Finally, after months of speculation, we finally know what went wrong with Samsung Galaxy Note 7. In a press conference, Samsung unveiled the report of its investigation into the exploding batteries. The Note 7 batteries were sourced from two different suppliers and the report showed that two distinct battery flaws which caused the fires.
The first flaw was in the device’s original battery, manufactured by Samsung SDI, where the casings were too small and there wasn’t enough room between the heat-sealed protective pouch around the battery and its internal contents.
This caused the electrodes inside the battery to come into contact as the case was small to safely fit the electrode assembly. Electrodes on coming into contact led to thermal runaway and short circuiting.
In Samsung’s attempt to replace the exploding batteries with safer versions, they employed batteries sourced from Amperex Technology Limited. These batteries had a separate production flaw as some cells were missing insulation tape, and some batteries had sharp protrusions inside the cell that led to damage to the separator between the anode and cathode.
The welding defects and thin separators made the replacement batteries prone to short-circuiting and bursting into flames. Tim Baxter, President Samsung Electronics America said:
“We believe if not for that manufacturing issue on the ramp (of the replacement battery), the Note 7 would still be on the market.”
Samsung tested 200,000 devices and 30,000 batteries during their investigations, in a giant charging and recharging test facility specifically built for the task. D.J. Koh, Samsung mobile communications Chief say that a team of 700 company engineers conducted internal testing, and independent reviews of potential problems were carried out by UL, Exponent, and TÜV Rheinland.
The Burning Sensation of 2016
In September 2016, weeks after the launch of Note 7 Samsung suspended its worldwide shipments, after users claimed that the devices were exploding. Following this Samsung recalled all 2.5 million sold devices and offered a replacement to its customers. But, that didn’t solve the problem as after the official relaunch of Galaxy Note 7, it was still firing up the lives of its users.
After they realized that the exploding problems are not going away, Samsung finally suspended the production of its Galaxy Note 7 in October 2016. Ever since the company gave the silent treatment as to what were the causes of these problems, but on Sunday it revealed in a Press Conference that the batteries were at fault. It apologized to its users and hopes to put this failure behind them with their coming Galaxy S8, whose design might have leaked in a Korean ad.