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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  • Abstract:
    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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