Once again, the use of electronic devices on flights was once again debated in the United States. However, this time the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is trying to warn the international community about a potential explosive of notebook batteries.
According to tests conducted by the entity, the lithium-ion battery, used in laptops, can overheat in the vicinity of other materials, such as an aerosol spray can, for example, and combust. To the United Nations, the FAA stressed that the incident is liable to total loss of the aircraft, depending on how much the fire may spread.
Ten tests were performed involving fully charged notebooks packed in suitcases. A heater has been placed against the battery in order to simulate the “thermal leak” – a condition in which the battery temperature increases continuously.
In one test, an aerosol can of approximately 200 grams of dry shampoo, which is allowed to be dispatched next to hand luggage, was placed next to the device. There was an explosion in about 40 seconds, whose fire spread rapidly.
The test also revealed that, due to the rapid progression of the flames, the heavily damaged fire suppression systems of the aircraft failed to contain the fire. Although the explosion was not strong enough to damage the aircraft in a structural way, there would be no real effective means of stopping the fire if it spreads.
Other tests were also carried out with other flammable products, which are allowed to be transported, such as enamel and gel alcohol removers, and although there were no explosions, small fires were recorded.
Because of this, the FAA has issued a document recommending that passengers not be allowed to pack large electronic devices unless approved by the airline. The UN-linked Civil Aviation Organization (Icao) establishes global security standards, although member states can ratify some decisions.
The proposal has already been sent to the next meeting of Icao in Montreal, which will have as one of the issues discussed the presence of dangerous materials on flights. The FAA points out that the recommendation is no coincidence: just over the last decade, three cargo planes have exploded and four pilots have also lost their lives because of fires caused by flammable materials or by overheating lithium batteries.
Source: Panrotas / Daily Mail