What does your smartphone’s battery look like when it overheats? A little bit scary, as a new video posted by University College London shows. The video was posted as part of a project being conducted by UCL Chemical Engineering PhD student Donal Finegan  and Dr Paul Shearing, who are trying to understand more about the reasons that lithium-ion batteries fail. This is important because these batteries are increasingly being used not only in our phones but also in electric cars.

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To see what happens to a battery during failure, they filmed it in infrared imaging to get a better look at what happens to the battery’s temperature when it gets too hot. As you’ll see in the video below, the battery overheats when heat within the battery gets generated faster than it can escape. This causes, in Finegan’s words, “a runaway reaction that cannot be stopped.”

The researchers hope that their findings will be used to improve the designs of batteries in ways that will prevent overheating and improve safety.

Check out the whole thing below.

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