The wait, however, has prompted an engineering firm to organize its own analysis to unearth the reason why the device has been faulty. To help with their analysis, manufacturing technology firm called Instrumental, embarked on a hunt for a Galaxy Note 7. When they were finally able to obtain one, they set up a couple of fire extinguishers before they tore down the phone to see where Samsung went wrong with its construction.
Upon further analyzing the 3,500 mAh battery included on the Galaxy Note 7, the engineers were able to understand a key problem with the battery. On a blog post, Instrumental wrote that "the design can compress the battery even during normal operation."
According to the engineers:
The lithium-polymer battery included on the device was a flattened "jelly-roll" that consisted of a positive layer made of lithium cobalt oxide, a negative layer made of graphite, and two electrolyte-soaked separator layers made of polymer. The separator layers allow ions (and energy) to flow between the positive and negative layers, without allowing those layers to touch. If the positive and negative layers ever do touch, the energy flowing goes directly into the electrolyte, heating it, which causes more energy to flow and more heat-- it typically results in an explosion. Compressing the battery puts pressure on those critical polymer separator layers that keep the battery safe.What the engineers discovered was that there were two design problems on the Galaxy Note 7. The first problem was that the battery included was too susceptible to a small amount of pressure. Additionally, Samsung wasn't able to put enough tolerance around the battery on the Galaxy Note 7. As a result, regular use of the device led to it compressing its battery.
Based on their analysis, Instrumental believes the engineers from Samsung were already aware that they were walking a very fine line. Evident of this speculation was the fact that the battery sat on a custom CNC enclosure, one that's considered an unusual and costly design choice but essential to protect the battery from the entire phone. The problem with the Galaxy Note 7 was that this enclosure did not work.
Instrumental also discovered that if Samsung never recalled the device for its exploding batteries, its users would have encountered other issues due to its mechanical battery swell. It would have also pushed the device's battery life to a lower level compared to its predecessor, the Note 5.
So after all, it turns out everyone's hunch about the Galaxy Note 7 exploding batteries was right after all. As Samsung challenged itself to produce the best phone on the market, they sacrificed the Galaxy Note 7. And in the end, it proved to be a very bad decision for them.