Lithium-polymer differs from other battery systems in the type of electrolyte used. The original polymer design dating back to the 1970s used a solid (dry) polymer electrolyte that resembles a plastic-like film. This insulator allows the exchange of ions (electrically charged atoms) and replaces the traditional porous separator that is soaked with electrolyte.
Charge and discharge characteristics of Li-polymer are identical to other Li-ion systems and do not require a dedicated charger. Safety issues are also similar in that protection circuits are needed. Gas buildup during charge can cause some prismatic and pouch cells to swell, and equipment manufacturers must make allowances for expansion. Li-polymer in a foil package may be less durable than Li-ion in the cylindrical package.
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