According to a recent Reuters article appearing in The Chicago Tribune, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is now probing whether lithium fiber-like formations called "dendrites" in the lithium-ion batteries may have contributed to the battery problems experienced by Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner jet planes recently.
Apparently, the thin fibers propagate when a battery is charged and discharged, and may be a factor in causing short circuits, Kelly Nantel, director of public affairs for the NTSB, noted. The accumulation of dendrites now will be added to the list of possible factors in the battery failures experienced by an All Nippon Airways and a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner causing Boeing’s Dreamliner planes to be grounded worldwide in January.
Nantel was quoted on MSN.com’s online news website as saying, "We are still considering several potential causes for the short-circuiting in the sixth of eight cells in the battery on the Japan Airlines plane." Other factors being probed are the potential charge of each cell in the batteries. The battery on the Japan Airlines Dreamliner was determined to have overheated. (MSN.com, 2/13/13) To view a photo of the burned battery, visit the msn.com website, http://www.news.msn.com/us/tiny-fibers-may-have-led-to-dreamliner-battery-failure