Only a few months ago pre-built Clapton coils began flooding the market. Although these types of coils are nothing new to advanced coil builders, they were a nice new option for expanding the horizons of less technical vaping enthusiasts. Since then, yet another type of coil is starting to gain traction, this time made out of ceramic. Vaporesso was the first to offer a ceramic coil, launching the Target Ceramic CCELL Tank late last year. Now a growing number of companies ar following suit with similar products, so what’s all the fuss about ceramic coil tanks?
Within the last few months a number of ceramic coil tanks systems have been developed: Freemax’s Scylla Tank, the Horizon Krixus Tank, Council of Vapor’s Defiant Tank and the Vapeston Ceramikas Tank. We don’t expect these to be the last (and this could be the future!), so it’s probably a good time to get acquainted.
Ceramic vs. Standard Coil
The biggest difference between a ceramic coil and your standard one is their construction. Most standard coil designs rely on a wire and fiber wick combination, however most ceramic coil tanks contain no wick at all. Like the name suggests, the coil is actually a layer of ceramic. Others incorporate a cotton wick sandwiched between or surrounding the ceramic, but rather than replacing the entire coil, you just replace the cotton wicking material whenever necessary.
If you know anything about ceramic, you’ll know that it’s porous, which allows liquid to be absorbed within the material itself. Used in vaping devices, the ceramic absorbs the juice, which is heated up to produce vapor. Manufacturers argue that in this type of setup, the juice is heated more evenly since the entire surface of the ceramic is acting as a wick, which results in better flavor quality.
The Benefits of Ceramic
In theory, ceramic coils should provide you with a better vape. The lack of a wick is an advantage in and of itself, considering the temperature required to burn ceramic is much higher than any fiber. This should completely eliminate the possibility of a burnt or “dry hit”. Once there’s no more e-liquid for the coil to vaporize, like a temperature controlled coil the vapor production will stop.
Improved flavor quality is touted as one of the biggest advantages, but an even more attractive benefit to some is their extremely long life. Most tank manufacturers claim that their ceramic coils will last months before needing to be replaced. Not only does this reduce the amount of maintenance required, but it should reduce the costs associated with purchasing replacement coils.
Benefits Overview by Council of Vapor:
“Spitting” is also a thing of the past with a ceramic tank system. Any spitback that does occur will happen within the ceramic material: so it’s pretty difficult to get a mouthful of e-juice when a coil goes bad or there are unexpected changes in the vaporization process, such as power spikes and the like.
There’s also another neat feature that has a lot to do with the structure of ceramic itself. Like I mentioned earlier, ceramic is a porous material. These pores are very small, only a few micrometers big. This means that any impurities within the juice should be filtered out: Vaporesso suggests in its own promotional literature that impurities or powder bigger that 12 micrometers are filtered by the coil.
That claim is not completely out of left field. As early as the 19th Century, we’ve used ceramic filters to filter out impurities in water. While it’s crude — and other newer filtration methods work much better — it has been proven to work.
Hazardous to Your Health?
While everything sounds good so far, there are a few potential negatives to ceramic coil tanks as well. For one, there is no way to rebuild a ceramic coil. Once the coil fails, it must be completely replaced with a new one. That may not be a huge issue for everyone, but DIY’ers may find it to be a deal breaker. In addition, some high profile vapers have actually questioned the safety of ceramic.
Within a few weeks after ceramic coils were commercially debuted, the coil design received a fair bit of criticism due to an apparent study which raised questions about whether or not ceramic was a wise choice to use for vaping.
It appears that the first person to mention this was popular vlogger Grimm Green, who in a January 7th video claimed he had received an email from a vendor warning him of potential dangers of ceramic coils. This unnamed vendor allegedly sent out the coils to be tested, and the tests returned with evidence of toxicity. Then on January 26th, he reported back that those findings were inaccurate.
Phil Busardo gave more details about the issue on his blog on January 8th, saying he had also heard from this vendor. Busardo says the tests came back positive for Magnesium Oxide “and potentially something else.” Busardo promised an update, and also came through. The results? The new tests found nothing.
Pros & Cons Summary
- Outstanding flavor
- Exceptionally long life
- Practically no chance of burnt taste or dry hits
- Built-in filtration qualities
- Less replacements – lower costs
- Not rebuildable
- Possible safety concerns
The Next Big Thing in Vaping
So it appears that the initial concerns about ceramic may have been unwarranted, but lets not forget that ceramic coils are completely new, and we know less about them than we do about standard coils. Personally, I’d like to hear more about these test results, and possibly see some other independent testing before I take the leap. That’s probably not going to happen right away, but we do have some details about Vaporesso’s own testing. See this link for the company’s “MSDS”.
Our opinion? It appears that ceramic is probably safe, and any talk about it being dangerous is questionable at best. Ceramic coil tanks could be the future of vaping, and the benefits are certainly attractive – improved flavor, longer life and lower costs. Although you may want to proceed with caution, we’ll be testing some ceramic tanks for ourselves in the near future, so keep an eye out for more info.