Resistance wire primer for vape coils
- Vape Blog
- 12 Jun, 2019
Ranger Vapes resistance wire primer for vape coils
Vape coils are made of resistance wire. Resistance wire does not easily rust or oxidize, even in extreme environments. 316L is often chosen for its excellent oxidation resistance. It can be exposed to acidic compounds and not corrode making it well suited for corrosion resistance in hot states. KA1 and NI80 have similar properties but oxidizes more quickly than 316L.
Annealing is the process of softening a metal to allow it to be worked and manipulated therefore making it less brittle. The process of annealing is to heat the metal to a critical point and allowing it to cool in a controlled manner which is very similar to the process a vape coil experiences. Hardening is heating the metal to the same temperature but quickly cooling (quenching) the metal to preserve the heated structure of the metal making it hard and brittle. Keep this in mind when cleaning your coils. Ranger Vapes does not recommend heating your coils and placing them in water to clean them.
The Maximum Operating Temperature refers to the highest temperature the wire can withstand without suffering damage. KA1 and 316L wire can operate up to 1400°C (2550°F) safely, while Nichrome wire has a melting temperature around 1150°C (2100°F).
Common types of wire used for coil building:
Nichrome NI-XX: Non-magnetic alloy of nickel and chromium. The number that comes after the Nichrome wire type indicates the percentage of nickel in the alloy. For example, "Nichrome 80" has approximately 80% Nickel in its composition. Nichrome 80 has very good form stability which is particularly important to vapers using RDA/RTA/RDTAs with close tolerances. This alloy offers superior service life compared to other Nichrome wire types but less service life when compared to other coil wire types. NI-80/90 wire will experience permanent damage if heated to 1180C/2150F as you increase nickel content the melting point decreases.
- Quick Ramp up
- Very easy to work with
- Cools down quickly
- Some report metallic taste
- Concern for those allergic to nickel
- Coils will expand so be careful with coil placement in tight atomizers
Kanthal KA1: Family of iron-chromium-aluminium (FeCrAl) alloys used in a wide range of high-temperature applications. KA1 is the highest resistance wire used in vapeing. Due to KA1’s high resistance the ramp up time suffers and is undesirable for many vapers. KA1 wire will experience permanent damage if heated to 1400C/2550F
- High resistance for lower wattage builds
- Great for series (Stacked) builds (Mech Mods)
- Some experience an “Iron” taste
- Tends to expand when heated
- Wire is springy
Stainless Steel 316L: 316L stainless steel is an extra-low carbon alloy with the best corrosion resistance of all vape coil wires. 316L is widely used in surgical/medical (Bio-Inert) applications and is just below the threshold of being considered a resistance wire. Many vapers prefer 316L for its clean taste and is widely used in single coil applications due to its low resistance level. I have heard concerns of scaling when heated to high temperatures but temperatures of this degree should never be experienced when vaping. 316L wire will experience permanent damage if heated to 1400C/2550F
- Holds shape well
- TC or wattage mode
- Fast ramp up time
- Great for single coil builds
- Fast ramp up
- Low resistance
- Possible issues with scaling but I have never experienced this