Kanthal

Kanthal is a mix of iron, chromium, and aluminum. It is the trademark for a family of iron-chromium-aluminum (FeCrAl) alloys used in a wide range of resistance and high-temperature applications. The alloy is characterized by high resistivity and very good oxidation resistance. Kanthal FeCrAl alloys consist of mainly iron, chromium (20–30%), and aluminum (4–7.5 %). It does not easily rust or oxidize in industrial applications and has excellent resistance to corrosive elements. The first Kanthal FeCrAl alloy was developed by Hans von Kantzow in Hallstahammar, Sweden. Kanthal wire has a higher maximum operating temperature than Nichrome wire. The alloys are known for their ability to withstand high temperatures and having intermediate electric resistance. It gives high, stable resistance and great durability in time – a slightly longer lifespan than other wirings.

Characteristics

  • For heating, resistance wire must be stable in air when hot. Kanthal wiring provides endless combinations translated into different resistances suitable for any style of vape. Kanthal FeCrAl alloy forms a protective layer of aluminum oxide (alumina).
  • Ordinary Kanthal FeCrAl alloy has a melting point of 1,500 °C (2,730 °F).  It easily heats up as electricity passes through and provides the fastest ramp of all. Special grades can be used as high as 1,425 °C (2,597 °F).
  • Kanthal wire also lasts 2 to 4 times longer than Nichrome wire due to its superior oxidation properties and resistance to sulfuric environments.
  • Depending on specific composition the resistivity is about 1,4 μΩ.m and the temperature coefficient is +49 ppm/K.

Uses

Typical applications are electrical heating elements in high-temperature furnaces for heat treatment, ceramics, glass, steel, and electronics industries.

  • Kanthal wire is a ferritic iron-chromium-aluminum (FeCrAl) alloy. It is used in heating elements due to its flexibility, durability, and tensile strength. Its uses are widespread, for example in toasters, home and industrial heaters, kilns, and diffusion heaters.
  • Recently, Kanthal has been used for heating coils in electronic cigarettes. Unlike alternative types of metal such as Nichrome, Kanthal is durable enough to withstand the temperatures needed but flexible and cheap enough to be practical.
  • Kanthal is safe to heat up to high temperatures but it’s questionable whether it’s safe to then inhale directly the fumes that come off it.
  • Kanthal comes in standardized gauging, with higher numbers being thinner and lower being thicker.