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Wick material experiment...

Discussion in 'Experiments With Equipment' started by Jaaxx, Dec 14, 2008.

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  1. Jaaxx

    Jaaxx Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 24, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    I've been less than impressed with the wicking qualities of the material in our carts. I figure at any given moment I have 10-15ml or so of juice tied up in "dry" carts.

    Did a little research and I'm going to try some wicking material. The most promising stuff I've found so far is Kevlar wick. It's contains no asbestos, but is extremely heat resistant.

    I was able to find it in 3/8" and 1/2" rope form, so i ordered a foot of each (appx 1.40 USD a foot.) Gonna try it out and report back.

    In the meantime, does anyone have any experience with alternate wicking material (other than the often used aqarium filter stuff?)
  2. robw

    robw Super Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 7, 2008
    Austin Texas
    this has been a quest of mine as well.
    The properties of e-liquid is different from vendor to vendor and even in some cases from flavor to flavor. The surface tension changes which determines how the liquid flows.

    There is also a factor of temperature that may prohibit the liquid from following gravity.

    I have been thinking that a wick is not the answer at all. A tube with a self dispensing tip such as a roller ball as you might find in a hamster bottle could work if you could control the ball. If the ball was on a spring and the mouth piece had a spring where it met the body of the atomizer, then when the atomizer is in your lips a small amount of pressure pushing in would press the roller ball against the mesh of the atomizer, thus pushing the roller ball in and allowing fluid to flow around it. By releasing the pressure the ball would spring back and re seal the flow tube. The tube it self could be filled with 15 drops of liquid which is equal to the volume in a 901 cart.
  3. PeteMcArthur

    PeteMcArthur Super Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 27, 2008
    I'll be interested in your results! I've only ever used the aquarium polyester wool which I think is the stuff in the original carts, it certainly works the same. OK but not perfect.
  4. Bertrand

    Bertrand Super Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 27, 2008

    My feeling is that the material should be coarser than the atomizer mesh it needs to wick into. The stock cart material is not, and has a tendency to remove liquid from the atomizer the moment it gets even a bit dry.

    My cart is working well at the moment, but every now and then it seems to stop working properly. I can't figure out why, and will at some point get back to it. Either way, it's better than the acrylic stuff they come with.
  5. Tetsab

    Tetsab Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 10, 2008
    East Sussex, UK
    I've been interested in this too, and recollect finding a post by a US member recommending use of a material called Pellon Thermolam. Sorry, can't remember which one or I'd put in a link to give the credit. Anyway, this stuff is the material used in oven gloves - I've got an oven glove which is coming unstitched in places and I think he's right, it is very much the same as what is in a cartridge. [​IMG]

    Apparently Thermolam is pretty cheap to buy in a fabric store and of course you don't need yards of it. For anyone who hasn't yet pulled the 'wool' out of a cartridge, it is a tiny square of whatever the material actually is.

    If on the other hand you are very broke like me or just a terminal cheapskate, there does seem to be an alternative. Once the filler goes brown/shows signs of gunking up, remove it from the cart and wash it!

    I got a small collection of them from my 901b together, squeezed out the remaining juice with a syringe (better than 1ml of perfectly usable juice) then swooshed them around in boiling water inside a tea ball infuser. Dried out on kitchen towel and they are all perfectly clean again. I grasped it in tweezers to reinsert into the cart, very easy and quick. Tip: when replacing into cart fold up couple of times, don't roll it up - fills better. :thumbs:

    Another tip/warning, don't try the same treatment with the rest of the cartridge - they don't like it! Destroyed a couple trying this. [​IMG] I had wanted to clean/sterilise the mouthpieces before reusing them, will try putting them in a steamer for a short blast next time. If that fails I guess I'll have to stick to washing out in hot washing-up water.

    Compliments of the season, all. [​IMG]
  6. Jaaxx

    Jaaxx Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 24, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    I just keep thinking about what happens to a wick in an oil lamp. If the resivoir goes dry (while it's burning) the wick will also dry out.

    I just think the material in carts at the moment is not dense enough. That is where I got the idea to use wicking of some sort. Obviously lamp wick would not be appropriate because it will burn (obviously.)

    Just looking for more efficient transfer. If you look at a "dry" cart you will see a dry end on the atomizer side and a fully saturated tip side. I'm hoping a better wick will even this out.

    However, I do realize, even with perfectly even distribution, that at some point it will get too dry to provide acceptable vapor. So there will always be "some" unavailable juice when it's time to top up.

    Right now I'm estimating about 60-70% unavailable in a typical penstyle cart. I would be happy with 20-30% I think.
  7. MagusSteele

    MagusSteele Super Member ECF Veteran

    I thought about the lamp wicks too. Havent tryed it yet.

    They wont burn, because there is No Flame. They are made of cotton most times and will not Melt, like some stuffing will, so there should never be any weird taste useing them. I just dont know if they would hold enough liquid to be worth the trouble.

    The Kevlar sounds interesting.
  8. Jaaxx

    Jaaxx Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 24, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    I am thinking the cotton fibers in the lamp wick might scorch and taste like crud. The kevlar is basically fiberglass so scorching shouldn't be an issue.
  9. Terraphon

    Terraphon Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 12, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Good thing I did a search because I was about to make a thread asking this very question.

    When using aquarium filter wool, does it exhibit the same characteristics as the wool media in the cartridge?

    As for Pellon Thermolam, has anyone purchased any and used it?

    I'm going to go into recycling mode and start rebuilding carts as they go .... up. The first round of 5 just finally bit the dust over 2 weeks in. I have 15 more that I get to rotate in and then I'd like to rebuild them rather than replacing them.

  10. Sun Vaporer

    Sun Vaporer Moved On ECF Veteran

    Jan 2, 2009
    Terraphon--Go to Walmart or any fabric store and buy a roll of polyester batting --5 feet for 7 Dollars--IMO as well as others it is the exact same thing that the original cores are--just cut to size and you are good to go--a 5 foot roll will last you a year!!!!!!!--Hope that helps--Sun:)
  11. Figurehead

    Figurehead Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 21, 2009
    Las Vegas Nevada
    I use kevlar wick on my fire beathing torches. I don't think it would be suitible for e-juice. It is very absorbant. I use a ton of kerosene just to keep my torches burning good and after every 5 or so fire spits I have to resoak the torch kevlar.
  12. Terraphon

    Terraphon Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 12, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ, USA

    You're the best. I'll be buying a couple of yards of this STAT...With that, I won't have to replace carts until I chew through them (this WILL become an issue...I'm already catching myself biting down on them and a couple of them have chopper-marks in them).

    But I figure if I can extend the life of my carts by double to triple, I'm saving even MORE money and there's no way I'll complain about that.

    Thanks for the info.
  13. bribri

    bribri Moved On

    Oct 13, 2008
    San Mateo, CA.
    I want to try sham-wow towels. I have tried many many things. insides of pillows, pieces of clothing, yarn, toilet paper, paper towels, coffee filters both metal and cloth, sponges... I must say that so far I find no difference really in any of them... They all work to some degree, not much, and thats it. It has lead me to believe that what it is we are looking for (more liquid capacity) is not to be had by that route.
  14. ksb864

    ksb864 New Member

    Jan 30, 2009
    how about fiberfill from the craft store? not sure what is in it..but it feels the same as the fill used in the carts, worth a look to see what its really made of, perhaps it says on the back of the pag..just a suggestion
  15. Terraphon

    Terraphon Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 12, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    I'm not so much looking for more capacity as I am looking for replacement for the ones that just go .... up, lose half of the material and start to taste nasty.

    I have a cart that's got less than half the filler of the next one in the sequence. It needs CPR, badly.
  16. Sun Vaporer

    Sun Vaporer Moved On ECF Veteran

    Jan 2, 2009
    BriBri--Give the poleyster batting a try--I have been using it for 3 months now and it really is the same thing as the original--the pillow stuffing is different then batting. It wicks, looks, feels, and if you burn it with a lighter even burns the same way--I never really thought for 2 seconds that the folks in China came up with a "new" material for these cores--they are just using polyester batting that they use in the furniture they make. I too would like to find some material that holds more, but I have yet to find it.--Hope that helps--Sun:)
  17. Terraphon

    Terraphon Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 12, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    I think the stuff you're talking about is the same as the generic poly batting that was suggested. I'm going to have a look at that stuff and see how it measures up.
  18. Iken

    Iken Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Jan 23, 2009
    Sun that is brilliant, great work! I do like bribri's idea though..hmm
  19. ZambucaLu

    ZambucaLu ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Nov 23, 2008
    Central NY, USA
    I have used both the fluval fishtank filler and the polyester batting. Personally, I found the batting to be better....easier to cut and stuff and seems to wick fine. It was high loft polyester batting at why don't you try the sham-wow and let us know how it goes? I got the feeling they will hold so much liquid that it won't leach down....too absorbant....but try it and let us know if it works. We're not going to know otherwise.

  20. surbitonPete

    surbitonPete Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 25, 2009
    North Yorkshire UK
    I think the delivery of the juice to the atomiser should be redesigned along the lines of a fountain pen ...the type where you insert ink cartridges.
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