As generally known Li-ion batteries (whether pouch or cylindrical) may catch fire but depending on the application I see completely different attitudes of the users:
Consider as one group RC car drivers. That's where I see much respect for the Li-ion batteries. Many use lipo bags etc. and are aware of the possible dangers with the use of Li-ion batteries.
On the other side consider for example electric tools like a cordless saw. In that case most users don't seem to be even aware that there might be risks associated with their Li-ion batteries. Almost nobody stores batteries in special containment. People don't use a tool or a Li-ion battery for month or maybe a year without looking for the battery voltage and recharging etc. and nothing happens.
What I want to understand by asking this question is this: What makes the lithium-ion batteries of electric tools so much safer than in the case of RC cars?
In the beginning, the answer would be "the battery management system" (that was missing in RC cars,) but today there are smart battery management systems for RC car Li-ion batteries like offered by Spektrum, Battgo or Traxxas id:
- The charger automatically uses optimal charging parameters for the battery.
- The charger detects bad batteries (for example by measuring internal resistance) and refuses charging.
- Using a proper ESC you have a low voltage cut off, i.e. the car stops before the battery becomes overdischarged.
Are there any features or security layers that electric tools have more or better?
Instead of electric tools I might have chosen other applications like smartphones or laptops as well, but in this case one might say that the currents are not so high, so I have chosen electric tools as an example, because it seems a high current application.
Note that also in the case of electric tools chargers are used which use charging currents to 16 ampere.