How To Tell A Good Battery From A Dead One? Bounce It!

Oct 1, 2014

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

How To Tell A Good Battery From A Dead One? Bounce It!

Oct 1, 2014

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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bouncing-batteries

Batteries are a drag. They are loaded or unloaded, dead or alive and generally just always find their way out of their boxes and into to your bags floor, where they sit quietly and rot and destroy the bag…

Our usual recommendation is to use rechargeable batteries as default, but I always carry an extra set of Alkaline batteries as spare as well.

Engineer Lee Hite tested the theory that a dead Alkaline battery will bounces while a good battery will stay. Hite tested a few alternative explanations, including a test to see if the bounce is coming from released gas.

After dissecting a set of good and a set of bad batteries, Hite discovered that the electric paste inside the battery dries up upon usage and no longer absorbs the fall impact, thus enabling the bounce:

YouTube video

A non-rechargeable alkaline battery begins life using zinc powder mixed into a gel containing a potassium hydroxide electrolyte separated from a paste of manganese dioxide powder mixed with carbon powder using a porous membrane. To minimize hydrogen outgassing an extra measure of manganese dioxide is added. As the battery discharges manganese dioxide powder changes to manganese oxide causing the powdered granules to bond both chemically and physically. This packed-sand consistency reduces the antibounce effect exhibited by the gel mixture when the battery was fully charged. #

[Why A Dead Alkaline Battery Bounces! | Lee Hite]

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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5 responses to “How To Tell A Good Battery From A Dead One? Bounce It!”

  1. 43223423 Avatar
    43223423

    somone searching for a solution for a problem that does not exist.

  2. Mike Avatar
    Mike

    While this is cool science… perhaps subjecting potentially volatile items to repeated impacts is not such a good idea, hmm?

    1. MIke Avatar
      MIke

      Also, touching the inside of a battery without gloves on….

  3. Andrew Sible Avatar
    Andrew Sible

    first person to try this with a lithium polymer battery gets a gold medal

  4. Jan Krejčí Avatar
    Jan Krejčí

    oh my