Blog Post

Battery Safety

Knowing the different types of batteries is critical. Let’s talk about about them now.

IMR batteries:

These are the high-drain lithium ion batteries that are the most recommended for vaping by manufacturers, and are widely considered to be the safest batteries available for the purposes of vapers. They will typically have a LiMn (lithium manganese) composition which makes them a safer chemistry battery than other varieties. These batteries are known for their ability to support withstand high current draw (measured in amps, or amperage). They come in a variety of colours and sizes, and are produced by several different manufacturers, including Sony, Panasonic, Efest, AW, LG, and Samsung. When people refer to 20+ amp batteries, they are generally talking about IMR batteries.

ICR batteries:

These lithium ion batteries are less common, they are typically blue in color, and should never be used in mechanicals or high-wattage devices because they lack the current-bearing properties of IMR batteries. Also, in the event of catastrophic failure, these batteries can be quite dangerous to handle. We do not sell ICR batteries because anything an ICR can do, an IMR battery can do more safely.

Protected batteries:

Protected batteries are designated as protected batteries because of a small protection circuit mounted on top of the battery under the wrapper. Though they may sound safer because of their “protected” name, this is a misnomer, and they are not recommended for use in high-powered or mechanical devices. There are two reasons for this. First, the added protection circuit nearly always makes the battery either too long or too wide to fit into most devices comfortably, if at all. Secondly, if the protection circuit is not functioning properly, the battery has similar failure risks to ICR batteries.

Voltage

Voltage is the voltage coming from the battery. On a fresh charge, battery voltage is 4.2 volts with a small tolerance one way or the other. There is a small amount of voltage drop that factors into the equation (especially in mechanical devices), but without testing that particular resistance and device combination, it’s nearly impossible to know exactly how much drop there is, so for safety always assume you’re getting the full battery voltage to the atomizer.

Divide the battery voltage by the resistance of the atomizer. This will give you the amperage, or current draw. As an example, suppose you’ve built a coil measuring 0.4Ω that you’d like to use on your device. Plugging values into the equation you should have 4.2V / 0.4Ω = 10.5 amps. This is well within the limits of most of the IMR batteries that we carry.

Remember, going to lower resistances will cause the amperage draw to increase exponentially. Using the same formula, we find that a 0.2Ω coil will draw 21 amps, where battery ratings start becoming an issue for safety, and a 0.1Ω coil will draw 42 amps, which only a very few batteries available can handle safely.

Damaged Batteries

There are several conditions under which a battery may be considered to be damaged. Once a battery is damaged, it should be replaced. Using damaged batteries may cause them to discharge unevenly, become hot, or to experience catastrophic failure.

Torn wrappers: If your battery’s wrapper is torn, especially towards the positive contact, you’ll want to make sure that you replace it ASAP. Torn wrappers can result in the battery shorting inside the device. Though batteries can be re-wrapped, it’s not recommended unless being performed by someone trained to do so. Re-wrapping without knowing exactly what you’re doing can injure you, so please leave it to the pros, or don’t do it at all.

Moisture: When your battery has been the victim of unfortunate submersion in water, or is showing spots of mildew or mold on the wrapper, it’s time for a replacement. If such spots are showing on or through the wrapper, there is likely moisture inside the battery, which may cause it to fail.

Dents: Sometimes the damage is exceptionally apparent. If a battery has been dropped on a hard surface and is showing dents, it should be replaced. The contents of the battery are not designed to move, and when the battery becomes dented, contents have to shift to the new shape of the battery. This may also occur if you have a habit of excessively tightening them into your mods and denting the contacts.

Old Batteries

Aging batteries should also be replaced. If you’ve had the same battery in regular rotation for several months, it’s time to replace them. There are several factors that play into what causes batteries to “expire” more or less quickly.

Usage: If you constantly run the same batteries in a mechanical mod, with low resistance builds close to their limits, they will begin to die more quickly, because they’ve had a stressful life.

Rotation: The more batteries you keep in rotation, the less often you use any single battery, so those batteries that are used less often will survive longer.

Paired Batteries: These may not be old batteries, but if you pair your batteries in devices that use more than one at a time (which you should), and one becomes damaged or needs replacement for any other reason, you’ll want to replace both batteries in the pair, no matter how old they are. If you can find another use for the battery that’s left, like using it in a mechanical mod or a flashlight or other regulated device, go for it. It may not be dangerous, but do not switch out single batteries from a pair.

Battery Care:

  • Charge fully before first use
  • Never completely discharge li-ion battery (below 2.5V under load)
  • Do not over-charge
  • Recharge empty batteries (resting voltage ~3.6V) as soon as possible. Leaving Li-Ion batteries in discharged state will incur irreversible damage (capacity / cycle loss)
  • Do not short (connect) positive (top), and negative (bottom) battery terminals (contacts)
  • Never attach any metal moving part |magnet| to the top-positive, or the bottom-negative battery contact
  • Do not expose to heat
  • Do not dispose of in fire
  • Never use force to install
  • Do not use old and new battery cells together
  • Use only high quality battery charger
  • Keep battery that is not in use in plastic holder
  • Do not charge unattended
  • Do not store your li-ion batteries fully charged (for extended period of time)
  • Store in cold and dry place at approximately 3.7V
  • After battery is discharged-don’t leave it discharged=>charge it as soon as possible

 
We do not recommend unprotected batteries in devices that they’re not recommended to be used in.

Use special caution when working with Li-ion cells, they are very sensitive to charging characteristics and may explode or burn if mishandled. Make sure you have enough knowledge of Li-Ion rechargeable batteries in charging, discharging and assembly before use. Always charge in/on a fire-proof surface. Never leave charging batteries unattended.

Please have a basic understanding of the batteries you are using and how to care for them properly.

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