This article is more than 1 year old


Pantleg conflag safety at last

Apple has patented a fireproof material that could finally banish the misery of mobile phone trouser explosions.

All too often, mobes can go pop in a person's pocket, causing hideous burns and ruining a perfectly good pair of trousers to boot.

Now Apple has decided to step in and make sure that fanbois' nether regions are safe from the dreaded trouser inferno.

It has patented a "halogen-free flame retardant material" which can resist unexpected trouser-related fires.

Halogenated compounds are considered to be industrial pollutants. According to Apple's patent, "environmental and health concerns have caused halogenated flame retardants to be less desirable for electronic devices and they are being increasingly regulated".

"It has been estimated that about 10 per cent of fires are caused by electrical faults of wiring and electrical equipment, and that these fires account for 19 per cent of fire-related injuries," Apple wrote.

"Some plastics are inherently resistant to fire, such as polyvinylchloride (PVC). However, PVC is not suitable for many electronics applications. Only about 12 per cent of plastics used today contain flame retardants. An increased use of flame retardants would improve the safety of electrical wiring and electronic devices, and therefore reduce the number of fires caused by electronic devices."

Apple's invention has "excellent flame retardancy, electric insulation properties, and crack resistance, and produces only negligible amounts of toxic substances during incineration, if any at all".

So explosions are less likely, but if they do occur, will reduce the amount of toxic substances fanbois will be exposed to if it does combust.

It is not yet known whether Apple will use the flame retardant in future iThings or computers.

El Reg has reported on a number of phone explosions over the years, most of which are caused by electrical faults.

However, it seems that even sitting on a mobe can cause a fire. Basic physics would suggest a larger bottom might make this more likely, as a bigger behind exerts more pressure on anything carried in the back pocket.

Thought Bendgate was bad? Wait until you experience BumBurnGate. You have been warned. ®

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like