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Thread: Tell me all about wire 2016

  1. #1
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    Tell me all about wire 2016

    Howdy all,


    So I bought a spool for 26G Kanthal from vape king 2 years ago ... still got most of it left :P

    Never done anything more exciting then a 4/5 or 5/6 wrap with ohms from .5 - 1.5

    Never really a reason to explore anything else, however i do wonder .. am I missing out on anything? Not really interesting in getting into coil porn, just wondering if there has been any significant improvments on Kanthal in the last 2 years that I should be into?

    Cheers in advance,

    jol

  2. #2
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    Well, SS316 has become the new kanthal in a sense. It's holds of well to dry burn for cleaning unlike Ti and Ni. It has a resistance somewhere between Kanthal and Ti. Less springy than Ti (similar to kanthal)

    Oh and modern temperature controlled devices can use SS wire.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    SS is definitely the way to go, clean vape, the flavour is great and easy to work with. Also easier to clean, you can definitely burn off any excess gunk/juice when changing flavours / re wicking


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  4. #4
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    Yes.... and no. Short answer - Most people are using Kanthal or 316L Stainless Steel these days. Buy that and be happy.


    Here's a quick rundown on some of the material types you'll find kicking around these days. A lot of this has to do with temp control, as that's a big part of why people started moving away from Kanthal in the first place :

    Kanthal : Bog standard been around for years FeCrAl. Specifically made as a heating wire, and made so the resistance stays as stable as possible at all temperatures - so it can't do temperature control. Pretty much serves as the benchmark for other wires.

    Ni200 : *For use with temperature control ONLY* The first of the "temp control wires". Has the biggest resistance changes as it heats, so it's the easiest and most reliable to do temp control with. Most early TC mods (and really cheap mods) support doing TC with Ni200 only. Ni200 is a bit softer than Kanthal, and much more springy - some people really don't like working with it (coils can bend and snap legs easily - Ni200 requires a delicate hand, particularly in thinner gauges. Does not do well in Kuro style coilers). Some people also think it tastes weird. You cannot dry-burn Ni200. Ni200 wire is best suited for spaced coils only.

    Ni200 is temp control only for two reasons. Firstly, when overheated (glowing red) it breaks down and becomes toxic. Secondly, the resistance for a given length is CRAZY LOW compared to any of the other types of wire we use. For example, the average Subtank RBA head coil I knock up in Ni200 is a whopping 0.08 ohms. That's not a typo. Were I to make a coil of the same specs in Kanthal, it'd come out closer to 0.5 or 0.6 ohm. As you can imagine, most regulated mods will refuse to fire such a coil in VW mode as it would exceed the amp limitations of the mod. Being a near hard short, you sure as hell don't want to mistakenly put a Ni200 build on a mech!

    Titanium (mostly Ti1) : *For use with temperature control ONLY* The second of the temp control wires, titanium got popular because it addressed some of the problems with Ni200. It is easier to build with, being not as springy as Ni200, most people report that it tastes significantly better than Ni200, and doesn't have a crazy low resistance. Resistance changes a fair bit when heated, but the variance isn't as much as Ni200 - but it's enough to do TC with quite well. However - it's not without issues of it's own.

    Titanium is HIGHLY TOXIC when overheated - maybe even more so than Ni200 (but that is unconfirmed and debatable). Many spools from Chinese suppliers came covered in graphite residue (from the manufacturing process), which is extremely difficult and time consuming to clean off. Titanium can catch fire when overheated - which is VERY bad, as titanium fires cannot be extinguished with water (but luckily - as far as I know - that isn't something that happened to anyone while Ti wire was popular).

    Although the resistance of titanium wire is high enough to turn off TC and fire titanium coils in VW mode for dry-burning, for obvious reasons this is a really bad idea. Never attempt to dry-burn titanium.

    Stainless Steel (mostly SS316 and SS316L these days, but SS304 has also been used. SS430 may be popular in the future) : *Can be used in both VW and TC modes safely! * Stainless steel is one of the most popular wires these days (mostly SS316 and SS316L, as these are what most pre-built SS heads are and what most "temp control with SS" supporting mods have pre-programmed curves for), and for good reasons. People report that it's giving flavour that is as good as - and often better than Kanthal. Building with it is similar to Kanthal - the resistances are similar (both sane! ), only it's a little stiffer. It's still very easy to build with, can be used with Kuro style coilers, and can be made into both spaced and contact coils - though temp control works far better with spaced coils.

    Stainless steel is safe to be run outside of temperature control, as it's not known to give off anything nasty. Some think that it may even be safer than Kanthal in that regard. SS can be dry burnt, but may turn blue or black. If you remember the brief fad of "flame colouring" stainless steel mods and drip tips - yeah, like that.

    The resistance of stainless steel does change a TINY bit as the wire is heated, so it can do temp control. However - the resistance does not change anywhere near as much as with Ni200 or Ti, so those changes can be more difficult to detect. The mod needs internals fine enough to detect SS resistance changes - which meant that some of the early and cheap "TC with SS" implementations were a bit flakey. All the big name manufacturers have it all sorted now though - my VTC Mini for example does SS TC surprisingly well, I have a SS clapton in a Wotofo Serpent on it right now.

    For some totally unfathomable reason, a small number of pre-built "stainless steel" coil heads - like those for the Uwell Crown - come with not-SS coil legs! (the Crown legs are nickel, for example). This throws off the temp control curve, as TC expects the entire coil to be made from the one material. To get around this, you may need to use a manual TCR setting (as the pre-programmed SS curve might be inaccurate) - something that is likely an average between the different materials, and hope you can hit a value where TC doesn't act erratically. Good luck!


    Sidenote : For a DNA 200 to detect a coil as a temperature sensing coil (and not drop back to wattage mode), it needs to jump up 150 degrees almost instantly when you hit the fire button.

    If you are running stainless steel (which does not change resistance much when heated) in some big multi-strand coils (like 3mm claptons or something) the ramp up time may be preventing that from happening. Upping your applied wattage (if you're on the go), or you pre-heat wattage and / or pre-heat punch (when you get home and have access to eScribe) may fix the issue. It is possible that other auto-detecting TC mods work on a similar principal (I had issues with my VTC mini throwing back to VW mode on some SS claptons too - upping the wattage also fixed it). This is only really a SS thing in my experience though, likely due to how tiny the resistance changes are (ie, you need to heat the coil a LOT before there is a detectable resistance change).


    Other wire materials like NiFe and Platinum exist and are used by people (though not widely), but I don't have any experience there so I can't comment on them. The bulk of my experience is with Kanthal (of course), Ni200 and SS316/SS316L, with one or two builds with Ti before I gave up cleaning the graphite off it .
    Fatman, gate7, steve.c and 5 others like this.
    These things.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fractal View Post
    Yes.... and no. Short answer - Most people are using Kanthal or 316L Stainless Steel these days. Buy that and be happy.


    Here's a quick rundown on some of the material types you'll find kicking around these days. A lot of this has to do with temp control, as that's a big part of why people started moving away from Kanthal in the first place :

    Kanthal : Bog standard been around for years FeCrAl. Specifically made as a heating wire, and made so the resistance stays as stable as possible at all temperatures - so it can't do temperature control. Pretty much serves as the benchmark for other wires.

    Ni200 : *For use with temperature control ONLY* The first of the "temp control wires". Has the biggest resistance changes as it heats, so it's the easiest and most reliable to do temp control with. Most early TC mods (and really cheap mods) support doing TC with Ni200 only. Ni200 is a bit softer than Kanthal, and much more springy - some people really don't like working with it (coils can bend and snap legs easily - Ni200 requires a delicate hand, particularly in thinner gauges. Does not do well in Kuro style coilers). Some people also think it tastes weird. You cannot dry-burn Ni200. Ni200 wire is best suited for spaced coils only.

    Ni200 is temp control only for two reasons. Firstly, when overheated (glowing red) it breaks down and becomes toxic. Secondly, the resistance for a given length is CRAZY LOW compared to any of the other types of wire we use. For example, the average Subtank RBA head coil I knock up in Ni200 is a whopping 0.08 ohms. That's not a typo. Were I to make a coil of the same specs in Kanthal, it'd come out closer to 0.5 or 0.6 ohm. As you can imagine, most regulated mods will refuse to fire such a coil in VW mode as it would exceed the amp limitations of the mod. Being a near hard short, you sure as hell don't want to mistakenly put a Ni200 build on a mech!

    Titanium (mostly Ti1) : *For use with temperature control ONLY* The second of the temp control wires, titanium got popular because it addressed some of the problems with Ni200. It is easier to build with, being not as springy as Ni200, most people report that it tastes significantly better than Ni200, and doesn't have a crazy low resistance. Resistance changes a fair bit when heated, but the variance isn't as much as Ni200 - but it's enough to do TC with quite well. However - it's not without issues of it's own.

    Titanium is HIGHLY TOXIC when overheated - maybe even more so than Ni200 (but that is unconfirmed and debatable). Many spools from Chinese suppliers came covered in graphite residue (from the manufacturing process), which is extremely difficult and time consuming to clean off. Titanium can catch fire when overheated - which is VERY bad, as titanium fires cannot be extinguished with water (but luckily - as far as I know - that isn't something that happened to anyone while Ti wire was popular).

    Although the resistance of titanium wire is high enough to turn off TC and fire titanium coils in VW mode for dry-burning, for obvious reasons this is a really bad idea. Never attempt to dry-burn titanium.

    Stainless Steel (mostly SS316 and SS316L these days, but SS304 has also been used. SS430 may be popular in the future) : *Can be used in both VW and TC modes safely! * Stainless steel is one of the most popular wires these days (mostly SS316 and SS316L, as these are what most pre-built SS heads are and what most "temp control with SS" supporting mods have pre-programmed curves for), and for good reasons. People report that it's giving flavour that is as good as - and often better than Kanthal. Building with it is similar to Kanthal - the resistances are similar (both sane! ), only it's a little stiffer. It's still very easy to build with, can be used with Kuro style coilers, and can be made into both spaced and contact coils - though temp control works far better with spaced coils.

    Stainless steel is safe to be run outside of temperature control, as it's not known to give off anything nasty. Some think that it may even be safer than Kanthal in that regard. SS can be dry burnt, but may turn blue or black. If you remember the brief fad of "flame colouring" stainless steel mods and drip tips - yeah, like that.

    The resistance of stainless steel does change a TINY bit as the wire is heated, so it can do temp control. However - the resistance does not change anywhere near as much as with Ni200 or Ti, so those changes can be more difficult to detect. The mod needs internals fine enough to detect SS resistance changes - which meant that some of the early and cheap "TC with SS" implementations were a bit flakey. All the big name manufacturers have it all sorted now though - my VTC Mini for example does SS TC surprisingly well, I have a SS clapton in a Wotofo Serpent on it right now.

    For some totally unfathomable reason, a small number of pre-built "stainless steel" coil heads - like those for the Uwell Crown - come with not-SS coil legs! (the Crown legs are nickel, for example). This throws off the temp control curve, as TC expects the entire coil to be made from the one material. To get around this, you may need to use a manual TCR setting (as the pre-programmed SS curve might be inaccurate) - something that is likely an average between the different materials, and hope you can hit a value where TC doesn't act erratically. Good luck!


    Sidenote : For a DNA 200 to detect a coil as a temperature sensing coil (and not drop back to wattage mode), it needs to jump up 150 degrees almost instantly when you hit the fire button.

    If you are running stainless steel (which does not change resistance much when heated) in some big multi-strand coils (like 3mm claptons or something) the ramp up time may be preventing that from happening. Upping your applied wattage (if you're on the go), or you pre-heat wattage and / or pre-heat punch (when you get home and have access to eScribe) may fix the issue. It is possible that other auto-detecting TC mods work on a similar principal (I had issues with my VTC mini throwing back to VW mode on some SS claptons too - upping the wattage also fixed it). This is only really a SS thing in my experience though, likely due to how tiny the resistance changes are (ie, you need to heat the coil a LOT before there is a detectable resistance change).


    Other wire materials like NiFe and Platinum exist and are used by people (though not widely), but I don't have any experience there so I can't comment on them. The bulk of my experience is with Kanthal (of course), Ni200 and SS316/SS316L, with one or two builds with Ti before I gave up cleaning the graphite off it .


    Amazing response. Thanks for taking the time to educate me!
    Fatman, merexy and 13opper like this.

  6. #6
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    I prefer nichrome80, still don't see why kanthal took over from that
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  7. #7
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    Fracky thats is most excellent and I hope you do not mind but I have stolen it and stickied it

    Wires explained !

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogMan View Post
    I prefer nichrome80, still don't see why kanthal took over from that

    I'm with the dog

    ( but I still mainly vape kanthal pre-builts lol )
    DogMan likes this.
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    Vaping since 2007 totally smoke free since 2011


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogMan View Post
    I prefer nichrome80, still don't see why kanthal took over from that
    I agree I've been using nichrome since sometime in 2012/2013 until changing to SS316 just recently.
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    Ignore the Super-moderator tag in my profile, I have resigned from that position but admin have not updated my profile as yet

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fatman View Post
    Fracky thats is most excellent and I hope you do not mind but I have stolen it and stickied it

    Wires explained !

    Nah, it's all good, I don't mind. Though I get the feeling my omission of "Eurotrash Kanthal" is going to get me pitchforked by the Nichrome brigade .

    I don't think one wire took over from the other so much as it was a distribution thing. Very early on it seemed that Kanthal just had better distribution here. I dare say that a lot of people just used what they had easiest access to unless they had a reason to go looking for something else. Nichrome is easy to get here now (and has been for ages), but momentum is a powerful thing. I'm a little surprised it didn't get more popular when more people were using mechs for performance reasons though... you'd think being able to slightly reduce resistance for the same size coil or have a bigger heating area for the same resistance coil would have appealed to more people.

    So... if I did include Nichrome (and yeah, I probably should have if most vendors are still stocking it), here's what I would have said about it...


    Nichrome (Mostly commonly Nichrome80) : Not to be confused with Ni200, Nichrome is an alternative to Kanthal that's been used in the vaping industry just as long. Like Kanthal, Nichrome is easy to work with and has a stable resistance when heated (so it cannot be used for temperature control). Nichrome is functionally similar to Kanthal and can be used in the same ways (including being dry burnt and compressed in to contact coils), though it does have a slightly lower resistance than Kanthal for a given wire length. A Nichrome coil would in most cases require an extra wrap or two to equal the resistance of the equivalent diameter Kanthal coil.

    Other than the lower resistance, the other main reason some people prefer Nichrome is that they notice an improvement in flavour over Kanthal.

    Historically, Nichrome was more popular (and more widely available) in Europe and the UK, and Kanthal more popular (and widely available) in the US, however these days distribution for both materials is widespread.
    Fatman likes this.
    These things.

    I have some things.
    I vape them.

 

 

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