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Tiny "fibres" may have played role in Dreamliner battery failure, NTSB says

Published on Feb 12, 2013 4:19 PM
 
This file picture taken on Jan 16, 2013, shows an All Nippon Airways' (ANA) Boeing 787 Dreamliner being pulled by a towing tractor at Tokyo's Haneda airport. The US National Transportation Safety Board is investigating whether tiny fibre-like formations, known as dendrites, inside lithium-ion batteries could have played a role in battery failures on two Boeing Co 787 Dreamliners last month. -- PHOTO: AFP

SEATTLE (REUTERS) - The US National Transportation Safety Board is investigating whether tiny fibre-like formations, known as dendrites, inside lithium-ion batteries could have played a role in battery failures on two Boeing Co 787 Dreamliners last month.

Dendrites - just one of several possible causes under investigation by the agency - accumulate as a battery is charged and discharged, and can cause short circuits, according to battery experts.

"As part of our continuing investigation, we are looking at whether dendrites may or may not have been a factor," Ms Kelly Nantel, director of public affairs for the NTSB, told Reuters in an email.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the NTSB was looking into dendrites, suggesting that investigators were looking at the tiny deposits as a major element in the probe.

 
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