RC Model Airplanes/Cars/Boats/Could my LiPo be damaged?

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QUESTION: Hi Ken,
I was asking a question about my LiPo being swollen, and it turned out to be reversible puffing. Sorry, the site would not allow me to ask another follow-up question. I have those two identical LiPos I told you about. The one that reversibly puffed did it again, still being reversible. My other one got much more load, at least 1.5 times as much, and still did not puff. I am wondering if the one that did puff is damaged.
Thank you for your help! I almost wanted to make a bot to give you millions of great reviews.

ANSWER: Hi Bruce,

Thanks for the praise. :-)

Unfortunately, Lithium Polymer batteries are somewhat unpredictable, and what you get is what you get.  I swear, I am not trying to be vague!

It does appear that the 'puffing' pack has some internal damage of some kind caused by who knows what, and as I said previously, it will continue to accumulate more damage as it is used.  The article I linked to will help you to understand what can cause damage.

I recommend that you store the two packs in separate fire resistant containers.  As always, never charge any LiPo packs without being in attendance where it is being charged and have a plan in case something goes wrong.  I cannot say something WILL go wrong or won't.  There is always a chance.  Keep a very close 'eye' on that 'puffing' pack.  That's the best advice I can give.

I wish there was a clear cut answer as to when to get rid of it and get a new one, but there is just no real way to tell.

I believe I recommended this read before, but it should help in your understanding LiPo batteries and cells.
http://theampeer.org/lipo-intro/lipo-intro.html

Best of luck and happy flying,
Ken

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: No puffing while charging- but puffing under the load I am giving it. I don't think this one is suitable for high current loads anymore. The article is extremely usefull, but the other one received more abuse in all categories- no damage. Could my pack just be defective?

Answer
Hi Bruce,

The pack could have been 'defective' from the beginning.  Some folks call that 'infant mortality', and some brands have higher rates of 'bad ones' from the beginning.  Usually they are the less expensive brands, but NOT always.  It depends on how many quality control steps are taken by the actual manufacturer and sometimes just the 'luck of the draw".  

Sincerely,
Ken

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Ken Myers

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I can answer beginning, advanced and expert questions about electrically powered R/C model aircraft, and many questions about R/C model aircraft of all types, except helicopters. I`ve been building, flying and designing R/C model aircraft for 40 years.

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I have been building and flying radio controlled model aircraft since 1960. I'm the president of the Electric Flyers Only, Inc., located in southeasten Michigan. I'm a past president of the National Electric Aircraft Council. I'm vice-president of the Midwest R/C Society. I was president and main founder of the UFO (Union Lake Flying Organization). I've built and flown most types of model aircraft except helicopters.

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