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The key advantage of lithium-ion batteries – long operational time – is a disadvantage when it comes to safety.

In addition, risks remain when the batteries are mishandled or if they have faults from manufacture.

Exposure to heat and internal short circuits remain causes of lithium-ion battery explosion and fire.

To reduce risk to users of mobile communication devices, three certification schemes have been put into place across the globe.

Brazil, the US and the EU have each implemented their own certification scheme, with Brazil’s ranking the most exacting and the EU’s the least.

Brazil’s Anatel agency, regulating mobile communication devices, takes its tests from the IEC 62133 standard, which regulates, among other things, lithium-ion batteries in portable applications.

A designated certification organisation located in Brazil carries out all required tests.

Meanwhile, in the US, mobile communication devices undergo the CTIA IEEE 1725 certification programme, enforced by wireless operators.

The programme requires that all testing is conducted by a CTIA Authorized Test Lab (CATL) and all cells, battery packs, power supplies and adapters, and mobile phones are subject to this.

The EU, however, has regulations based on CE Marking and the Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive (RTTE).

It is to be noted, however, that the Low Voltage Directive (LVD) does not apply to the voltage of the battery, even though the RTTE Directive removes the lower voltage limit that allowed the use of EN 60950-1.

Most of the requirements of this standard do not apply to batteries and no specific laboratory is required for testing, although some companies will utilise the CB Scheme certification.

In summary, the three certification schemes do have tests in common, with all three concerned with external short circuit, and Brazil and the US concerned with overcharge.

The EU and the US focus on the safety of the battery cell and the safety of the mobile device, with the US also focusing on the safety of the power supply.

In Brazil, the performance of the battery and the safety of the charger is emphasised.

SGS has the expertise and capabilities to provide certification solutions for Brazil, the EU and the US.

SGS is also CTIA Battery CATL and CB Scheme-approved for IEC 62133 and IEC 60950-1, as well as wireless testing and certification of mobile devices.

The SGS Consumer Testing Services (CTS) is one of the biggest divisions of the group and ensures the quality, compliance and product safety of every kind of consumer product, from textiles, appliances, electronics and furniture to food and automotive.

SGS Electrical and Electronics identifies the applicable regulations and standards for electrical and electronic products and target markets.

It can help reduce risk, improve efficiency and ensure compliance to contractual or regulatory requirements in all electrical and electronic manufacturing, sourcing, distribution and retailing operations.

SGS SA – Industrial Services

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