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Battery standards

1) Primary and small secondary batteries

Battery classification symbols

  Symbol Type Positive electrode Electrolyte Negative electrode Nominal voltage
Primary batteries no symbol
Zinc-carbon battery Manganese dioxide Zinc chloride solution Zinc 1.5
B Fluorographite lithium battery Fluorographite Non-aqueous organic Lithium 3.0
C Manganese dioxide - lithium battery Manganese dioxide Mon-aqueous organic Lithium 3.0
E Thionyl chloride - lithium battery Thionyl chloride Non-aqueous organic Lithium 3.6
F Iron sulfide lithium battery Iron sulfide Non-aqueous organic Lithium 1.5
G Copper oxide lithium battery Copper oxide (II) Non-aqueous organic Lithium 1.5
L Alkali manganese battery Manganese dioxide Alkaline solution Zinc 1.5
P Zinc-air battery Oxygen Alkaline solution Zinc 1.4
S Silver-oxide battery Silver oxide Alkaline solution Zinc 1.55
Z Nickel-based primary battery Nickel oxyhydroxide Alkaline solution Zinc 1.5
Secondary batteries H ii) Nickel–metal
hydride battery
Nickel oxide Alkaline solution Hydrogen absorbing alloys 1.2
K iii) Nickel-cadmium batteries Nickel oxide Alkaline solution Cadmium 1.2
IC iv) Lithium-ion battery Lithium compound oxide Non-aqueous organic Carbon 3.7
PB Lead-acid battery Lead dioxide Diluted sulfuric acid Lead 2.0
  1. Zinc-carbon batteries are represented only by a shape symbol
  2. In some cases, NH, HH, TH and similar symbols are used.
  3. In some cases, N, P and similar symbols are used.
  4. In some cases, CG, ICP, LIP, U, UP and similar symbols are used.

Shape classification symbols

Shape symbol Battery shape
R Circular (cylindrical, button, coin)
F Chine, flat

How to read the battery symbols

(1) Number of batteries connected in series
(2) Symbol used in battery classification
(3) Shape classification symbol
(4) Number expressing dimension

International standards for cylindrical batteries and their common names

In Japan, the size of batteries, such as zinc-carbon batteries and alkaline manganese batteries, are commonly referred to as Unit 1, Unit 2, etc., and in the United States, they have their own common names. The International IEC and Japan Industrial Standard (JIS) have their own names that are used in measurement standards.

International standards (IEC)
Dimensions (mm) Japanese name U.S. name
Height Diameter
R20 61.5 34.2 Unit 1 D
R14 50.0 26.2 Unit 2 C
R6 50.5 14.5 Unit 3 AA
R03 44.5 10.5 Unit 4 AAA
R1 30.2 12.0 Unit 5 N

A letter before the R indicates the type of battery.
For example, an alkaline manganese battery would be LR6 (unit 3).
The dimensions determine the maximum size. (There is also a minimum value as a reference.)

Primary battery expiration date

Battery standards in Japan require an expiration date. Depending on the type of battery, it will carry either the expiration date or manufacture date (for silver oxide batteries).
This is written on the side or bottom of the battery itself and on the package. The expiration date refers to stored batteries and indicates the period during which the battery will function at its specified performance level.
The expiration date is expressed as "month year" using either of the following formats.

  1. 03-2010 : March 2010
  2. 03-10 : March 2010

It is recommended that the batteries are used before this date.
There is no expiration date for secondary (rechargeable) batteries.

2) Lead storage batteries

How to read battery format information