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Clapton : how can they even vape well?

Discussion in 'Wick and Wire' started by Kazuko, Jun 18, 2018.

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  1. Kazuko

    Kazuko Senior Member

    May 17, 2018
    France
    Hi guys,

    Some of you may have already come across some of my posts. If you have, then you know I like to experiment and ask stupid questions.

    My last food for thoughts is clapton wires. I haven't tried them yet, because I still have much to learn and try with simple round wires. BUT, as I struggle to build something really decent for my mech, I obviously hesitated to try clapton wires. Still I don't want to buy one before I actually understand a few things about them.

    I know the hype around clapton wires is due to their surface area : lots of it, so lots of vapor and flavor, so it's far better than round wire.
    The thing is, most of what I've read, which is backed by my limited experience, is that surface area isn't the one and only thing to consider. The more (if not most) important variable would be heat flux, and that's what I'm struggling with regarding clapton wires.

    For argument's sake, let's consider a few things :
    - the theoretical battery will be a 20amp 18650
    - the theoretical wire will be a fused clapton SS316L wire with two 26AWG as core strands, and 34AWG as wrap (it's for sale at my local B&M, so I guess it's easier to choose for an example)

    So. Let's say I want to build a pretty basic single coil, within the battery's safe usage.
    20amp would be drawn by .21ohm, so 3mm ID 5 wraps, that's .218ohm, kinda pushing it, but still within the battery's CDR!
    Now, on a mech mod with a fully charged battery, .218ohm pushes roughly 81W (that's fully charged, with absolutely no voltage drop).
    Steam engine's wire wizard says the heat flux per watt of this coil is 1.16mW/mm2, so at 81W, it gives us 93mW/mm2.
    This is ridiculously low.
    My usual likable heatflux is somewhere between 250 and 350, and even 250 is a pretty cold vape. How could 93 be fine??

    To get a reasonable heat flux of 240, this coil would need 206W, that's a lot of power...

    Going beyond the battery's limit, 3mm ID 3 wraps is .136ohm, that's 130W, giving a heat flux of 241,8. Now that seems acceptable, but more than 30amp draw, so barely doable for the average not-so-ballsy vaper with a single battery mod.

    Are my calculations off? If not, how is clapton even a thing for single battery vapers? Or is it only sustainable on a dual+ battery mod?
     
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  2. bombastinator

    bombastinator ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 12, 2010
    MN USA
    Your suspicions are borne out by my personal observation. Clapton wires produce somewhat more vapor, but no more flavor and the cost is significantly increased ramp time. I personally prefer twist wires which have increased surface area but are all heating element so much of the problems are removed.

    Imho claptons are strictly for cloud chasing. Others have different attitudes about this though.
     
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  3. stols001

    stols001 Mistress of the Dark Nicotinic Arts Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 30, 2017
    I just tried my first Clapton and I liked it a lot (but, it was a single build and a 0.75 coil). The flavor was great, IDK how significant my ramp up time was, but it wasn't insane. However, it's hard tor me to decide because I used it with my first mech and my kiddo stole/was gifted it. My hunch was it would decrease battery life overall, but I noted no huge ramp up time. I'd imagine it would require switching batteries more often.

    Since I gave the kid the setup (I'm trying to get him to at least MINIMIZE his relapse into the Juul, such high nic and expensive) I was glad to give it to him. I did immediately order another. He understands safety and even in a protected mod, I was like "I am not going to push this thing HARD," and it worked out great. But, I didn't have it to continue testing battery life. I told the kid if he wanted duals, he needed to get a 2700 battery and he said he would. I will be doing that myself.

    So, it depends. I guess.

    Anna
     
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  4. bombastinator

    bombastinator ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 12, 2010
    MN USA
    Ramp time is heavily dependent on how thick the wrap wire is. Thethicker thewrap the longer the ramp. It is possible to build fairly efficient claptons by using very thin wrap wire but wire that thin tend to do things like break and kink so commercial claptons tend to avoid it
     
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  5. Myk

    Myk Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Jan 1, 2009
    IL, USA
    I like claptons where they work not because of surface area but because the air pockets turn them into a wick. I think of them like mesh. A lot of little places to hold flavor that will be released with heat.
    I guess that is surface area but not the same surface areas as ribbon wire.

    Before TC I was getting into claptons and they were making power tolerable. The mass slowed down ramp up and helped the airflow keep them from overheating. But TC happened before I messed with high power much.
    I don't notice a huge difference in vapor or flavor where clapton TCs works for me, but maybe a little.
     
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  6. bwh79

    bwh79 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 11, 2014
    Oregon
    *Dingdingding!* Dual batts, or single-cell regulated with [poor] battery life. Claptons take lots of power to heat up, and they do so rather slowly. If you want instant (or near-instant) ramp-up, you gotta hit 'em with a lot of watts. One battery just won't sustain that much power for very long.
     
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  7. Zaryk

    Zaryk Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 25, 2018
    Ohio
    I run 28x3/40 ni80 claptons at 0.35 ohm. Ramp up is near instant (probably close to a quarter of a second, definitely less than half a second), and I can run around 15-17 ml of juice through it (one day worth for me) on a single cell mech, and still have ~30% battery at the end of the day. The vapor is medium hot, not cool or cold at all. Like what was said before me, it's all about keeping the mass down with low gauge wires. The thicker stuff is more high power regulated territory in my opinion. I am considering ordering some 42g to start wrapping with before I finish off the 2000 feet of 40g I got on my last order so I can compare to see if it helps enough to justify the added hassle of working with even thinner wire.
     
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  8. Rossum

    Rossum Surly Curmudgeon Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Dec 14, 2013
    NE FL
    I think this is a flaw in Steam Engine. Even with simple 3x twisted builds that I use most of the time, the heat flux it calculates is lower than actual vaping makes it feel like. I suspect it calculates heat flux based on the total surface area of all the individual the wires in the build, but the effective surface area of a complex build (i.e the surface area from which heat can actually escape) is substantially less than the total surface area of all the individual wires.
     
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  9. APathos

    APathos Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 16, 2016
    CA USA
    The maker of the steam engine explained in a reddit post (Dampmaskin's post) that for the wire wizard, the heat flux is calculating on total surface area. Yes, it is incorrect. Basically I just use the core wires (Show results for all components) and add a little wattage for the wraps.
     
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  10. sonicbomb

    sonicbomb Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 17, 2015
    1187 Hundertwasser
    Claptons contain a lot of wire mass, and the outer wire is parasitic in the sense that it carries no current and is heated purely by heat conducted from the core wire.
    On regulated mod you can just throw wattage at it.
    On a single battery mech this is not an option, as you have to work within the constraints of a limited 4.2 volt power source and the intrinsic losses of high current circuits. To attain low resistance and relatively high surface area in a coil, round wire parallels offer a far better option as they offer the best mass to surface area ratio.
    But they don't look as pretty as claptons.

    I know some people get great results with claptons. But in my opinion they are vaping equivalent of 20' alloy wheels and a flash paint job on a car.
     
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  11. Kazuko

    Kazuko Senior Member

    May 17, 2018
    France
    Thanks! I guess I'll just give it a shot when I feel like round wire falls too short!
     
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  12. Kazuko

    Kazuko Senior Member

    May 17, 2018
    France
    Yeah I'm currently running a 2 strands parallel coil of 26AWG KA1, 3mm ID 5 half wraps, and it's fine on my mech. Cloudy at high voltage, smooth but still quite foggy at low voltage. I'll stick with it for now, but I may end up giving clapton a shot on a regulated mod!
     
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  13. Kazuko

    Kazuko Senior Member

    May 17, 2018
    France
    Just posting back to give you a follow up. I gave in to my curiosity, and just bought my first fused clapton wire. 2*26AWG + 34AWG Ni80.

    I mounted a 4 wrap 3mm ID coil in my Wasp Nano, and... Why didn't I get some earlier?! (I actually know why, I wanted to experiment with simple builds before spoiling myself, but damn did I take my time)

    Until now, the only RDA that gave me satisfying flavor was my Dead Rabbit SQ. This Wasp Nano gave me a hard time building something right, I always had a whistle, and the flavor was muted, I only got the menthol note, but the main flavor I should get is strawberry (and the DR SQ does a fine job giving me all the flavors).
    I read a lot of posts where people were amazed by clapton compared to simple wire, but I had quite low expectations for this build actually, since the Wasp was not my favorite RDA, and I had decent flavor from various parallel builds.

    Even more surprising is the fact that I had vaper's tongue last week, I've had my taste back this week but caught some kind of sinusite/cold/my-nose-hurts, and for the past two days vaping was not top notch, I've seen better days :p but damn, this, really, is game changing.

    It reads .29ohm, vaping at 47W, the ramp up is not negligible, but worth it, 'cause this thing's good!

    Alright, I'm off, gonna mount a 4.5 wraps in my DR SQ, and see what gives!
     
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  14. Zaryk

    Zaryk Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 25, 2018
    Ohio
    Next time you buy some Clapton wire, try out some that has a thinner wrap wire (like 38g or 40g) as it will reduce the ramp up time and take less power to get where you want it to be.
     
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