United is the second US airline to announce it would cease shipping quantities of li-ion – last month Delta made a similar decision.
The tests were carried out by the Federal Aviation Administration, according to the BBC. The FAA filled a container with 5,000 batteries and a small heater. The heat ignited fires in other batteries with temperatures soaring to 600 degrees Celsius. Then an explosion blew open the container door.
A second test had a similar effect.
Li-ion batteries are known to be very volatile. Some years ago, Mike Magee’s INQUIRER carried dramatic pictures of a laptop exploding at a Japanese conference, pictures which hit news outlets worldwide.
Other airlines are expected to follow United and Delta’s move.