When you shop for vape mods at a website like V2 Cigs UK, you'll often see the term "Temperature Control" or "TC" as you look at the more advanced devices. Temperature control is one of the most interesting technologies ever to hit the world of vaping. For those who prefer a vaping experience that's smooth, cool and never harsh, temperature control can make vaping more enjoyable than ever. Temperature control isn't for everyone, though, and it doesn't work with all vaping equipment.
So, is temperature control vaping for you? Reading this article, you're going to learn:
- What temperature control vaping is and how it works
- What equipment you need for temperature control vaping
- What the benefits and drawbacks of temperature control vaping are
What Is Temperature Control Vaping?
Temperature control is a mode that you can enable if your vaping device supports it. During normal vaping, you control the warmth and volume of the vapor by adjusting your device's wattage. In wattage-based vaping, though, it's possible for the vapor to become overly hot and harsh if you set the wattage too high. It's also possible to experience a dry hit - which is absolutely horrible - if you forget to keep your tank topped up.
When you vape in temperature control mode, your device doesn't operate at a constant wattage. Instead, you select a "preheating wattage" that delivers an initial burst of energy to your atomizer coil. You also select a maximum coil temperature. When the coil reaches that temperature, the device automatically reduces its power to maintain that temperature and prevent the vapor from becoming overly harsh.
How Does Temperature Control Vaping Work?
The principle that makes temperature control vaping work is called Temperature Coefficient of Resistance (TCR). TCR works like this:
- A metal or alloy changes in electrical resistance as its temperature increases.
- Some materials change so much in resistance during heating that you can measure the change with equipment that's affordable and readily available. A material that changes greatly in resistance during heating has a high TCR.
- If you know the TCR of a given material - and you measure the resistance of that material in real time as it heats up - then you can estimate the material's current temperature.
That, in short, is how temperature control vaping works. If you use an atomizer coil with a high TCR, your vaping device checks the coil's resistance in real time and uses the TCR of that material to estimate the coil's temperature. The higher the TCR of the coil material is, the more accurate the temperature estimate will be.
What Do You Need for Temperature Control Vaping?
For temperature control vaping, you need two things.
Temperature Control Mod
You need a vaping device that supports temperature control operation. Most modern box mods do support temperature control, so if you own a regulated box mod purchased in the last few years, you most likely already have a temperature control mod.
The mod must also know the TCR of the coil material that you want to use. Most temperature control mods have built-in support for nickel, titanium and stainless-steel coils. Your mod may also allow you to enter a custom TCR.
A mod that doesn't support temperature control operation should never be used with nickel or titanium coils because the resistances of those materials are too low for wattage-based vaping. Stainless-steel coils, however, work for both temperature control and wattage-based vaping.
Temperature Control Coil
You also need a tank or rebuildable atomizer with a coil made from a high-TCR material. As mentioned above, the most common temperature control coils are made from nickel, titanium and stainless steel. You can find stainless-steel coils for many vaping tanks, and those coils will support temperature control mode. Pre-built nickel and titanium coils, however, can be difficult to find.
The other two alloys commonly used for vaping coils - kanthal and nichrome - do not change greatly in resistance when they're heated. Because they are both low-TCR materials, they do not work for temperature control vaping.
What Are the Benefits of Temperature Control?
If you like your vapor to remain cool and smooth at all times, you're going to love temperature control vaping. Temperature control drastically limits the heat that comes from the coil during vaping, so the vapor never becomes as warm as it does during wattage-based vaping.
The greatest benefit of temperature control, though, is that it makes dry hits virtually impossible. A dry hit happens if you vape at too high a wattage or forget to refill your tank. When you vape, the atomizer coil transfers its heat energy to the e-liquid, turning the e-liquid to vapor. For that to happen, though, the coil must be wet. If the coil is dry, it quickly overheats, glowing orange and releasing noxious fumes. That's called a dry hit - and when a dry hit happens, there's no warning. You don't know it's happening until you're already inhaling the fumes. It's a horrible experience.
When you're vaping in temperature control mode, a dry hit generally can't happen because your device detects the temperature increase and immediately cuts power. Instead of producing a dry hit, the device simply stops producing vapor at all. You'll realize that you've forgotten to fill your tank, and you'll refill it.
What Are the Drawbacks of Temperature Control?
Temperature control vaping has two drawbacks. The first drawback is that nickel and titanium produce the most accurate temperature measurements, and you're not likely to find coils made from either of those materials for your tank. Nickel and titanium coils don't have particularly good vapor production, and some people find that those coil materials can produce off flavors. You'll generally need to use a stainless-steel coil if you want to experience temperature control vaping with a modern tank, and some mods don't produce very accurate temperature measurements with stainless steel.
The second drawback of temperature control vaping is that you're not going to get the kind of vapor production in temperature control mode that you get in wattage mode. In wattage-based vaping, the atomizer coil reaches much higher temperatures than temperature control mode will allow. If you want to try temperature control vaping, you should expect very modest vapor clouds compared to the clouds that your device might produce in wattage mode.