Induction heating looks like it could become the next big thing in vaping thanks to the Dr Dabber Switch and the upcoming Loto Labs Legend. So what is induction heating anyway? And what’s so great about it?
Well, I can tell you that it works wonders on the Switch, so it’s not a surprise that another vaporizer has come along with the same technology. Induction heating may or may not be the future of vaping, but it’s a good idea if you have a better idea of what it actually is, so keep reading.
How Does Induction Heating Work?
Induction heating works via two different types of physical effects: electromagnetism and hysteresis.
The Scientific Explanation:
An alternating current is sent through an induction coil—which is usually made of copper—by a power source. The current alternates rapidly as it passes through the coil and generates a magnetic field in the space surrounded by the coil. A ferrous metal object, called a workpiece or susceptor, is then placed inside the magnetic field created by the induction coil. This workpiece gets hot because the magnetic field creates electric currents, which are also called eddy currents, that heat up the metal.
And now in English:
- Basically, the electric current creates a magnetic field.
- That magnetic field creates an electric current in the metal placed inside the field.
- The electric current heats up the metal.
The Scientific Explanation:
Ferrous metals are rich in iron and when they are heated by induction, the iron crystals become magnetized and demagnetized over and over again in rapid succession because of the alternating current. This reaction is called hysteresis, and it generates an internal friction within the metal, and friction causes heat to build up. That is another reason why the metal gets hot and the reason why ferrous metals work best for induction.
The English Translation:
- The magnetic field created by the coils react with the iron crystals in the ferrous metal.
- The iron crystals get magnetized and demagnetized over and over again, very quickly.
- This causes friction in the iron crystals, and friction causes heat.
Why Use Induction Heating?
There are a number of reasons why induction heating is superior to current heating methods, all of which benefit vapers in a big way:
Induction Heating is Very Fast
Induction heats up metal very quickly because it is heated from the inside out, compared to other methods, like electricity or fire, that heat from the outside in.
Induction Heating is Very Precise
Temperature control is very accurate with induction technology because the metal stops heating as soon as it is removed from the magnetic field. Whereas, with other heating methods, the vessel used to heat the material retains some heat even after the heat source is removed or turned off.
Additionally, the temperatures created by the magnetic field are both consistent and highly adjustable because the electric currents that create the magnetic field are more accurate than other heating methods. The reason is that the nail used in induction heating gets heated evenly on all sides.
Induction Heating is Energy Efficient
Induction is very fast, so there is no wasted heat, which means that less energy is used per session. That is the reason Dr Dabber claims that the Switch can be used up to 150 times before it needs to be recharged.
The Heating Element Stays Cool
Since the metal is heated by electromagnetism, the coils that generate the magnetic field never heat up. Not only does this make induction a safer heating method, it also makes it more accurate since the metal stops being heated as soon as it is removed from the coil.
Are There Any Downsides to Induction Heating?
There are a few negatives to induction heating, but there is a good chance that they could get ironed out in the future.
- Metal is Necessary – Only materials that can be affected by magnetism can be used in induction heating. The inside of the vessel can be lined with different materials, like quartz or titanium, but the outside has to be made from metal.
- It is a Very Expensive Technology (for now) – This could change in the future, but for now, both the Switch and the Legend are some of the more expensive vaporizers on the market because they use induction heating.
- It Takes Up a Lot of Space – The Switch, the Legend, and the, supposedly portable, Loto Lux take up quite a lot of space. This confines induction vaporizers to the home.
Is Induction Heating the Future?
Induction heating has been around for a while, it is used mainly in industrial settings and commercially in stovetops, so we know it has longevity. When it comes to vaporizers, the jury is still out, we know that it works well but there are a few things holding it back. Namely, the high price, granted lots of other technology, like DVD players, used to be really expensive, and now they are practically free (but not actually free).
We will have to see if induction vaporizers follow the same path, we should hope that they do because induction tech is something that vapers are sure to love once they give it a try.