JUPITER, FL--(March 9, 2016) - GelTech Solutions, Inc. (OTCQB: GLTC) an innovator in the use of polymers for fire suppression and prevention, announced today that testing of its FireIce Fire Extinguisher by the Fire & Risk Alliance (FRA) has shown conclusively that FireIce was able to successfully suppress a lithium-ion battery fire in runaway as well as prevent re-ignition.
In a controlled laboratory test conducted at the University of Maryland’s Fire Testing and Evaluation Center (FireTEC), FireIce was tested directly against a Halon fire extinguisher. Halon, or a similarly equivalent extinguisher, is currently mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration to be aboard all aircraft flying in U.S. airspace.
While both extinguishers were able to suppress the initial fire caused by an overheated lithium-ion battery pack, only the FireIce Fire Extinguisher prevented re-ignition and runaway.
Side-by-Side Halon vs. FireIce Video: https://goo.gl/oP3REO
The global market for lithium batteries is large and growing fast. Lithium batteries are now commonplace in medical devices and small portable electronics, and more recently have advanced into toys such as hoverboards and larger-format batteries used in hybrid electrical vehicles. Many are predicting the lithium battery market, which grew to approximately $12 billion in 2012, will grow at a compound rate of 14% and exceed $30 billion by 2020.
Along with this exponential growth has come increased safety concerns, most notably in the airline industry (NBC News: https://goo.gl/dJjWEY). Lithium batteries are carried by virtually every passenger on board an aircraft. The risk of fire occurring during charging, especially in damaged devices, has increased significantly with the recent development of USB ports and electric plugs becoming more prevalent on passenger planes.
Lithium batteries are already considered hazardous materials for shipping, and many carriers have voluntarily banned air transport of lithium batteries in bulk because onboard extinguishment systems are not capable of suppressing lithium battery fires.
Most of the industry and regulatory focus to date has been on the manufacturing process to make lithium batteries safer and less likely to catch on fire, or containment in case of a fire, which is difficult due to the potential of extremely high temperatures.
Michael Reger, president of GelTech, stated “FireIce, which is already capable of extinguishing fires too hot for water or traditional extinguishers, has the ability not only to extinguish lithium battery fires, but can also stop batteries from going into runaway.”
“It is now abundantly clear that under certain conditions, lithium batteries pose a serious fire risk with potentially devastating results. Having successfully completed our side-by-side test at UMD, we are now actively exploring our options to bring a FireIce solution to the market.”
About the Fire & Risk Alliance
The Fire & Risk Alliance is an independent thirty-party advisory firm providing clients with innovative, practical and cost effective solutions in fire protection engineering, process safety, risk management, HSE, industrial hygiene, emergency response, and applied research. For more information, please visit www.fireriskalliance.com
About GelTech Solutions, Inc.
Founded by inventor and chief technology officer Peter Cordani, GelTech Solutions is a leading provider of innovative, environmentally friendly and cost-effective products that help government agencies, industry, agriculture and the public achieve goals such as water conservation and protecting lives, homes and property from fires. GelTech’s products include FireIce, an advanced, non-toxic, non-corrosive polymer that when hydrated produces a water-based suppressant to extinguish fires and a retardant to protect assets and property; Soil2O Dust Control and Soil Cap, products that reduce airborne particulate matter with minimal environmental impact; and GT-W14, an advanced absorbency technology to control fluid spills of all sizes, turning liquids into solid waste for easier and safer disposal. For more information, please visit www.geltechsolutions.com
UMD Testing: http://goo.gl/a7SKGr
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