IMRs – what are they?
IMRs – what are they?
If you’ve done much vaping (or research about it), then you’ve probably heard of IMR batteries. IMR batteries are the most common type of battery that’s currently used for vaping. They’re also very popular for use in flashlights.
But what exactly are they, and what makes them different?
What does IMR mean?
The term ‘IMR’ actually isn’t an acronym. Instead, it’s referring to the chemical reaction that takes place within batteries of this type. IMR batteries are unique in the sense that they are Lithium Ion batteries that contain manganese – which makes them different from other similar types of lithium ion batteries.
Manganese allows these types of batteries to discharge at a high current – but it also enables them to maintain lower temperatures at the same time. Contrary to popular belief, modern IMR batteries are actually safer than many of the older lithium ion batteries. They don’t even require extensive safety circuitry to be built-into them.
What types of batteries are IMR batteries?
Most batteries that you buy for vaping can be obtained as IMRs. Not every mod calls for this type of battery (most newer models do), but most E-cigs will be able to use them without a problem.
To be sure that the battery in question is actually an IMR, look for the IMR designation as you shop for the correct lithium ion for your vape device.
In the product headline or description, you should be able to see ‘IMR’ printed somewhere. If you don’t, then you should probably do a quick double-check or contact customer support, just to make sure that you’re actually looking at an IMR lithium ion battery.
Some people mistake LCRs for IMRs, but the two are actually very different. ICRs often require built-in circuitry to be safer, and in general aren’t as popular nowadays for use with vaping devices.
As a general rule, most of the lithium ion batteries for sale on vaping websites are IMR lithium ions.
What makes an IMR safer?
There are a number of features that make this type of battery safer – but the fact that it cannot be overcharged is probably the most significant. According to information found online, IMR cells cannot be charged beyond ~4.25 V. Attempting to do so won’t result in additional capacity. Instead, the voltage will simply spike.
Lithium ion batteries that can be ‘overcharged’ (ICR batteries can be overcharged, for example, which is why they generally need extra protective circuitry) can be relatively dangerous, as overcharging can lead to damage of the cells.
One downside to the IMR battery is that the cycle life tends to be poor. For this reason, some IMR batteries actually contain nickel as a separate cathode material – which improves the cycle life, but causes the battery to, in fact, become prone to overcharging.
For this reason, not all IMR batteries are created equal. IMRs with nickel can be overcharged, which means that they are less safe – but they also have a better cycle life. True IMRs, however, cannot be overcharged – though the cycle life isn’t quite as good.
For this reason, it is important to do two things whenever you’re thinking about buying an IMR lithium ion battery.
First, you need to make sure that you understand what you are buying. If safety is a big concern, then you’re going to want to make sure that the battery in-question isn’t the type that contains nickel.
Second, you’re going to want (in either case) to make sure that your charger has overcharge and short-circuit protection. A lot of ‘smart’ chargers nowadays will actually protect you from overcharging the batteries – but if you don’t make sure that your charger comes with this feature, then you could still be prone to danger.
But with all of that being said, batteries have come a long way in recent years – and IMR lithium ion vaping batteries are no exception. They’re actually quite incredible, when you really think about it – and are much, much safer and more efficient than they used to be.