Safety and Fire Testing

battery testing
Single cell test 2 jet region from Ofodike Ezekoye's Characterization of Thermal Runaway in Pouch Cells research project.

The UT Fire Research Group’s goal is to develop and evaluate mitigation strategies to minimize negative impacts of battery thermal failures through computational modeling and experimental testing. Collaborators are also exploring innovative techniques, such as ultrasonic inspection, for the in situ analysis of battery safety metrics.

Project Examples

  • LiB Thermal Runaway - developing a framework where cell-level thermal runaway characteristics determined from small-scale experimental tests can be use to infer or predict behavior of battery systems that contain multiple cells
  • Effect of Flame Retardants on Battery Powered Electronics - characterizing the performance of flame retardants in battery-powered consumer electronics under battery thermal failure conditions
  • LiB Failure Analysis and Fire Risk - developing the battery failure analysis methods and using these methods quantify the effect of various use factors on battery fire risk
  • In situ estimation of state of charge (SOC), state of health (SOH) and safety metrics by monitoring and interpreting ultrasonic signals propagating through a battery as it is cycled between charged and discharged states in various environmental conditions

Facilities and Tools

  • Burn Structure - 16 ft x 20 ft facility designed to burn large items at full scale such as battery packs. Includes 400 channels of data and gas analysis.
  • Fire Research Lab – customized lab for small-scale fires including consumer devices and batteries. Battery cycling equipment available.
  • Flammability Lab - specific instruments designed to characterize material flammability
  • Fire Modeling - state-of-the-art computational fire dynamics simulation codes that run on open-source platforms​
  • Battery Fire Hazard Analysis Tools

Faculty in This Area

Ofodike Ezekoye
Michael Haberman

Recent Research Projects

Understanding Safety for Lithium-Ion Batteries
Ofodike Ezekoye
TexTalks Webinar Series

Characterization of Thermal Runaway in Pouch Cells
Ofodike Ezekoye
Fire Technology

Modeling of Thermal Runaway Propagation in a Pouch Cell Stack
Ofodike Ezekoye
Fire Technology

Explosion Hazards from Lithium-Ion Battery Vent Gas
Ofodike Ezekoye
Journal of Power Sources

4.8 kWh Battery Module in Thermal Runaway
UT Fire Research Group
UT Fire Research Video

Ultrasonic Inspection of LIBs for SOC, SOH, and Battery Safety
Ofodike Ezekoye and Michael Haberman
The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America