Fire behavior of e-tablets stored in aircraft galley carts.
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Fire behavior of e-tablets stored in aircraft galley carts.

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      The use of electronic-tablets (e-tablets) as replacements for conventional in-flight entertainment systems has gained popularity among airlines globally. Innovative methods of storing and charging e-tablets in galley carts have been suggested or are already in service with some airlines. The danger of thermal runaway in the lithium-ion-pouch batteries that are used in these e-tablets is well known, but the potential fire hazard resulting from e-tablets being stored and charged in galley carts or a similar enclosure has not been established. To examine this potential fire hazard, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and the Federal Aviation Administration conducted a series of tests to investigate the behavior of e-tablet fires. Tests were conducted within a galley cart and thermal runaway of the e-tablet lithium-ion-pouch battery was initiated by either a heat plate or an external alcohol fire. The arrangement of e-tablets inside the galley cart followed the typical methods of storage proposed by airlines and design organizations. The objectives of the tests were to determine a suitable storage configuration for the e-tablets, which would prevent the propagation of thermal runaway, and to determine the effect that thermal runaway would have on a typical galley cart. Ten tests were conducted. The results of these tests showed the potential fire hazards associated with bulk storage of e-tablets in a galley cart or similar enclosure. Additional work is recommended to determine the desirable features of galley carts to contain a lithium battery fire and prevent the danger associated with fire, smoke intensity, and explosion.
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