noticed smoke in cabin • 10:35am - Mechanic noted flames coming from APU battery in aft electronics bay 5
  6. 6. Timeline, cont. • 10:37am – Airport Rescue & Fire Fighting notified • 10:40am – Fire and rescue personnel arrive on scene • 12:19pm – Fire and rescue personnel report event was “controlled” 6
  7. 7. Battery Failure as Captured on FDR 7
  8. 8. Li-Ion Battery Locations in B-787 (same model battery used in each location) Main battery location Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) battery location This image cannot currently be displayed. Lithium Cobalt Oxide 3.7 Volts per cell (nom) ~ 32 Volts total
  9. 9. Damage to Aft Electronics Bay 9
  10. 10. APU and Main Batteries Exemplar (main) Battery 10 Incident (APU) Battery
  11. 11. Component View of Battery 11
  12. 12. Battery Specifications Li-Ion 8 cell battery Lithium Cobalt Oxide/Carbon Electrode Organic Solvent Electrolyte Battery Cell Nominal capacity (ampere-hour) 75 75 Nominal voltage (volts) 29.6 3.7 Weight (pounds) 61.8 6 Width 10.9 5.2 Depth 14.2 2.0 Height 8.5 7.7 Dimensions (inches) 12
  13. 13. External Observations 13
  14. 14. Undamaged Battery with Cover Removed Top Insulator Removed Lid a 14
  15. 15. Front View with Top Cover Removed 15
  16. 16. Side View with Top Cover Removed 16
  17. 17. External “Protrusion” 17
  18. 18. External “Protrusion” Viewed From Outside (Post-clean) 18 Viewed From Inside (Post-clean)
  19. 19. SEM/EDS Inspection and Analysis of Protrusion CRES Elements 19
  20. 20. Internal Observations (Battery Level) 20
  21. 21. Top View of Battery (cover removed) Main Battery 21 APU Battery
  22. 22. Thermal Damage 1 7 2 3 5 22 8 6 Area of most thermal damage 4
  23. 23. Radiography Specifications • Nikon Metrology • 450 kV Microfocus scanner • X-ray focal spot size 80 microns • Scan volume 1600 x 1700 x 2000 • File size 5.8 - 24 Gb • Post-processing with VGStudio Max 23
  24. 24. Mechanical Damage (Digital Radiograph) 8 7 2 6 3 5 24 1 4
  25. 25. Inside the Battery Cells on the left side 8 7 6 5 Substantial thermal damage 25 Cells on the right side 4 3 2 1 Moderate thermal damage
  26. 26. Wiring Harness of Battery Visual examination Radiographic examination 26
  27. 27. Initial Extraction of Cells 27
  28. 28. Copper Bus Bars 28
  29. 29. Micro-hardness Testing of Bus Bar Sample Cut for Metallurgical Cross Section 29
  30. 30. Battery Monitoring Unit Circuit Boards 30
  31. 31. Internal Observations (Cell Level) 31
  32. 32. Li-Ion Cell Construction 32
  33. 33. Cell #6 External View (CT scan .wmv) 33
  34. 34. Side View of Cell 6 (CT scan .wmv) 34
  35. 35. Cell #6 CT Scan Showing Current Collector Damage
  36. 36. Radiographic Image Showing Breach in Cell Case 36
  37. 37. Using Dremel Tool to Open Cell Case 37
  38. 38. Opened Cell Showing Damaged Electrodes 38
  39. 39. Electrode Construction separator Carbon-based material Cu Carbon-based material separator Al Not to scale 39
  40. 40. Two Sets of Electrodes Unwound in Lab 40
  41. 41. Two Sets of Electrodes 41
  42. 42. One Electrode “Jellyroll” Unwound 10 feet 42
  43. 43. Cell 6 Electrode Damage 43
  44. 44. Re-solidified Aluminum on Copper Foil (SEM Image) 44
  45. 45. Laboratory Testing • Battery Level • Cell Level • Electrode Level 45
  46. 46. Laboratory Testing – Battery Level • Determine uniformity of charging individual cells • Examine thermal distribution during charge/discharge cycles • Determine battery response to charging anomalies 46
  47. 47. Laboratory Testing – Cell Level • Examine manufacturing uniformity (Destructive Physical Analysis– DPA) • Test for soft shorts 47
  48. 48. Laboratory Testing – Electrode Level Assembly# of Coin Cell SS can SS wave spring Photograph of Coin Cell Cu spacer Cu substrate Separator Anode Electrode Cathode Electrode Gasket Al substrate Coin-cell testing • Examine susceptibility to lithium plate out • Examine uniformity of electrode coatings and 48 anode/cathode ratios
  49. 49. In Summary, • Investigation of Battery Required Resources Beyond NTSB Internal Capabilities • New Technology - Multiple Sources of Expertise • Fragile and Microscopic Features– Non-Destructive Methods • Radiography/CT scanning • Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) • Material Science and Chemistry Aspects • SEM/EDS • FTIR • Micro-hardness Testing 49
  50. 50. 5

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