Anyone who has taken two seconds to survey the breadth of the vaporizer market quickly notices that various brands tout their heating element as “the very best available” while pointing out health risks associated using their competitors’models. Evaluating all these (sometimes conflicting) statements can be quite a task. The objective of this informative article is to not endorse a certain type of heating element, but instead to gather the available information about heating elements in a single place to help people to make informed decisions when purchasing a vaporizer.
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Why Do Heating Elements Matter? The heating element is the most integral part of any vaporizer. It regulates the temperature of the air that catalyzes the substances as the air passes through it. A note: the air passing through the heating element might be either propelled by a pump in balloon-style models i.e. the Volcano Vaporizer or by one’s own in direct-inhalation style vaporizers i.e. the VaporCannon. Some models, such as the herbalAire, are designed for both balloon and direct-inhale style vaporization. A principal requirement for several heating elements is precision – you want your vaporizer to really be at the temperature you add – but health considerations could also play when people shop for vaporizers.
Kinds of Heating Elements:
Ceramic heating elements are the absolute most commonly type of heating elements. Their proponents argue they are the cleanest and therefore healthiest option. This statement holds some truth: ceramics can withstand high temperatures (about 3000*F) before the material starts to transform to a gas and are therefore very clean and healthy. Some companies take this logic a step further and argue that since other forms of heating elements have lower “boiling points” they are dirtier and less healthy. This argument is somewhat flawed: while other heating elements have lower boiling points, these points are usually still well in excess of typical vaporizing temperatures. Learn about the precise types below for more info.
Another important consideration when evaluation vaporizers with ceramic heating elements is the caliber of the ceramic unit because the word “ceramic” is used to explain forms of elements that are quite different in design. This really is because of the fact that “ceramic” merely describes whether or not the system incorporates some ceramic to the heating element’s design, it generally does not imply that the air only touches ceramic material. This makes buying vaporizers with ceramic heating elements difficult unless one knows the specifics of the designs utilized by each manufacturer. As a broad principle cheaper vaporizers are prone to have exposed low-quality wire or solder within the heating element’s ceramic structure that will emit toxins. So stay away from that digi vape if you want quality vapor. While the sole definitive test is to take an element completely apart to observe how it is constructed, some manufacturers will address these questions in the event that you contact them. The manufacturers of the reduced quality models will dodge them.
Low quality ceramic elements reflect poorly on all ceramic heating elements, which is unfortunate just because a well-designed ceramic element is quite clean. The top of line ceramic heating elements are very precise too, although precision can be a function of the circuitry and computer chip technology used in combination with the heating element.
Types of vaporizers with good ceramic heating elements: VaporBrothers, Phedor and Hotbox
Some of the finest vaporizers available on the market use aluminum heating elements. Manufacturers say that aluminum is more precise than ceramic elements because it responds faster the temperature changes:
“One reason the Volcano maintains such perfect temperature control is basically because it uses a metal element and block, and aluminum has different properties than potential practical designs using ceramics. A metal element and block can more rapidly adjust for aftereffects of air pressure and flow over plant material…the key to vaporization is maintaining control over temperature and flow, which ultimately results in more perfect control over vapor density.”
Critics of vaporizers with aluminum heating elements cite health risks related to experience of aluminum, namely an elevated threat of Alzheimer’s. It is essential to notice a few things here. The first is from the Storz & Bickel FAQ page:
“Q. Does the aluminum heating block emit any substances which are subsequently inhaled by the consumer?
A. No. the very best temperature reached in the heating block 240°C (464°F) is undoubtedly below the temperature that is required to emit any substances from the aluminum alloy AlMgSi, melting point 660°C (1220°F); boiling point 2519°C (4566°F) used by us. That is documented by an analysis of the air made by the Volcano at the top temperature produced by the University of Leiden, Netherlands.”
So a properly designed aluminum heating elements appear to be quite clean.
When it comes to increased risk of Alzheimer’s: it’s hard to be sure whether something does or does not play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s because the condition itself isn’t completely understood, but aluminum doesn’t appear to significantly increase a person’s susceptibility. These articles from Scientific American and Alzheimer’s.org discuss this conclusion in depth.
Examples of vaporizers with good aluminum heating elements: Volcano, herbalaire
Glass is basically the same as ceramic as it pertains to heating elements. Only one vaporizer by having an all-glass heating element is available: the Vapolution Vaporizer.
CONCLUSION: Selecting a Vaporizer with the Right Heating Element
In the long run deciding on a heating element is just a matter of personal choice. Health considerations are paramount for a few, while precision may dictate the choices of others. Those focused on health ought to be advised that the kind of plastic hosing used and type of plastic tubing used inside different models will also be very relevant, but this is a topic for a different article. Probably the most expensive vaporizers obviously have the most effective heating elements – this is a large part of what you are spending money on – but some mid-range models also provide quite viable (usually ceramic) options. Execute a little research before you decide too, it can pay off. Hopefully this short article has given you a place to start.