Inside Logistics

Packaging for lithium batteries

Labelmaster's Obexion Vault can contain a thermal runaway


June 26, 2019
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CHICAGO – Labelmaster has expanded its line of Obexion packaging. Engineered specifically for shipping and storing lithium batteries and devices that contain them, Labelmaster’s complete line of Obexion protective packaging mitigates the risks of lithium battery fires and is compliant with the latest hazmat shipping regulations.

“Lithium batteries and battery-powered devices are highly regulated, so shipping them safely and compliantly can be challenging, time-consuming and complex,” said Alan Schoen, president, Labelmaster.

“Obexion was designed specifically to ship these dangerous goods in a safe, efficient and cost-effective manner. With multiple configurations and custom sizes available, customers can now choose solutions that best fit their specific needs.”

Obexion Max, Labelmaster’s original Obexion product, is a lightweight, fiberboard box for shipping damaged, defective and recalled lithium-ion batteries and devices. Its innovative, fire-retardant material and a proprietary heat shield contains pressure, fire, gasses and projectiles without requiring the use of gel packs, heavy liners, pellets or fillers.

With U.S. DOT Special Permit 20432, Obexion Max lets users ship these goods as “Excepted” shipments by ground or vessel without requiring the hazard class labels, hazmat shipping documentation, specialized training or carrier surcharges typically associated with fully-regulated Class 9 shipments.

Obexion Express is designed for shipping individual lithium battery devices by ground. It provides an added level of fire protection beyond a plain corrugated box.

Obexion Recycler provides compliant fire retardance for batteries being shipped for recycling or disposal. U.S. DOT Special Permit 20527 lets users ship mixed loads of used lithium-ion, lithium metals and non-spillable batteries by ground vessel.

Obexion Vault can contain a thermal runaway event.

Obexion Vault is an armored, multi-use receptacle is designed for lithium batteries and devices that have gone into thermal runaway or are at high risk. Its enhanced flame arrestment and ballistic protection can contain a thermal runaway incident that is already in progress. It is tested with fully charged, brand-new batteries.

“A thermal runaway event is one of the most unpredictable and damaging hazards in dangerous goods transport, and fully-charged batteries pose the highest danger. Unfortunately, the self-conducted tests manufacturers use to obtain special permits are often performed using partially-charged, lower-capacity batteries,” Schoen said.

“Obexion packaging, on the other hand, is tested using brand new batteries, with maximum watt-hours, at a full state of charge.”