A patent published today shows that Apple is investigating new halogen free, flame-retardant materials for use in its devices.
According to Apple, only about 12% of plastics currently contain flame retardants. An increased use of such materials would improve the safety of electrical wiring and electronic devices, and help reduce the number of fires caused by electronic devices as a result.
Halogenated flame retardants have been found to be effective in many plastics, but these are increasingly regulated as a result of environmental concerns. Since sustainability is a big topic for Apple, the company therefore wanted to discover a material that would possess similar fire-retardant qualities, while also not being damaging to the environment.
Tuesday’s patent describes a material with these qualities, that also produces only negligible amounts of toxic substances while burning. As per Apple, the material could be used in devices including the iMac, MacBook Pro, iPhone, and iPad.
The TSA has started treating smartphones with dead batteries like potential bombs, but after an iPhone mishap on one plane caused an emergency evacuation, maybe they should be more worried about all the iPhones with a full charge too.
Panic broke out on a flight bound for Prague this weekend after an iPhone 5 caught fire in a passenger’s bag, causing the entire plane to be evacuated back to the main terminal.
Batteries are potentially volatile things, stuffed with electrochemical cells practically humming with electolytes. Every once and a while, then, they’re sure to break down, and companies like Apple do literally everything in their power to make sure it doesn’t happen.
Here’s why. An iPhone 5c that exploded in the pocket of a 13-year-old girl resulted in a fire so severe that she was rushed to the hospital with second-degree burns.