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The science behind Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Explosions and Samsung’s reaction

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 was launched in August 2016. However, the company’s bad luck took its course pretty soon. In September, when the company had already produced and sold around 2 million sets, reports of the phone’s battery explosions started to emerge from different parts of the world.

The tech giant had to face a large amount of monetary and reputation loss, manpower consumption, and heavy fines. They had to recall all the sold- out phones and discontinue the production.

Causes of these Explosions?

According to Forbes, the explosions are explained as a snowballing effect’, where many faults overlap to result in the destruction.

There is a ‘battery management system’ in every phone which basically tracks the electrical current flowing through a battery and stops the flow of current when it detects that the battery is fully charged. If this BMS malfunctions, the battery might over charge. Most modern phones use Lithium- ion batteries. The specialty of these batteries is that they are really powerful and can store excess energy. Although this allows the smartphones’ battery to last longer, but it also makes it vulnerable to catching fire on slightest of spark within the battery or even to the heat being produced and subsequently resulting in an explosion.

Another important factor is that, unlike gaming PCs, phone internal systems do not have a cooling system that can release excess heat to the environment and waterproofing requires the interior configuration of the phone to be closed compact, hence providing the system enough temperature and pressure to sustain the fire.

Now let’s hear Samsung’s side of the story!

A few days back, on January 22nd, 2017, Samsung held a press conference in Seoul, Korea, which was being live-streamed on their official website Samsung.com as well. To satisfy very eager consumers and critics, the company openly discussed the cause of explosions and to share their future plans. Samsung not only recalled 96% of the devices, rather they also set up a special ‘test lab’, employing around 400 researchers and engineers to reach to the root cause of the explosions; which assured that the flaw was in the batteries or battery management system. Not only this, but they also shared their future safety and quality enhancement plan with the audience. They’ve come up with a massive 8-point battery safety protocol in which 8 different types of checks are performed on the product before it’s launching or even assembling.

Despite the company’s efforts to restore its reputation, we believe that Samsung went too far to outrun its competitors and to satisfy the desires of its consumers. Had we not been obsessed with fast charging phones, with long lasting batteries, waterproof and sleek designs, this problem might not even have occurred. So, no judgments! We believe that Samsung was just trying to compete and should definitely be given another chance to prove the reliability!

Feel free to have a discussion in comments. Stay tuned for more technology updates.

About Tayyab M

I love to talk about global tech-happenings, startups, industry, education and economy.

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