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Cooling 18650 cells for soldering?
#1
I’m new at this hobby.

Can 18650 cells be chilled in the freezer prior to soldering them, to minimize the destructiveness of soldering?

I know they must not be charged at a cold temperature.

Don’t worry I won’t try anything experimental without first consulting all of you masters of the artform.

I am still getting through all the FAQs, thanks!
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#2
I would think the drastic difference in temperatures of chilling and hot top would be more damaging. But I'm not a chemist, so not really sure.
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#3
Remember as a kid someone keeping AAs in the fridge to keep them fresh?
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#4
keeping cells in the fridge to keep them fresh, or from self discharging, is completely different from having cells that around 40F and applying 300F hot tip to the end. The thermal stresses being applied to the steel casing could potentially weaken 'something'.

Again, I'm not a chemist so I don't know what this would do to the electrolyte, or what would happen to the seems on the cell, or the effects that will happen to the CID if it's not evenly heated.

I personally would not risk it production cells. Using a few cells for testing purposes, perhaps.

But, that's my opinion. I'm sure others will have a different view point/explanation.
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#5
Doubt cooling help. Just make sure you have a proper iron. I have videos testing above btw ..
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#6
Thanks!

I. gotta start real small with the 8 or so used cells I have anyhow, might as well solder them. I have a good soldering station. I suspect the cells I have are low quality cause they came out of battery packs that stopped charging. They went out of cycle, were discharged to much for the charging circuits to recognize them or something. Will sort that out on my day off soon with my new volt meter.

If I build anything big I’ll likely build a diy spot welder. The cheapest I’ve seen is made from a microwave transformer and a timer circuit.

I thought in my studies that I learned that Lifepo4 cells are much safer than Lithium Ion ones. This is misinformation? If the cells are balanced to begin with, proper wire and fuses are used, with the right bms?

Supposedly I have a year or two before I’ll have to replace my 12v 35Ah deep cycle gell based battery with somrthing, I have a lot of time to learn, design and prepare for this.

The recycling aspect is appealing as well as a reason to use all the 3D printer filament I have.
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#7
Yes LiFePO4's are safer than LiCo's (common cells used in most battery packs). They also fit anything designed for Lead Acid based systems (inverters, UPS, chargers, etc) so they can be an easy drop in replacement. But they do need a little extra circuitry to go along with that. They are still Lithium based and need the proper charge curve to full the potential from them.
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#8
For learning with the few cells I have there is also the connection methods of using magnets or modified battery holders with wires soldered to those connection points, aside from kits that do similar solderless packs. Funny to me that I didn’t think of either of these things myself, all I could come up with was putting them in the freezer. For a Powerwall magnets would sure be expensive.

Thanks again.
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#9
I had my cells stored in my unheated shed at around 3C. One immediate concern was the condensation on the whole thing as I brought it into my warm work area. There was a lot of sizzling when soldering to wet metal, but it worked. Can't say if it's safer or not, but I prefer my batteries stay dry.
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#10
(03-05-2019, 05:07 AM)daromer Wrote: Doubt cooling help. Just make sure you have a proper iron. I have videos testing above btw ..

i second daromer.

solder HOT and short - a powerful iron, min (!) 100 Watts (totally unsuitable for normal electronics) (the typical 50 watts regulated is NOT enough), and a solder time between 1 and 1.5 seconds, then a QUICK cooling with air flow.
and, if you can, avoid the new ROHS tin, and use old ones with PB, that is the BEST advice possible, because the process window of ROHS tin is much smaller.
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