Maine Patent of the Month – February 2023
Lithium-ion batteries are an essential component of many electronic devices, and as technology advances, batteries with higher watt-hour capacity are becoming increasingly common. While high watt-hour batteries provide longer run time and more power, they also come with inherent risks. When damaged or improperly handled, lithium-ion batteries are susceptible to thermal runaway, which can lead to extreme heat and the release of toxic and flammable gasses.
To safely transport high watt-hour batteries, companies must comply with strict regulations and invest in specialized packaging and training for personnel. However, traditional shipping containers made of aluminum or steel can be expensive and may not provide adequate protection in the event of a thermal runaway. This is where CellBlock FCS LLC comes in with their innovative shipping container solution.
The patented shipping container features an interior metal container surrounded by an exterior container. The interior metal container contains a free-flowing expanded glass granulate, marketed as CellBlockEX, that has fire extinguishing properties, and also includes a vent for releasing gas from the container in a controlled manner. A cooperating heat shield is in contact with the vent to prevent ignition and suppress heat.
This innovative design allows for the suppression of any potential fire and the controlled release of gasses that may be generated during thermal runaway, mitigating the risk of explosion and fire. The small lightweight spheres of CellBlockEX are composed of non-crystalline glass granules repurposed from recycled glass with tiny pores on the inside, offering an environmentally friendly solution that is easy to manufacture and cost-effective. CellBlock FCS’s shipping container addresses the need for a safer, more economical, and user-friendly method of shipping high watt-hour lithium-ion batteries.
CellBlock FCS strives to match the speed of emerging technology with engineered products that address safety concerns at every level — from development to deployment. What began as an answer to inflight fires in the airline industry, has grown into a comprehensive line of products including UN packaging, DOT SP packaging, personal protective equipment, and custom storage and transport solutions.
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