Are All Button Cell Batteries the Same?

2022-08-18 15:14:42

Have you ever noticed battery models like CR2032, LR626, or LR41 in our daily life? They are called button cell batteries. They are popular in electronic devices because of their small size and people use them as backup power for various types of electronics, such as electronic watches, electronic scales, remote controls, toys, counters, cameras.

Button cell batteries, we name for their round and flat shape that resembles the appearance of a traditional button or coin. Since button batteries have more or less the same appearance, are all button cell batteries the same?

The answer is NO. While buttons have a similar appearance, they are not identical. Specifically, button cell batteries vary according to composition, voltage capacity, size, and charging capability.

tiger head lithium button cell
 

Chemical Composition


Button cell batteries are small but provide a great convenience for daily life. Button cell batteries generally have the following chemical compositions: Alkaline, Carbon, Zinc-Silver Oxide, Lithium-Manganese Dioxide, Nickel-Cadmium rechargeable button batteries, and Nickel-Hydrogen rechargeable button batteries. Button cell batteries with different chemical compositions do have differences in effects and objects of use.
 

Button Cell Battery Capacity


There are differences in the chemistry and technology behind coin cell batteries. Different types of button cell batteries have different capacities. The standard voltages for button cell batteries with different chemistries are as follows:

Alkaline Button Cell Battery - 1.5V
Lithium Button Cell Battery - 3.0V
Silver Button Cell Battery - 1.55V
Zinc-Air Button Cell Battery - 1.4V
Nickel Oxyhydroxide Button Cell Battery - 1.5V

It is important to note that using a button cell battery with the correct voltage but inappropriate characteristics may result in reduced battery life or inoperability of the device. Using a battery with a voltage significantly higher than the device's design voltage may cause permanent damage.
 

Size


Each button battery has a special coded designation to indicate the standard case size and chemical composition. Alkaline button cell batteries start with an "L", while Lithium button cell batteries belong with a "C".

For example, the popular CR2032 is a Lithium button cell battery with a diameter of 20mm and a height of 3.2mm. The LR44 is an Alkaline button cell battery with a diameter of 11mm and a height of 5.4mm.
 

Charging Capacity

 
Most button cells do not support charging. For example, the common CR series Lithium cell batteries are disposable. Only a few button cell batteries can recharge, such as those starting with LIR and ML.

Most appliances can work with disposable button cell batteries, and finding a dedicated charger for button cell batteries is not convenient.