LiPo Pack Safety Grades and Performance Table
Here are the ratings I am using for LiPo's...
CDR = Continuous Discharge Rating. The nearest 5A-multiple of constant-current continuous discharge current that brings the inner cell of a 3S pack to a temperature of 60°C. This is what the LiPo assemblers recommend as the max running temperature so it makes sense to use it as the rating. Especially since the inner cell will be hotter internally than this temperature, perhaps considerably.
Testing shows that the temperature of the middle cell in a 3S pack is 7°C-10°C higher than the temperature of the outer cells (but still under the shrink wrap and protection wrap). This means that when I measure a temperature of about 50°C-53°C the inner cell of a pack has reached at least 60°C, its limit. A 2S pack will run a bit cooler and a 4S, or higher, pack will run a bit hotter than this.
Most of the 3S packs I have start puffing (temporarily) at around 60°C or lower so I agree with the pack assemblers that it should be used as the max running temperature for decent cycle life. Going over this temperature will start damaging the pack a lot faster. Note that at an internal temperature of 60°C the outside of a pack is just warm.
The protective and shrink wraps used on these packs are very effective insulators. It takes at least an hour for each pack to cool back down to room temperature internally. These 1800mAh packs are small too. Larger packs would take at least a couple of hours to cool.
Click on the thumbnail above to download the 1800mAh 3S LiPo pack ratings table