LG Chem cell wrappers changing
As of mid-2019 we started receiving some LG Chem cells that have a new wrapper. Some customers have asked about it so I thought I'd do a post sharing the info. Here are some slides from LG on the matter.
As you can see from the slides, the new wrapper has additional information such as showing the plus and minus sign, and having a huge warning that warns of the obvious dangers with using these cells.
How to tell the date code from the new wrapper
On the old style wrapper, the first four digits of the bottom line were the date code. Now on the updated wrap, you have to actually skip the first letter so it's the 2nd-5th characters on the bottom line. Luckily, they still use the same date format. The first letter is the year.
And so on.
The next 3 letters are the day of the year. So 001 is the first day of the year (Jan 1st), while 365 is the last day of the year (Dec 31st).
For example, the S086 date code shown in the slide above is March 27, 2019.
Which battery cell models are changing their wrap
To our knowledge, every LG Chem cylindrical cell is changing. This includes everything in 18650 size cells, 20700, 21700, and even the weirder sizes like 20650.
Is the warning and the other cell markings actually lined up like in the slide?
In our experience, usually they are not lined up like they're shown in the slide. For example here are some pics of the LG INR21700M50T. I believe that the warning and the other markings are probably printed separately so they may or may not be lined up, it is just random.
Do these new cells perform the same in testing?
As you know, Liion Wholesale has some of the most advanced testing techniques developed for a battery wholesale company. We have tested these extensively and it really is just a wrapper change, there is no difference in the cell inside.
The new warning is pretty scary, are the new cells more dangerous than the ones without the warning?
No, as mentioned in the answer above, there is no change in danger. The only reason there wasn't a warning before is that LG did not think that consumers would get their hands on these cells. Lithium ion cells, if abused or used improperly, are quite dangerous due to how much energy they can hold. You should be well versed on how to build a pack or use the cells in a safe manner.
I hope that answers any questions you might have about this change in wrapper. If you have more questions feel free to contact us.