A vaporizer is a device used to vaporize biologically active substances from dried medicinal plants. In addition to dry powdered herbs, vaporizers of plants evaporate solid, liquid, oil and paste-like extracts. Simplified, the evaporation process is divided into three stages:
- Heating the substance to the desired temperature (to the boiling point, since various plants and their concentrates release active substances at different temperatures)
- Extraction of essential oils from dried herbs during heating.
- The conversion of the resulting essential oils into the steam.
Types of vaporizers
In today’s market, there is a huge selection of various vaporizers, they differ in their shape, size, set of functions, method of steam delivery, etc. Three types of vaporizers are distinguished, depending on the heating method (the method of heat transfer from the heating element): conductive, convection, and beam vaporizers.
The conduction (contact) method involves the direct transfer of heat from a warmer body to a less heated one. Accordingly, in evaporators using conduction (thermal conductivity), the plant material is heated directly from contact with the walls of the heating chamber (grass chamber). In order for the chamber to quickly warm up and effectively transfer heat, it is made of materials with high thermal conductivity, such as metal, ceramics, glass. As a source of energy in conductive type evaporators, electricity, butane gas or an open flame of a lighter is used.
Such vaporizers appeared first on the market (in the mid-1990s) and are currently being produced. This category includes electronic cigarettes, pen-style vaporizers, and most portable vaporizers. They can be considered as an old-fashioned form of evaporation, but they still have some undeniable advantages over convection vaporizers, which should be considered when buying the best vaporizer for you.
Pros of Conduction Vaporizers
- The substance is quickly heated and evaporated, which is very convenient with a limited supply of time.
- Direct contact of the plant substance with the heating element leads to an increase in the amount of steam produced.
- They consume less energy, which means less often require charging.
- Most often they have a simple design, they do not have many details and mechanisms, which simplifies the operation and maintenance of the device.
- Produced for decades, it is easy to find out which brands are the best and which model to buy.
- Because of their simpler design, they are cheaper than convection and beam evaporators.
Cons of Conduction Vaporizers
- Herbs are heated unevenly since not all parts of the frayed plant come into contact with the hot walls of the chamber. In addition to direct heating from the walls of the bowl, the material is heated through thermal radiation coming from the heating element, but still, this is not enough for complete evaporation. Therefore, users of most of these vaporizers have to periodically shake the device or open the heating chamber to mix the herbal mixture and allow all its pieces to warm up.
- Many inexpensive vaporizer models do not have precise temperature control and adjustment.
- After shutting down, they continue to warm the plant material, as the heating chamber does not cool down immediately.
- Poorly designed evaporators can heat the material to the point of combustion, which will negatively affect the taste and aromatic qualities of the generated steam.
Since the heat transfer system of these evaporators is simple, it requires fewer components and space. This is the dominant heating system for portable and manual vaporizers in the style of a pen.
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