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Packaging company offers fire-suppressing lithium-ion battery wrap

Published August 20, 2023
Company is also developing an extinguisher for battery fires.

WATERTOWN, Conn. (BRAIN) — Wide-ranging media attention to lithium battery fires has entrepreneurs and public relations firms sending BRAIN a steady stream of press releases about promised solutions. The releases offer everything from free expert content (in exchange for affiliate links) to solid-state battery technology and fire safes.

One of the more legitimate solutions comes from Packaging and Crating Technologies, a 25-year-old Connecticut-based manufacturer of products for shipping and storing everything from business supplies to government and military applications.

The company said its Thermo Shield wrap meets proposed SAE test standards for controlling lithium-ion fires in transport or storage.

The technology was initially designed as a paint, PACT ThermoShield COO Rodger Mort told BRAIN.

PACT became aware of the paint technology developed in the U.S. that was being used by the Saudi government to fireproof car exteriors. The paint was also being tested on the exterior of shipping containers and on telephone poles, building exteriors and decks in areas prone to wildfires.

"We had to figure out how to transform that (paint) technology into an ink that can be affordably printed on paper packaging," Mort said.

The result is a lightweight pleated paper material with a "moisture vapor application" said to prevent thermal runaway. A battery or device can be wrapped in the paper or sealed into a paper sleeve. If the device catches fire, the paper immediately cools the internal environment of the package while limiting oxygen around the payload to prevent its spread. The company claims Thermo Shield can contain temperatures up to 800 degrees Celsius (1,500 degrees Fahrenheit), while restricting the temperature outside of the wrap to 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit).

PACT recently designed a special product for e-mobility batteries – the PACT Thermo Shield TR Sleeve, in which its specially-coated, fire-suppressant paper is wrapped around each battery cell to mitigate thermal runaway between them.

The company is marketing its technology for shipping, storage and end-of-life use, including for shipping batteries to be recycled. The Thermo Shield paper is recyclable after use.

The company also is working with Fireproof Solutions on related technology that can be used in a fire extinguisher to put out lithium-ion fires. Mort said the company is working with the Fire Department of New York to test the extinguishers.

"In our testing on Roosevelt Island we set off eight batteries and as soon as we hit it with the chemicals the fire shut down immediately. Normally if you do get a lithium-ion fire extinguished, you then have to put the device in a fire-proof box to prevent re-ignition. With this technology the batteries never re-ignite. The spray also is all-natural so you don't have to bring in a hazmat team (after the fire)," he said.

He said the extinguishers are not ready for the market but estimated they would sell for 3-4 times the cost of a regular extinguisher but use a standard extinguisher canister and could be used by retailers, emergency responders or anyone who needs to be prepared for a battery fire.


Topics associated with this article: Electric bike

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