Olight
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 46

Thread: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

  1. #1
    *Retired* NewBie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Oregon- United States of America
    Posts
    4,946

    Default 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    Warning!!!

    Please do not attempt to do this, it can be very dangerous!

    Some folks have argued about the existance of a PTC in 123 batteries. I'd like to assure folks that at least Duracell, Energizer, and Surefire all use PTC devices in their Primary Lithium Batteries.












    I also took the PTC and measured it's resistance with temperature, and once it hit a certain temperature, it's resistance rapidly increases, to remove the load to a cell, in order to protect the user from a battery explosion.


    Next, the rest of the cell:












    Last edited by NewBie; 04-25-2006 at 01:32 AM.

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    8,965

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    So these batteries are just rolls of... electrodes? I don't quite remember chemistry class.

    I'm surprised... I thought there were pixies inside.
    Last edited by carrot; 04-25-2006 at 01:42 AM.
    [gearcarrot.com] Collector and distributor of (mis)information.
    The Guide to High-End Lights | Flashlight Story Collection updated Sept 28
    CPF Specials | 4sevens | LED Testing | EDCF | #cpf

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    dfw.tx.us
    Posts
    4,462

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    Thanks for risking life, limb, and the wrath of product-liability attorneys everywhere to bring us this most informative photographic journey through lithium-primary cell construction!
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  4. #4
    *Retired* NewBie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Oregon- United States of America
    Posts
    4,946

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    Quote Originally Posted by carrot
    So these batteries are just rolls of... electrodes? I don't quite remember chemistry class.

    I'm surprised... I thought there were pixies inside.

    Heheh, you also find electroyte.


    Some of the atypical stuff found in a Primary Lithium:

    -Carbon Black
    -1,2-Dimethoxyethane
    -1,3-Dioxolane
    -Graphite
    -Lithium or Lithium Alloy
    -Lithium Perchlorate
    -Lithium Trifluoromethanesulfonate
    -Lithium Trifluoromethanesulfonimide
    -Manganese Dioxide
    -Propylene Carbonate


    Thermal degradation may produce hazardous fumes
    of:
    -manganese and lithium,
    -hydrofluoric acid
    -oxides
    -carbon
    -sulfur
    -and other toxic by-products.

    Under certain misuse conditions, and also by abusively opening the battery, exposed lithium can react with water or moisture in the air causing potential thermal burns or fire.

    BATTERY CAN EXPLODE OR CAUSE BURNS IF DISSASSEMBLED, RECHARGED, OR EXPOSED TO WATER, FIRE, OR HIGH TEMPERATURE.
    Last edited by NewBie; 04-25-2006 at 02:02 AM.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    324

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    Wow, great stuff. Thanks NewBie!

    It looks like the protective element is a sandwich of two metal disks separated by the PTC material. Does that mean that if a strong axial force is applied to the cell, the disks could short and bypass the protection? Or am I not looking at the pictures properly?

  6. #6
    Flashaholic a99raptors's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    KL, Malaysia
    Posts
    379

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    Thanks and great work! What about the cheaper batteries like BatteryStation (Made in PRC) and Titanium?
    Surefire A2 Aviator: "I Believe....!"

  7. #7
    Unenlightened Stumpy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Alberta,Can
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    Thanks for the bird's eye view it is very interesting.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* chimo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    1,905

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    I love posts like this. Thanks, Newbie. I hope you had your EOD suit on.

    Paul

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Burnt_Retinas's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    396

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    Great pics,

    Now add water to the grey electrode material, some of which is attached to the insulating liner. It's got the lithium. Keep the cell wrapped when adding water will give flames as it appears to ignite the insulating liner with the heat produced.

    If anyone intends to pull apart a cell, please unwrap the layers and spill some water on it whilst outdoors. This will 'fizz' off the lithium, hopefully without any major fire. Not doing so may cause a fire hazard when disposed of in the trash should any lithium come into contact with moisture (most likely).

    Chris

  10. #10
    Silver Moderator
    SilverFox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Bellingham WA
    Posts
    11,652

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    Hello Newbie,

    Excellent information, and my hat is off to you... Every time I have taken a cell apart it has caught fire.

    Tom
    Behind every Great man there's always a woman rolling her eyes...

    Most batteries don't die - they are tortured to near death, then murdered...

  11. #11
    *Flashaholic* KevinL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    At World's End
    Posts
    5,801

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    Great job on the disassembly and the photography! That has been the best 'exploded view' of the interior of a cell that I have ever seen, bar none.

    Lots of stuff inside the humble little 123 cell that we all use.
    Celebrating the ROP.. 5 years of history

  12. #12

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    What happens if you throw that in the toilet

  13. #13
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    socal
    Posts
    1,901

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    Quote Originally Posted by a99raptors
    Thanks and great work! What about the cheaper batteries like BatteryStation (Made in PRC) and Titanium?
    Titanium states they have PTC. I too would like to know if BS 123As have PTC, but thus far, no one's been able to answer that when I ask.
    I know Tenergy doesn't have PTC and these are the 3 low-cost brands I'm looking to purchase from in the future (when my current stock runs out).
    Streamlight: TL-3 Xenon, Vital Stream Scorpion-FB1, Scorpion LED SSC P4, KeyMate Silver (Nichia CS)
    Nuwai: 2x QIII TWOH (Green and Titanium), TM-313X Ti (QV1J DD 14500)
    Surefire: M2+C2-HA+Detonator, E2D, VG FB1+EXe, VG FB3+E2C+C2
    Vital Gear F2, Huntlight FT01, Jetbeam Jet1 AA and 123A, Fenix E1 (Silver), Luxogen LR5A-3W & LR12 CR2 (SCC P4), Spiderfire LR8, NexTorch Z1, Gerber Infinity Ultra (2x Green), Dae's UV 12LED
    Emergency Kit & Knives Pics - Lights & Knives Pics - Small Knife/Lights

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* BigHonu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Honolulu, HI
    Posts
    1,241

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    WOW!

    Excellent job with the disassembly and photography!

  15. #15
    *Flashaholic* bwaites's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Central Washington State
    Posts
    5,044

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    I'm willing to bet that BatteryStation cells have PTC. Otherwise, why would they shut down when overheated?

    Bill
    Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.
    Benjamin Franklin

  16. #16
    Flashaholic a99raptors's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    KL, Malaysia
    Posts
    379

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    Saw the discharge curves over at the amondotech website regarding several 123 batteries that claim that titanium and batterystation batteries holds a greater charge for a longer time than any other batteries. I was just curious as to how true this is, considering their prices are also among the cheapest. Just wondering if they sacrifice reliability for lower prices.

    http://www.amondotech.com/images/lit...mparison2A.jpg
    Surefire A2 Aviator: "I Believe....!"

  17. #17
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Two Rivers, Wisconsin
    Posts
    3,830

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    Is the lithium in a totally discharged cell reduced or combined such that it's in a stable form and won't react with water?
    I'm absolutely certain that I need another flashlight.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    3,964

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    You've made this posting in a rather authoritative demeanor. Do you know this for a fact, or was it just told to you (even if it was from Tenergy, as things might get lost in the translation, and I don't think the two ladies who answer the phones are real technical.)

    I don't have any of their CR123 batteries, so I can't really tell for sure one way or the other either.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsr
    I know Tenergy doesn't have PTC

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* JimH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    2,716

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    Quote Originally Posted by Luna
    What happens if you throw that in the toilet
    Have you seen the Movie "Lethal Weapon 2". If not, rent it. It will answer your question.
    Jim - Have lights, lead, and steel will travel

    The heck with runtime. I just want to hold the sun in my hands!! Brighter is Better!

  20. #20
    *Retired* NewBie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Oregon- United States of America
    Posts
    4,946

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    I will mention there is a little trick that is common in Lithium Ion Secondary cell manufacturing, that may be used for Primaries...

    What they do is they over-crimp the PTC into the cell, with extra pressure/force. This actually causes the PTC current threshold to rise a bit. I've heard that you can get an extra amp out of them this way, before they kick off. I've seen several papers that warn against doing this, for a variety of reasons.

    If you look, in one of the photos, you will see an indentation on the PTC ring, from the crimp. You do not want to "overdent" the PTC, as it will defeat it's function.

    The vent ring with vent liner is in the bottom of the top, then the PTC is put in, then the button top (all with necessary insulators/liners), then the whole assembly is crimped shut by the outer negative can portion.


  21. #21
    Flashaholic* Ray_of_Light's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    West Midlands, U.K.
    Posts
    1,144

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    Thank you Newbie for the hard (and dangerous) work!

    I want to add just some notes. The positive electrode is the grid, made of an alloy of nickel, and has that black powder distributed in the holes. The black powder is the Manganese Dioxyde mixed with graphite.

    The white porous membrane acts as physical separator and ionic conductor. It is wetted with the liquid, organic electrolyte. If the membrane melts, the battery is shorted.

    The grey solid film is the lithium, the negative electrode. Once the battery is cut open, the lithium will keep generating hydrogen, as result of presence of water in the air.

    The 123s use a wound structure, like Ni-MH batteries, to reduce their internal resistance.
    An organic electrolyte must used due to high reactivity of the lithium with any water based compound. It has a specific resistence that is much higher than comparable acqueous solvent, and a wound structure reduces the resistance - since the exposed surface increases.
    Alkaline batteries and backup lithium batteries use a non-wound structure (called "bobbin" structure).
    No other commercial primary cells, aside from lithiums, use the wound structure, since it is expensive to produce.

    Anthony
    VENI, COLLUXI, VICI.

  22. #22
    Moderator
    Kiessling's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Germany, Old World
    Posts
    16,140

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    WOW!
    Thanx !! Very interesting ...
    bernie
    There is a type of perfection that transcends the quest for lumens. Buying a $250 1-cell light for "lum factor" is like buying a $250 single malt Scotch for the alcohol content.
    - paulr


    It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black.
    My shoes are too tight. But it doesn't matter, because I have forgotten how to dance.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    socal
    Posts
    1,901

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    Quote Originally Posted by Brighteyez
    You've made this posting in a rather authoritative demeanor. Do you know this for a fact, or was it just told to you (even if it was from Tenergy, as things might get lost in the translation, and I don't think the two ladies who answer the phones are real technical.)

    I don't have any of their CR123 batteries, so I can't really tell for sure one way or the other either.
    I was told this by the owner of BatteryJunction who carries Tenergies when I was looking into Tenergy cells. Seeing as PTC is a good selling feature, I wouldn't see any reason for him stating the Tenergy cells lack the PTC if it wasn't true. There's no way of knowing this by my opening the cell as I don't want to take the risk of doing so. Until Newbie opened up a cell, much of the info we had was also by someone just telling you (might be someone technical, the designer, a physicist, or just someone who played a lot with it and broke it apart). I think it's the same as Amondotech saying theirs has PTC...no one's torn one apart and they aren't the mfr (they buy cells from a battery mfr in china who, guaranteed, sells those cells to other customers/clients unless they have a contract limiting the design and Amondotech has paid all the NRE). I can personally only know so much by doing things myself (as with anyone). The rest I have to rely on the information of people much closer to the source of the information.
    When I called Tenergy CS, I was surprised they connected me to one of their engineers/technical people who was much more helpful in answering some questions I had about their rechargable cells. True, their normal CS people don't know much, but they don't seem to BS the info and are at least willing to connect you to someone who can possibly provide an answer.
    Streamlight: TL-3 Xenon, Vital Stream Scorpion-FB1, Scorpion LED SSC P4, KeyMate Silver (Nichia CS)
    Nuwai: 2x QIII TWOH (Green and Titanium), TM-313X Ti (QV1J DD 14500)
    Surefire: M2+C2-HA+Detonator, E2D, VG FB1+EXe, VG FB3+E2C+C2
    Vital Gear F2, Huntlight FT01, Jetbeam Jet1 AA and 123A, Fenix E1 (Silver), Luxogen LR5A-3W & LR12 CR2 (SCC P4), Spiderfire LR8, NexTorch Z1, Gerber Infinity Ultra (2x Green), Dae's UV 12LED
    Emergency Kit & Knives Pics - Lights & Knives Pics - Small Knife/Lights

  24. #24
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    La Tiquicia
    Posts
    13,244

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    Newbie! Excellent pictorial.
    I wouldn't dare do that to any cells.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* JimH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    2,716

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    That's our Newbie - no fear of death
    Jim - Have lights, lead, and steel will travel

    The heck with runtime. I just want to hold the sun in my hands!! Brighter is Better!

  26. #26
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    3,964

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    Thanks for the confirmation. It's getting a little difficult to keep track of all of these, and coupled with the often 'undocumented' changes that can occur with Chinese imports in both big name brand products, and the vanity branding market, I'm starting to wonder if the information that comes forth even from the most well-intended vendors may end up differing when the next shipment comes in. Really can't blame the retailer either as they're probably often not made aware of such changes.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsr
    I was told this by the owner of BatteryJunction who carries Tenergies when I was looking into Tenergy cells.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* modamag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    2,101

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    Thanx Newbie for the closeup and the "brave" venture.
    Great Macro Pics

    Now I know which parts it is that were left after the fire.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    socal
    Posts
    1,901

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    Quote Originally Posted by Brighteyez
    Thanks for the confirmation. It's getting a little difficult to keep track of all of these, and coupled with the often 'undocumented' changes that can occur with Chinese imports in both big name brand products, and the vanity branding market, I'm starting to wonder if the information that comes forth even from the most well-intended vendors may end up differing when the next shipment comes in. Really can't blame the retailer either as they're probably often not made aware of such changes.
    I agree, and it's difficult to verify the claims and time consuming to do so, of all the various brands, etc.

    Another big thanks to Newbie for taking the risk (and saving me my eyebrows and whatever else would've burned off if I tried this).
    Streamlight: TL-3 Xenon, Vital Stream Scorpion-FB1, Scorpion LED SSC P4, KeyMate Silver (Nichia CS)
    Nuwai: 2x QIII TWOH (Green and Titanium), TM-313X Ti (QV1J DD 14500)
    Surefire: M2+C2-HA+Detonator, E2D, VG FB1+EXe, VG FB3+E2C+C2
    Vital Gear F2, Huntlight FT01, Jetbeam Jet1 AA and 123A, Fenix E1 (Silver), Luxogen LR5A-3W & LR12 CR2 (SCC P4), Spiderfire LR8, NexTorch Z1, Gerber Infinity Ultra (2x Green), Dae's UV 12LED
    Emergency Kit & Knives Pics - Lights & Knives Pics - Small Knife/Lights

  29. #29
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    3,964

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    Here, Here.
    Hats off to him if he's experienced enough to do it.
    Hats off to him if he's the only one foolish enough to do it.
    Thank goodness we're not all so daring or there may be fewer of us ...

    Very informative in either case!

    Quote Originally Posted by jsr
    Another big thanks to Newbie for taking the risk (and saving me my eyebrows and whatever else would've burned off if I tried this).

  30. #30
    *Retired* NewBie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Oregon- United States of America
    Posts
    4,946

    Default Re: 123 cell protection anatomy revealed

    Actually, the white porous membrane is typically a polyolefin (or other fluorinated polymer, like UHMWPE) membrane that is designed to melt (or maybe swell would be a better word) a bit and close up it's pores in a localized shorted area. In

    Molicel's secondary cells, there is an additional very high temperature plastic membrane that adds an additional safety margin, were they said the single low temp membrane had been known to fail due to temperature. The low temp was still necessary, as in a localized spot, the temperature may not reach high enough to swell/melt a higher temp membrane


    Thanks for the kudos fellas.
    Last edited by NewBie; 04-27-2006 at 12:06 AM.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •