Following several months of in-depth investigations, Samsung Electronics today announced the cause of the Galaxy Note7 incidents during a press conference held in Seoul, Korea. DJ Koh, President of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics, shared detailed results of the investigation and expressed his sincere apology and gratitude to Galaxy Note7 customers, mobile operators, retail and distribution partners and business partners for their patience and continued support.

"Samsung Galaxy Note 7"

“Based on detailed analysis of the affected batteries, both Battery A from the 1st recall and Battery B from the 2nd recall, we identified separate factors that originated in and were specific to the two different batteries.” said Samsung.

"Galaxy Note7 What We Discovered Infographic Main"

Battery A assessment

I. There may be multiple contributing factors relating to battery assembly/manufacturing and design that when combined led to the failure of the Note 7 in the field

A. Battery assembly/manufacturing:
• Deformation at the upper corners

B. Battery design:
• Thinner separator could lead to poorer protection and reduced tolerance to manufacturing defects
• Higher energy density in general can exacerbate the severity of a battery failure

II. One major failure mechanism is likely:
A combination of deformation at the upper corners + thin separator + repeating mechanical stresses due to cycling, causing higher possibility of separator damage leading to an ISC between aluminum and copper foil at the corner

III. Additional investigation is needed to understand the root-cause of the deformations at the upper corners

Battery B assessment

I. No evidence of device-level compatibility issues that may have contributed to the failure of the Note 7 in the field

II. There may be multiple contributing factors relating to production quality and battery design that when combined led to the failure of the Note 7 in the field

A. Production quality:

  • Missing insulation tape on tab could result in higher possibility of ISC
  • Bigger protrusion of welding points in tab could lead to higher possibility of separator puncture
  • Misalignment of insulation tape and/or tab could bring more risk of ISC

B. Battery design:

  • Thinner separator could lead to poorer protection and reduced tolerance to manufacturing defects
  • Higher energy density in general can exacerbate the severity of a battery failure

III. One major failure mechanism for field incidents is likely:

The combination of (1) missing insulation tape + (2) sharp edged protrusions on tab + (3) thin separator, all leading to a high possibility of an ISC between cathode tab and anode, subsequently resulting in heating and fire

IV. Further analysis is needed to understand the root-cause of the damage to the edge/corner of the battery which results in ISC at that location

Following the Galaxy Note7 incidents, Samsung said that it has developed strict quality assurance protocols across its entire development process in an effort to renew its commitment to safety. This includes multi-layer safety measures protocol, 8-Point Battery Safety Check and new Battery Advisory Group of external advisers, academic and research experts .

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"Samsung multi layer afety measures for smartphones"

"Samsung's new 8 Point Battery Safety Check"

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