A South Korean government agency that looked into last year’s Galaxy Note 7 fiasco came to the same conclusion as Samsung did on its faulty units: the smartphone’s batteries were flawed. According to the Korea Agency for Technology and Standards (KAT), the problems lied only with the handsets’ batteries rather than attributing the explosion on the smartphone’s design itself.
Interestingly enough, this is the same conclusion the unit’s manufacturer reached last month when Samsung officially announced that the batteries were to blame for the explosions. The government agency ordered Korea Testing Laboratory to perform elaborate tests on the handsets. 13 experts, specialized in working with electronics, power sources, and software, were tasked with weekly supervision of the test results.
In total, Korea Testing Laboratory tested 14 Galaxy Note 7 units that caught on fire, 169 batteries, and 46 devices that did not burst into flames. Engineers tasked with testing the handsets also received from Samsung two additional units with batteries more expanded than others.
After a detailed analysis of the handsets, the agency said that circuit damage was concentrated around the units’ power sources. More specifically, batteries manufactured by China; ATL had a protruding anode tab as a design flaw. This would have caused the battery’s separators to rip and come into contact with cathode materials. Hence, the explosion. Also, some power sources were lacking their insular tapes.
Fortunately, this particular design flaw was not passed down to the Galaxy S7 Edge who also uses batteries manufactured by ATL.
The second design flaw, this time attributed to the second manufacturer, Samsung SDI, consisted in the round edges of the battery pressing down into the negative board, action which ultimately led to setting the Galaxy Note 7 on fire.
As far as the overall design goes, engineers did not find anything wrong with the body of the smartphone. Also, software engineers said the temperature controlling software was working correctly. Furthermore, the investigators concluded no external pressure applied on the Galaxy Note 7 could have caused the unit to burst into flames either.
Ultimately, Samsung announced that even though the battery had enough room to expand, the Galaxy S8 will come with even more space in order to prevent any potential explosion due to a power source overheating.
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