Good news from the researchers at MIT, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Masachusetts General Hospital. Due to the possible threats of swallowing batteries to kids, they have come up with a solution – the (quantum tunnelling composite) QTC-covered battery.
This battery is not designed to stop kid’s behaviour to naturally want to eat everything they get their hands into, but it can make such life-threatening conduct safer. When a battery is popped into the mouth and comes in contact with saliva or water (hypothetically, if a child tries to swallow it up with water), it is likely to generate electric current, which would then produce hydroxide that is known to cause serious burns.
The principle of this project is that batteries are run by gentle pressure when inside its housing. This gave them the idea to use a coating from an off-shelf material, which is the QTC. It would serve both as an insulator and a conductor. When pressure is applied it would shift functions. it is a rubber-like material with metal particles. When there is less pressure, the metal particles are away from each other, thus, used to conduct electricity. But when squeezed or wrapped, the particles are compressed which make it an ideal material for electric current to flow.
This is ordinarily used in keyboards and touchscreen monitors. And what’s good about this material is its economic value. It is low-priced and would easily encourage battery manufacturers to adapt the technology.