With the development of e-cigarette, “core technology” has become more important in today’s e-cigarette market teeming with numerous brands with identical products. Technological innovation has become the main driver in promoting the whole industry. The core technology of e-cigarette is divided into two major categories – atomization technology and nicotine (e-liquid) technology.
In these two categories, atomization technology and nicotine (e-liquid) technology are complementary, the company will target the trending e-liquid and research and upgrade its atomization technology accordingly to achieve better atomization and taste. At present, the honeycomb ceramic atomizer “FEELM”, adopted by most of the small portable vape devices, is a typical example of the evolution of atomization technology.
With the increasing popularity of CBD in Europe and the United States, the development of related atomizers has been promoted. At present, most of the traditional CBD atomizers use cotton wicks, so whether the ceramic atomization technology successfully applied to small vape devices can also apply to CBD products?
Compared with the traditional cotton core, ceramic can absorb thicker e-liquid, and provide a more even heating performance. For CBD e-liquid, ceramic heating components have many irreplaceable advantages compare to traditional cotton wicks, making it a promising alternative in CBD atomization technology.
Difference between CBD E-liquid and Nicotine E-liquid?
Before learning ceramics and CBD atomization technology, it is important to understand the difference between CBD e-liquid and normal nicotine e-liquid.
The nicotine e-liquid consists of glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (PG), and other ingredients include water, flavor, and nicotine.
The CBD e-liquid is composed of CBD, a certain amount of VG, PG, and water. Some manufacturers also add fruit or other flavors according to the preference of certain consumers. The main components of CBD e-liquid and nicotine e-liquid are not much different, but the viscosity of the two is completely different. Basically, CBD e-liquid is much thicker and stickier than nicotine e-liquid.
About CBD Atomization
Due to the difference in CBD content and extracted plants, the characteristics and viscosity of the CBD are very different. The high content of CBD e-liquid is thicker and even semi-solid. It is difficult to use ordinary cotton wicks to feed the e-liquid to the coil, which easily causes the atomizer to burn.
Therefore, most of the CBD atomizer on the market use honeycomb ceramics and ceramic-covered cotton as the coil.
CBD atomizer needs to be redesigned according to the characteristics of the e-liquid it uses. Different e-liquids have a different consistency, and viscosity, which will affect the atomization. If effective atomization is to be done, one of the methods is to add a large amount of tincture to the CBD e-liquid. This kind of e-liquid is thinner, it has a lower CBD content and can be atomized and used by a small portable vape device, so it does not rely much on the devices it’s been using.
However, full-spectrum CBD e-liquid needs to use the specially designed high-quality atomizing devices and atomizers to get the most efficient intake of CBD. This part involves two critical links, the first is e-liquid itself; the second is the CBD atomization device. The Chinese brand VELX is an e-cigarette company that specializes in providing such CBD atomization technology solutions.
Because the CBD has different effects on individuals, the intake of CBD content and the requirements for atomization are also very different. Therefore, CBD e-liquid should be used according to the individual’s physical conditions.
because the CBD itself is very thick and oily. It is effectively diluted and soluble in water. Currently, only two companies have Canadian-certified patented manufacturing technology. However, CBD e-liquid is not legal in China, will only focus on CBD atomization technology.
CBD Ceramic Atomization Technology
The ceramic coil was originally designed to improve the life of the atomizer and prevent metal oxidation. The ceramic coil itself still needs to be made with kanthal or ordinary coil material because the ceramic does not conduct electricity. If the ordinary coil is encapsulated in ceramic, the core benefits can be effectively obtained.
At present, the mainstream ceramic atomization technology is represented by Vaporesso CCELL, which initiates the development of a ceramic coil. In this design, the coil itself is encapsulated in a porous ceramic cylinder. This not only protects the coil structure but on the other hand ceramics can be used as a substitute for traditional cotton, which absorbs and feeds CBD e-liquid into the center coil.
The unique patented ceramic application is one of the keys to CCELL’s ability to be truly revolutionary ceramic heating technology. The special manufacturing process of high-temperature firing grants the ceramic surface with numerous nano-scale micropores. The material is called “microporous ceramics” and is good at absorbing, storing and evaporating high-viscosity e-liquid.
In addition to CCELL, another major method for atomizing ceramics is that the ceramic is coated on the electrode carrier, so the coil looks different from the other coil and has an outer ceramic coating. This design is also widely used in nicotine electronic cigarettes, such as “SSOCC” by Kanger, “FEELM black ceramic film atomizing core” by FEELM, and “SILMO” by Zhuoli Energy.
Although the design is different, the key point of both is whether the coil is surrounded by ceramic material. In both cases, the advantages are basically the same—high evaporation efficiency, even heat distribution, a stable and consistent large amount of vapor, flavor. Pure and effective atomization ability.
The Ceramic Coil Production Method
1. Mold design and manufacturing
- According to the size of the atomizer, design and manufacture a mold to fit the coil.
- Select high-quality aggregates, integrators, pore formers;
- Preparation of ingredients (different weight ratios, confidentiality is not disclosed);
- Place the material in a mold of the specified size and shape, pressurize it to make it compact and form;
- After pressing, let it dry, and then demould;
- Continue to dry
- Fine finishing
Firing is a densification process and phenomenon at high temperatures. As the temperature rises, the ceramic body has particles larger than the surface and higher in surface energy and tries to change the direction of the surface energy, continuously shifting the material, and the ceramic grain boundary moves with it, and the pores are gradually eliminated. Shrinking makes the blank a dense porcelain with a certain strength.
The commonly used electronic cigarette ceramic coil rubber-sintering integrated furnace adopts a frequency conversion controller, and the temperature is controlled by ±1 °C, and the whole adopts a hot air circulation mode, and the heat is evenly distributed.
5. Grinding and Polishing
It is the main method for precision machining of ceramic materials. The mechanical friction or mechanical chemistry between the lap and the workpiece removes the residual, causing micro-cracks on the surface of the workpiece, gradually expanding and stripping from the parent material to achieve the desired accuracy.
6. Analysis and Testing
- Appearance quality analysis: Through the appearance quality analysis of the production shape, hammer stroke, knife scratch, color before and after calcination, gloss contrast, touch feel, use of simple reagents, etc., can be used to preliminarily determine the chemical composition, mineral type, Process performance, and other information. For example, through the touch feeling of clay, the properties such as sand content, plasticity, bonding, loss on ignition, etc. can be discriminated;
- Chemical performance analysis: The chemical composition can be analyzed by conventional chemical analysis method, spectrophotometer method, X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (tablet method and melting method), and the color, refractoriness, and quality of the raw material after calcination are roughly determined. Firing temperature range, type, raw material purity, shrinkage rate, defect information, etc.;
- Physical property analysis: mainly through the appearance of raw materials and whiteness after calcination;
- Accurate instrument analysis: Through the relevant equipment customized by the enterprise, the porosity, water absorption and bulk density of the high-precision electronic cigarette ceramic atomization core are analyzed, and the smoke smoked by the ceramic atomizing core is detected. The qualified finished CBD core atomization core porosity and water absorption must be above 50%;
- Other analysis: Perform other performance analysis on the ceramic atomizing core through the relevant equipment customized by the company.
7. Packaging and Shipping
Advantages of Ceramic Coil
The porosity of microporous ceramics is higher than that of ordinary ceramics, reaching 24% to 92%, and the pore size distribution is very even, the size can be controlled, and the permeability is also high. The ceramic voids come from two parts: first, from the intergranular voids naturally formed during the sintering of the powder particles; and second, through the pores formed by the pore former.
Porous ceramics have good chemical stability and chemical resistance. In addition to hydrofluoric acid and concentrated alkali, they have excellent corrosion resistance to all media. Through the selection of materials and technical control, they can be made into various corrosive environments. Microporous ceramics, and do not react with other chemicals, so the fluid is not contaminated by the dissolved matter, and will not cause secondary pollution.
Microporous ceramics also have high-temperature resistance, no harmful substances volatilization and good thermal stability, and do not cause thermal deformation, softening and oxidation, and can be used in both low temperature and high-temperature environments. In addition, ceramics have high mechanical strength and stiffness, and the shape and size of the channels do not change under air pressure, hydraulic pressure or other load pressures.
On the other hand, the microporous ceramic has good adsorption performance, and the porous solid surface characteristics make it have a large adsorption inner surface, so that it has strong adsorption capacity, can remove the lack of adsorption capacity of the traditional cotton wick, and can filter out. A large number of tiny suspended particles.
The global CBD market is a merging market. The atomizers and atomizing devices that people originally used are also relatively primitive. Due to the high price of CBD e-liquid, people just need the atomizing devices to be “usable” rather than a further functional requirement.
However, with the explosive growth of the medical market, users’ requirements for atomizing devices are also changing rapidly.
The FDA issued various important regulations on the use of CBD e-liquid atomizing devices in 2018. California also issued the most stringent heavy metal detection standard in history, which has made many atomizing device manufacturers’ unqualified products blocked from the biggest legal CBD market in the world. The California Heavy Metals Act regulates the highest levels of heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium in atomizers, with the lead being stressed out for its huge harm to the human body.
However, by virtue of the non-polluting nature of porous ceramics, good self-cleaning state, non-toxic and tasteless, no foreign matter falling off, and no secondary pollution, the ceramic atomization technology effectively replaces cotton cloth, textiles, plastics, precious metal meshes, and other filter material, also solves the heavy metal emission generated by traditional coil.
According to data, from January to June 2018, the export of CCELL was about US$17.94 million. After the United States passed the Farm Bill to remove the CBD from the federal controlled substances, CCELL’s total exports from January to June of 2019 reached US$58.76 million, and the growth rate in the first half of the year was as high as 228%.
In addition, recently, the securities company revealed that the manufacturer of CCELL, the leader of the e-cigarette industry chain, is finalizing its IPO plan. The specific time has not yet been determined. From the 13.5% increase on March 9th, 2018, the price began at 43 yuan, ended at 124 yuan on June 8, Vaporesso became the first to increase 10 times in “China’s OTC Market.” Among them, the growth of CBD business has made a lot of value for Vaporesso.
In general, due to the unexpected growth of the CBD market in the world, ceramic atomization technology has become the mainstream of e-cigarette core technology development. Although the market is still led by CCELL atomization technology, with the CBD user community continues to expand, and soon there will be newer and higher-end ceramic atomization technologies. The CBD atomization field will be an important trend worthy of attention in the future.