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May 23, 2017

How to solder nickel foil terminals of lithium polymer cells

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How to solder to nickel foil lipo battery tabs

Lithium polymer cells come two ways. Either with nickel foil tabs or with the PCB (protection circuit board) with wires. The question comes up, how can you easily solder the nickel foil to a circuit board?

Usually the flux contained in flux-core solder isn't copious enough to do the trick, but using a drop of liquid flux solves the problem nicely. We typically use Kester 2331ZX for everything, including soldering nickel tabs. It works for lithium polymer cells, thermistors, and other non-copper wires.

Some people have a different opinion and find that they are most productive with a more aggressive flux, such as Kester 2235, but we haven't needed it.

Soldering iron temperature of 700° F (370°C) is a good place to start. Try to make it quick and not overheat the nickel tab where it goes into the battery. Damaging this seal can cause problems later on with battery swelling.

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