Many cannabis vaporizers manufacturers focus on Color, Material, and Finish (CMF) in developing their products. Like other industries, each manufacturer chooses a different CMF to showcase its brand identity. This CMF trend is especially thriving in sectors that produce homogenous goods, such as cannabis vaporizers. A lack of differentiation between one cannabis vaporizer and another urges the manufacturers to find an approach to make their products stand out.
Differentiation issues are incredibly taxing in the 510 threaded vaporizer category as it is the most widespread type of vape. Cannabis vapers can even mix and match the cartridge and battery from different brands so long as they have the ten-thread setups. Thus, CMF could be one of the most important and noticeable differentiators between brands or products.
In this article, Cilicon analyzed the CMF data of 200 cannabis vaporizers brands to curate the top 5 surface finish selections in the market. The data includes cannabis vaporizer brands from California, Nevada, Washington, and Colorado, as well as our existing clients’ data provided by our Chief CMF Officer, Tylor Zhou. Cilicon aims to turn this article into a solid reference for cannabis vaporizer companies before launching their products. We only demonstrate these five types of surface finish because they create the most unique build and feel for cannabis vaporizers. It also has high color accuracy and could be superimposed with multiple patterns.
Cilicon defines an excellent surface finish as being able to serve its purpose in adding value to the product’s quality. In terms of customer’s experience, the cannabis vaporizer’s surface finish is expected to increase corrosion resistance, help with the adhesion of paint and other coatings, eliminate surface defects, increase the resistance of chemicals, improve conductivity, add surface electrical conduction, increase strength and wear resistance while minimizing frictions, also enhance the aesthetical aspect. Moreover, it should also reproduce colors with high accuracy or even superimposed with multiple patterns.
Each type of surface finish has its characteristics to consider when manufacturers decide to implement it in their cannabis vaporizer design. Cilicon is here to guide you through the perks and downsides of each surface finish material.
Since 2016, the standard cannabis vaporizers in the market have usually come in a stainless-steel housing. The most popular finishing method for the housing surface is coating, specifically powder coating, which is the modernized type of painting. It uses an electrostatic charge to attract powder particles to cover the surface evenly with minimal waste. Then, the coated surface will go through a heat treatment with ultraviolet lights to speed up the coating process, which will increase production efficiency for the manufacturers. Coating is also a quick surface finish option for many other industries, especially those that produce metal products like vehicle body panels or bike frames.
Rubber paint has been the most used type of coating in the cannabis vaporizer industry. So, why is it so popular? Apparently, many cannabis vapers prefer the skin-like texture of the rubber paint coating finish as it is pleasant and soft to the touch. Rubber paint can be used in any cannabis vaporizer category, including 510 threaded vapes, disposables, all-in-one vaporizers, and pod vapes. However, if the rubber paint option is unavailable, the manufacturers can revert to other coating types such as PU paint (more rugged but with the same skin-like texture as rubber paint), matte paint, and UV paint.
Advantages of Coating
Coating is the cheapest surface treatment compared to other methods that will be discussed in this article. The reasons are its simplistic process and relatively high demand. With its implementation across different metal products manufacturing industries, the coating market should offer competitive pricing. Particularly in the cannabis vaporizer industry, coating is even more affordable due to its typically large production scale.
Coating offers a scratch-resistance cannabis vaporizer’s surface. Durability is one of the most crucial product qualities to maintain consumers’ experience and lengthen its useful lifespan.
Disadvantages of Coating
Anodic oxidation has acquired popularity among cannabis vaporizer companies. In fact, this surface treatment is implemented by one of the pod vapes brand leaders, Stiiizy. To add to the list, some other recognized cannabis vaporizer brands, like Pax and Vessel, also go down the same path.
So, what is anodic oxidation? The treatment is called anodizing, in which the surface is exfoliated with oxidizing acid. The objective is to stimulate the formation of a uniform and continuous oxide finish on the surface (Runge, 2020). There are two popular anodic oxidation treatment types. First, mirror anodizing is the normal oxidation process after polishing the surface. Meanwhile, sandblasting utilizes compressed air to blast abrasive material, like steel sand, brown corundum, etc.) to the surface. Depending on the particle size of the material, each surface finish will have a different texture.
Advantages of Anodic Oxidation
Disadvantages of Anodic Oxidation
Electroplating is a widely popular surface treatment in the cannabis vaporizer industry, especially for companies that want their products to have an eye-catchy glossy surface finish. The electroplating process involves passing a positively charged electrical current by submerging the surface in a solution containing specific metal ions and a negatively charged electrical current through the plated surface (Anoplate Corporation, n.d.).
The Advantages of Electroplating
The Disadvantages of Electroplating
Cilicon’s Chief CMF Officer recommends cannabis vaporizer companies always stay ahead with budget calculation when choosing the right surface finish for their products. Due to its relatively high cost, he suggested an electroplated surface finish only to be applied on premium products. Another tip of advice is to educate these exclusive customers on how to properly store and use their electroplated cannabis vaporizers to avoid scratches or damages for the longest. Cilicon believes the longer the product’s lifespan, the more consumers will trust our brand.
Water transfer printing has recently gained popularity in the cannabis vaporizer industry. The ability to apply printed designs to three-dimensional surfaces highlights the aesthetic product aspect. Cannabis vaporizers business owners may recall this surface treatment with other names like immersion printing, hydro dipping, water marbling, cubic printing, and hydro-graphics. The process involves submerging the cannabis vaporizer surface coated, which has been coated with an adhesive, into water. Not just any water, it should contain a water-soluble film inked with the desired patterns that will be activated by a specific chemical substance (Rojas, 2016).
The Advantages of Water Transfer Printing
The Advantages of Water Transfer Printing
3D printing, often called additive manufacturing, has gradually developed for the past decades. As it is named, this printing technique turns digital files into three-dimensional objects. The manufacturers have different materials to choose to build the object, such as ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), PLA (Polylactic Acid), wood fibers, ferromagnetic filament, and so on (Wassong, 2019). Based on these characteristics, 3D printing can build any object, including cannabis vaporizer shells with a selection of colors and finishes.
The Advantages of 3D Printing
The Disadvantages of 3D Printing
In the table below, Cilicon ranks the crictical aspects for each surface finish discussed in this article, with 1 (one) as the surface finish with superior quality in the particular area.
|Criteria||Coating||Anodic Oxidation||Electroplating||Water Transfer Printing||3D Printing|