The Chevy Volt actually had a problem with a lithium-ion fire, too. In Chevy's case, though, the problem occurred after crash-testing, which is different than this. As to how big of a problem it was, I specifically asked Donald Sadoway of MIT, who is one of the world's foremost battery experts and founder of a grid storage battery company called Ambri, whether the media was making a big deal out of a small story. His full response: "The press is right to call attention to the precarious nature of Li-ion technology. It's one thing to have a fire in a plant. It's another to have a fire in a plane at 40,000 feet. Remember, Li-ion technology is 20 years old now. Shouldn't we have worked out the bugs by now?"
It seems the that current lithium-ion technology has to find a safe, reliable way to counteract the energetic and rapid discharge nature of these batteries before wide-spread adoption should truly be deployed.
Is there another battery technology appearing on the horizon soon that is safer than lithium-ion?
Charles, you should know better than to brought the Volt fire up . . . that fire had NOTHING to do with the lithium ion battery. It was the coolant surrounding the battery that leaked on a circuit board that caused the short circuit. It was NOT the Li battery.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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