thermal runaway
 n.— «Thermal runaway is a condition in which the current for a fully charged nickel-cadmium battery rises out of proportion to the impressed-voltage level. This condition is caused when heat from oxygen recombination-an inherent property of most rechargeable batteries-causes the battery’s voltage to drop as it gets hot. During thermal runaway, the battery can become dangerously hot, emit excessive amounts of toxic gas, and spew electrolyte. This condition can occur in either the battery workshop or the aircraft.» —“Thermal Runaway” by Cranston Dickson in Naval Safety Center Mech Summer, 2003. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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