For millions of former smokers around the world, vaping has truly proven to be a life changing technology. Anything that keeps nicotine consumers away from cigarettes is great for them and necessary to ease the public health burden we all carry for smokers of the world.
In the field of vaping, however, there have been several small incremental technological developments that have advanced the industry and helped keep vaping as safe and enjoyable as possible.
These are the technologies that define the current state of the art in vaping.
Next time you buy an e-liquid or a new vaping device take a moment to appreciate how much better your vaping experience is today than it was a few years ago.
control Temperature control has been implemented in most electronic boxes in recent years. More recently, the feature has also been added to many even very small pod-based vaping systems.
Temperature controlled vaping works on a fairly simple principle called the temperature drag coefficient. When a conductive material is heated, its electrical resistance changes, and if the resistance changes large enough that it can be measured with simple equipment, that information can be used to estimate the temperature of the material. All you need to know is the TCR of the material along with its initial resistance and current resistance.
This is how temperature control works in an electronic cigarette; the electronic circuit constantly monitors the resistance of the atomizer coil, measuring the variation in resistance to estimate the current temperature of the coil.
The temperature control function of an e-cigarette allows the user to set a temperature limit for the atomizer coil and, if the coil reaches that limit, the circuit instantly cuts its output power to reduce the coil temperature .
Temperature control allows vapers to avoid the unwelcome “dry hits” that can occur when an atom or pod is empty and the user forgets to fill them.
But not only. keeping the temperature under control allows us to avoid the release of some potentially harmful substances and to preserve the coil itself.
On this topic his friend Marco Robutti has produced a large number of excellent and in-depth contents: you can read them on his blog (which I recommend you follow) or see on his YouTube channel.
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The pods: simplicity and efficiency
Up until about 2015, the most common technology for vaping e-liquids in smaller e-cigarettes was a small disposable cartridge called a cartomizer.
Inside a cartomizer, a gauze-like material is wrapped around a small coil. The gauze is saturated with e-liquid and the heat from the atomizer coil slowly draws the e-liquid inward while the cartomizer is used. With a cartomizer there is always some waste because the cartridge loses its flavor before the gauze is completely dry. The steam production of a cartomizer is also often quite poor.
A vape pod is a small hollow tank that doesn’t hold its liquid in cheesecloth and instead uses a gravity-fed wick system to bring the liquid to the atomizer coil. Compared to cartomizers, pods have several advantages. Since a pod is transparent, you can see how much e-liquid is left just by looking at it. In addition, the lack of gauze filling material promotes better air flow and vapor production. Pod tanks are also less expensive than cartomizers, and the yield remains satisfactory for more e-liquid.
Today, the most popular small e-cigarettes rely on pods rather than cartomizers.
A vaping coil usually consists of a wire segment twisted into a spiral shape. The spiral shape gives the coil a large heating area and a circular internal shape that favors a good air flow. The spiral-shaped coil has worked (and works) well for many years, but this form factor has some inherent problems that come to light when trying to push the limits of that design for maximum vapor production.
What’s wrong with spiral-shaped coils for cloud chasing?
The problem has to do with the fact that a coil must have a low electrical resistance if it is to run at high wattages.
You can think of a thread as a bit like a water pipe; if you want more electricity to flow through a wire, the wire must have a large diameter. When wrapped in a spiral shape, a thick wire has an irregular profile with many small hills and valleys. E-liquid tends to collect in the valleys, making thick wire coils susceptible to problems such as loud pops during operation.
Instead of using a wound wire, a mesh coil uses a knitted mesh folded into a cylindrical shape. A mesh coil has the same (or larger) surface area as a wound coil, which means it produces the same amount of vapor. Since a mesh coil has a flat profile, however, it does not encourage e-liquid to form pools and is therefore much quieter in operation. Mesh coils also tend to last longer than traditional coils and usually offer superior flavor as well.
Among vapers who like to chase big clouds, mash coils have become extremely popular almost from the moment they were introduced.
Short circuit detection
A vaping device needs intense heat to create the huge clouds that vapers love, and generating that heat requires a large amount of battery power. Power comes from one or more lithium-ion cells, and if you read the tech news headlines, you’ll know that a lithium-ion battery can ignite a dangerous chemical fire if it overheats. This is a serious problem in any consumer device, but it’s a particularly big concern with a device you put in your mouth dozens of times every day.
Automatic battery monitoring is one of the most important technologies in vaping because it is the technology that helps ensure the safety of vapers.
The most important safety technology in a mod is short circuit detection, which causes a mod to shut down and display an error message if the atomizer coil has a short circuit and is not safe to use. The boxes also check for other potential problems such as overheating, low battery voltage, and abnormally high currents. Keeping the cell within the proper temperature and amperage ranges is an important aspect of safe battery operation, and today’s e-cigarettes perform these tasks very well.