Titanium wires for vaping

*An updated opinion has been posted here on 5th June 2015 due to developments in the industry

Customer demand resulting from the update means that we will now stock wire for them. It will be found here when in stock.

Stealthvape is always on the hunt to bring vapers the best quality product and the next best thing in vaping tech; in 2012 we thought titanium wire could be one such product. Samples were sent out to friends and colleagues but we decided to pull it from sale prior to launch.

It sounded awesome, but languishing in a room in Stealthvape Towers now lays 30,000 metres of never-to-be-used top grade titanium wire. Rob made the decision because, in his words, “it’s probably bordering on irresponsibility selling the stuff.â€

The wire does produce a cleaner tasting vape than compared to something like Kanthal but when put up against Kanthal or tempered Ni200 it’s incredibly springy to work with.

And then there are the flames…

If it’s overheated either by dry burning or torching it will burst into flame in a cool chemical fire kind of way not dissimilar to magnesium ribbon. Titanium is a component of fireworks for the white sparks. Metal fires such as this require a Class D fire extinguisher, not something commonly found in most vapers homes.

Given this poses a huge safety aspect we could not be confident selling it. We are certain that our insurers (who already place a huge financial burden on suppliers to the vape market) would refuse to cover us selling something we considered potentially dangerous. Although the insurance is not a legal requirement and does not direct what we sell we feel it is a moral aspect that our customers deserve.

Rob adds: “I’m a big fan of the concept of Ti and was super stoked to stock it, sort of felt like I was breaking new ground as I’ve always been on a mission to discover new things. I just think it’s a Dragon that’s best left sleeping.â€

The proliferation of high wattage devices or the prospect of a genny hotspot taking a wire to ignition temperature is just too much of a risk. The likelihood is that in the new Evolv temperature-protected mods the wire poses much less of a hazard as it will not oxidise as quickly or be pushed to ignition temperature.

Which brings us to the topic of coil oxidation and TiO2, titanium dioxide.

In 2014, the small amounts of TiO2 in a brand of eliquid caused the producer to operate a full recall following heated debate in online vaping forums. We mention this here not because we are experts in the vaping of liquids containing TiO2 but because newer vapers may be unaware of the discussions. Our primary concern was the safety of the wire in use, this is a secondary but related matter.

JustPoo, a respected member of the UKVapers forum, carried out a brief test to look at the oxidation rate of Ti wire: “I wrapped a standard coil, none of the wraps are touching and it came in at 0.12ohms. I then vaped pure VG on it for 20 minutes, taking 1-2 second drags, always keeping the wick wet and never getting a dry hit or letting it get too hot.â€

“I put a fresh wick in for the picture so it was a fair comparison. The coil has changed colour and it looks very much like oxidisation. The resistance has also risen to 0.13ohms.â€

“In this test I was careful to make sure the coils didn’t overheat. We’ve all had a dry hit or lean vape by accident, so during normal usage it’s possible the oxidisation would be worse. Titanium oxide is particularly toxic and seems to be produced at normal vaping temperatures, so I won’t be using titanium as a safer alternative to Kanthal.â€

The material safety data sheet (MSDS) for Titanium dioxide states: “Mutagenic for mammalian somatic cells. The substance may be toxic to lungs, upper respiratory tract. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage.”

In relation to the withdrawn eliquid containing TiO2, Dr Farsalinos states: “First of all, titanium dioxide was probably used as a food colouring. It is really unfortunate that there are companies using food colourings in their products. These substances have NEVER been tested for inhalation, do not offer anything in terms of flavour or experience to the vaper and are only used for aesthetic purposes (if there is any real reason for making the liquid more colourful). Using something that has never been tested for inhalation purposes in order just to make the e-liquid ‘look better’ is AT LEAST an irresponsible behaviour. Using food colourings introduces an unknown, potentially dangerous factor, for absolutely no reason. It does not promote the experience and pleasure perceived by consumers. For titanium dioxide, it is officially classified as a probable carcinogen when inhaled.

You do not expect an e-cigarette vendor to be a scientist. No businessmen in other industries need to be scientists in order to own a business making a consumer product. However, in any other industry they are hiring experts (chemists etc.) to know what they are doing and what they are putting in the products. This has not been the case with e-cigarettes. So, instead of any vendor trying to be a scientist through the Internet and Wikipedia, it is far better to avoid any ‘experimentation’ trying to make a ‘novel’, ‘magic’ recipe. Just stick with what is essential in an e-liquid (flavouring, solvents, nicotine). There is NO JUSTIFICATION like “I didn’t know”. You do not know and you cannot acquire the knowledge unless you are an expert or you hire an expert. Until you do that, any experimentation with new substances introduced to an e-liquid is unnecessary and dangerous.

Vapers should avoid such products.â€

Stealthvape are not saying ‘do not use titanium wire’, we just won’t sell you any. Vape safe 🙂