Vape tech: Mesh coils, what’s all the fuss about?
Until recently, the vast majority of stock coil tanks used round wire coils. With quick ramp up times, low material cost and a relatively simple manufacturing process this just made sense.
We saw huge leaps in performance from such coils over the last few years as a result of experimentation with wire gauges, spacing and wicking improvements but suddenly there’s a new kid on the block, mesh.
Historically in the vaping world, wire mesh was used in genesis atomisers as a wicking material rather than a heating element, so why are all the major manufactures re-thinking their coil design?
A big reason is surface area. Whilst there are countless variables that can affect the performance of a coil, surface area is a significant factor. Larger surface area tends to increase both vapour production and flavour intensity, but often adds a lot of mass to the coil, making it more power hungry.
We saw a surface area arms race as manufacturers battled to produce coils of increasing complexity, but there is an issue of diminishing returns and coils that require 100W+ of power simply aren’t suitable for most vapers.
This is where mesh coils shine. They have a huge surface area relative to their mass, which means almost instant ramp up times, even at mid-level wattages. The more evenly spread heat also seems to produce very intense flavour and huge clouds of vapour. The first sub-ohm mesh coil was brought to the market by Freemax in the form of the Fireluke Mesh tank. The vape quality when compared to non-mesh tanks released around the same time is simply night and day.
The huge success of the Fireluke Mesh started a trend which now dominates the sub-tank arena. You’d be hard pressed to find a flagship tank now that does not accept mesh coils and it’s not just the vape quality that’s markedly better. Mesh coils tend to out-last their round wire counterparts by quite a margin. Whether you’re a frugal vaper or just like sweeter e-liquids, this is a huge bonus.
As we would expect from the hardware sector, a new race is now on to produce the very best mesh coils and we are already starting to see triple, quadruple and even MTL mesh configurations, so it’s fair to say that we’re still yet to see the true potential of this new format.
Those of you who are not totally sold on the idea need not even purchase a new tank, since many of the new coils on offer are backwards compatible, so really there’s no reason to miss out on this exciting improvement to stock coil vaping.
As a long time user of RTAs and other rebuildable devices, I thought it impossible for a stock coil tank to match the vape quality of a self-built atomiser. Mesh coils are incredibly close to achieving this and that’s fantastic news for vapers who do not wish to delve into the hobbyist side of e-cigarettes.