Kanthal wire and types of coils (I)

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Kanthal is a general trademark term that refers to a family of iron-aluminum-chromium alloys capable of withstanding high temperatures and conduct electricity, having variable resistances with respect to their gauge. It does not oxidize (or rust) rapidly in industrial applications and is also very resistant to a wide range of corrosive elements.

kanthal wire spools Kanthal can operate at much higher temperatures than Nichrome, its rival. As opposed to Nichrome, it has a higher resistivity, higher surface load, higher yield strength, and decreased density. It can also last up to four times as long as Nichrome wire due to its better oxidation properties and resistance to corrosive environments.

There are basically three types of Kanthal wire that are commonly used in the building of micro coils for atomizers: A1, A, and D. A1 is mostly renowned for its high resistivity and capacity to withstand corrosive agents without oxidation, even in hot or sulfuric environments. It also comes with a higher corrosion resistance and an increased hot and creep strength, making it the most popular choice for micro-coils. It also has an increased higher tensile strength in comparison with Kanthal D. Kanthal A1 can withstand temperatures of around 1400 Celsius, A can go to as high as 1350 while D can only withstand 1300 degrees. Kanthal D does not withstand corrosion to sulfuric environments as good as Kanthal A1. We recommend that you only use Kanthal A1 when building your coils.

Kanthal can work with a wide variety of wicking materials like cotton, silica, ekowool, and stainless steel mesh.

When you want to buy Kanthal wire, it comes in a variety of gauges (AWG) that range from 24 to 34 when we’re talking about micro-coils for your e-cigarette. The relationships between the gauge, diameter and resistance are as follows: The higher the AWG = the smaller the wire diameter = higher resistance per unit of length. Looking from the other perspective, the lower the AWG = the bigger the wire diameter = lower resistance per unit of length. Also, the longer the wire you are using, the bigger its total resistance.

  • AWG 24 – Diameter 0.51 mm – Resistance 0.17 Ω / inch
  • AWG 26 – Diameter 0.40 mm – Resistance 0.28 Ω / inch
  • AWG 28 – Diameter 0.32 mm – Resistance 0.44 Ω / inch
  • AWG 30 – Diameter 0.25 mm – Resistance 0.70 Ω / inch
  • AWG 32 – Diameter 0.20 mm – Resistance 1.09 Ω / inch
  • AWG 34 – Diameter 0.16 mm – Resistance 1.76 Ω / inch

You need to take into consideration that every time you’re building a coil, your resulting atomizer resistance paired with the battery voltage doesn’t surpass the continuous discharge rate of your battery. This is why, in order to be on the safe side, it’s always recommended that you vape between the 0.9 and 1.9 Ohms interval and use a powerful 30A battery.

Posted by Dave Allan

Former pack-a-day smoker, I discovered electronic cigarettes back in 2011. Since then vaping has slowly turned into my hobby and my full time job. I’ve tested hundreds of e-cigarettes and mods across the years and constantly used my knowledge and experience to help others make the switch. I’m passionate about technology, I enjoy reading and I love big flavorful clouds.


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