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Bench Test Results: Lithicore 20A 2500mAh 18650...they say it is a LiPo, DO NOT BUY

Discussion in 'Batteries and Chargers' started by Mooch, Jul 20, 2019.

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  1. Mooch

    Mooch Electron Wrangler Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 13, 2015
    These tests below only note the ESTIMATED ratings for these batteries at the time I tested them. Any battery that is not a genuine Samsung, Sony, Murata, LG, Panasonic, Molicel, or Sanyo can change at any time! This is one of the hazards of using “rewrapped” or batteries from other manufacturers so carefully research any battery you are considering using before purchasing.

    Misusing or mishandling lithium-ion batteries can pose a SERIOUS RISK of personal injury or property damage. They are not meant to be used outside of a protected battery pack. Never exceed the battery’s current rating and keep the plastic wrap and top insulating ring in perfect condition.

    Testing batteries at their limits is dangerous and should never, ever, be attempted by anyone who has not thoroughly studied the dangers involved, understands the risks, has the proper equipment, and takes all appropriate safety precautions.

    If the battery has only one current rating number, or if it only says "max", then I have to assume the battery is rated at that current level for any type of discharge, including continuous.

    95E94783-0B33-49E9-B39C-0646B995F8D1.jpeg 60B3B87A-2FA9-4973-9E54-B212C5B7AF47.jpeg 9713D59F-DC24-42AB-8F66-D5B24D4650D7.jpeg AD05FC65-F2F0-4708-A0FA-AC9F18210FD0.jpeg


    Bottom Line
    This Lithicore cell appears identical to, and performs identically to, the 20A 2500mAh LG HE2/4. Those LG cells are average performers, using older battery tech, that are outperformed by a lot of other cells we can buy. Even the Samsung 25R. Other better performers in the same capacity range are the Sony VTC5/VTC5A/VTC5D, Samsung 24S/25S, and Molicel P26A/P28A.

    I recently posted about a large number of concerns I have about Lithicore and their cells: I have some concerns about Lithicore batteries and all six will receive a Do Not Buy recommendation

    While I am happy to report that only a continuous discharge rating is on the wrap of this cell their web site (as of this date) lists a useless “Max pulse” rating of 35A.

    Lithicore claims that they manufacture this cell in their factory using the same parts and battery “chemistry” as LG (I address this in my post that I link to above). If Lithicore manufactured this cell though then why pick a cell like the LG HE2/HE4 to copy? Why not a higher performance cell, especially when this Lithicore sells for over twice as much as the LG HE4 that Lithicore says they copied?

    Using the same battery chemistry as the LG HE4 would mean this cell does not use the same chemistry as a LiPo. But Lithicore claims in their Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)*** that all six of their cells use the same battery chemistry as LiPo’s. That does not mean they are all dangerous! If it was true though it would mean that if they are misused or mishandled that they can go into thermal runaway, and possibly burst, at a lower temperature and that their reactions during runaway are more violent than the other Li-Ion battery chemistries we can use.

    A big reason why MSDS’ exist in the first place is to inform employees and first-responders of the risks involved if they need to handle a spill or fire involving a product. An incorrect MSDS makes responding properly harder to do.

    Lithicore’s MSDS’ list identical chemical compositions for all six of their cells, down to 1/100th of a percent. Even if all of them were actually made by the same factory, using the same chemistry, in my opinion they could not have the same percentages of chemicals, metals, plastics, etc., across four different sizes, six different capacity ratings, and multiple current ratings. Different capacity cells use different ratios of the chemicals. Cells with different current ratings use different thicknesses of metal foil to spread the cell goop on and different thickness and quantities of the metal tabs to conduct the current to and from the top and bottom contacts inside the cells.

    If the MSDS is incorrect that would mean that any vendor importing Lithicore cells into their country, like in the EU, would be submitting an incorrect document to the authorities. This means the wrong substances are being registered and could affect whether that vendor can sell the Lithicore cells they bought if the MSDS error is found. I suspect the vendors would be pretty unhappy to hear about that.

    If you believe the MSDS safety documents are accurate then Lithicore is using the same chemistry as LiPo’s. If these Lithicore cells are actually using the same chemistry as LG HE2/4’s, or if they are rewrapped LG cells, then non-LiPo chemistries are being used and the MSDS is wrong. No matter which it actually is, this earns this Lithicore cell a Do Not Buy recommendation from me. Filing incorrect safety documents would be unacceptable and with all of the other cells we can buy, why would we buy ones that use the same chemistry as LiPo‘s?

    Four cells were donated for the purposes of testing.


    Continuous Current Discharge Graph
    9636F0BD-4195-4975-9970-B8488CAAB328.png


    Ratings Graphic
    2FF7A17B-1543-4073-953B-DF79CF2F221A.jpeg


    Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), page 2 of 10
    834EFCDA-91F9-4165-9B2C-5834D948430A.jpeg


    Performance Specs
    Not tested.


    I want to work for the vaping community full time! If you feel what I do is worth a couple dollars a month and you would like early access to battery availability and testing news and a say in what I test then please consider becoming a patron and supporting my testing efforts: Battery Mooch is creating battery tests and educating vapers | Patreon.

    To see how other cells have tested check out this link: List of Battery Tests | E-Cigarette Forum

    ***Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are the documents that list the chemical composition of a product, describing any hazards when using them, and list how to handle spills, fires, etc., involving the product. They are important safety documents and are used by employees and first responders to better understand what they are dealing with if there is an accident or fire involving the product.
     
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