Friday, August 7, 2015

A Short Intro to RBAs, RDAs, RTAs and GRAs

Photo: Kayfun Lite Plus by Svoe Mesto

 A rebuildable atomizer or RBA is designed to work like a charm even after its components have been dismantled carefully, replaced or modified according to a vaper's specifications, and put back together correctly.

This customizable atty (vape slang for atomizer) is a favorite among sub-ohm vaping fans. It gives them the creative freedom to build a custom coil-and-wick structure that not only looks beautiful in form, but also works really, really well in producing clouds of vapor.

An RBA may be classified into one of three types: RDA, RTA and GRA. These atomizers have different advantages and disadvantages they can offer to vapers.

RDA – Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers

The drip-type atomizer or RDA is the simplest among the three. It doesn’t have a built-in (either semi-sealed or sealed) juice container or tank. You build your own coil(s) and wick(s) using a variety of materials, drip e-juice from the bottle onto the wick, and vape away. When the draws start to taste a bit dry and less flavorful, it's time to drip in more juice.

PROS: These atomizers are typified by a short, 510 base that has sufficient space to hold a coil or coils. Liquid nicotine flows from a small juice well on its tip and into the wick via a drip tip. They are frequently used for sub-ohm vaping. They often produce the most flavorful vapes.

Practically, any type of coil is compatible with RDAs. The shape, quantity and resistance values of the coils are limited only by the number of terminal posts you put in and the size of the atomizer's build deck. A wide variety of fibrous materials from all-natural cotton balls to ceramic rods or ropes can be used for the wick.

CONS: Many RDAs don't have a juice container. Even those atomizers with the deepest juice wells can only hold 30 or so drops of e-juice at a time. And so, e-juice from the oversaturated wick has a tendency to leak. This will require you to have an extra e-juice bottle at your disposal.

Great examples are Nimbus, Origen, Magma, Veritas, Tugboat, Plume Veil, 454 and Vulcan. Many RDAs have a "deep juice well" in the drip tip and feature both vertical and horizontal coil designs.

RTA – Rebuildable Tank Atomizers

All RTAs operate on the principle of "pressure differential". In short, the positive pressure in the air venting system and the negative pressure in the liquid tank are kept separate, yet balanced.

PROS: The e-juice is carefully fed to the wick in appropriate quantities until the fibrous material is saturated with liquid. As the wick expands inside the atomizer, it expands and pushes against the mouth of the tank atomizer, and the orifice shrinks in size. The layer between the two opposing pressures acts a sealant that prevents excess e-juice from flowing into the drip tip.

CONS: The coils and wicks in RTAs aren’t as easy to replace or modify as those used in dripping atomizers.

Best examples are the SvoeMesto Kayfun3.1/KFL+ and Kebo Russian/R91%. These two have held the top spots in both genuine and clone RTA popularity, with the Taifun GT, sQuape and Fogger V4 and Flash-E Vapor in hot pursuit. New RTAs come out from all around the world every few weeks. The Gus Estia and Inverno Erlkönigin are currently only available in genuine form, but they will become very popular once cloned.

Genesis Rebuildable Atomizers

These RBAs depend on the power of osmosis to pull juice up from its bottom tank. One end of the wick is submerged in the juice inside the tank. Strong capillary action pushes the juice upwards as the wick's absorbent material becomes saturated with liquid from the bottom up.

Photo: UD AGA-T4 Genesis RBA (a dual-coil genesis-style rebuildable tank atomizer)

PROS: These atomizers generally use wicks made from ultra-absorbent materials, such as a stainless steel mesh, a natural fiber rope, and porous ceramic rods. They provide adequate, but not excessive, capillary action.

CONS: The juice tank is not sealed or regulated in any way. So, when the atomizer is tipped to the side or turned over upside-down, some of the juice might leak into the e-cig and wreak havoc on its circuitry, or it could come out of the wick hole or tank vent port. Also, you may need to "tip" the atomizer to get juice up to the portion of the wick that’s wrapped by the coil.

Examples of modern genesis-type atomizers are the Smoketech Dual Coil Pyrex RSST, the Mirandus Genesis RBA by Circle of Mod, and the UD AGA-T4 Genesis RBA, which is a dual-coil genesis-style rebuildable tank.

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