Headspace, Transportation and Cart Flipping

What they are and why they are important

Critical information to avoid making mistakes that are avoidable.  Avoid blown gaskets, leaks and atomizer saturation by following these simple directions.

What is headspace and why does it occur?

  • Headspace is the room or space at the top of the cartridge between the oil and the mouthpiece seal.
  • Headspace occurs when the oil in the tank absorbs into the atomizer. AVD atomizers are extremely clean; they are not coated with PG or VG. This means more oil absorbs into the atomizer after filling.
  • It is important for the oil to absorb into the atomizer so the first hit of the cartridge is not dry, which could lead to no vapor and a burnt taste.
  • Each extract has a unique density related to its cannabinoid and terpene content, so 0.5 grams can appear slightly higher or lower in the tank depending on its density.
  • Higher THC = more densit (heavier per mL) = 0.5g takes up less room = more headspace

Why can't the cartridge be smaller to reduce headspace?

  • The cartridge is the perfect size to fill quickly and cap without overflowing or creating too much pressure when capping.
  • Overfilling can create increaseed pressure while capping, which forces oil into the atomizer and can blow the gaskets. This can cause clogging or leaking.
  • Cartridges that have no headspace can suffer from overflowing if they are filled fast with an automatic filler.
  • We suggest leaving room at the top of the tank to allow for capping. Never fill more than 0.2g over the fill weight of 1.0g or 0.5g.

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  • Think of a cartridge like a straw. When you cover the top of a straw with your finger, the liquid stays in the straw. If you remove your finger, the liquid falls out. The mouthpiece acts the same way as your finger would on a straw to keep the liquid in.
  • This is why capping quickly is important.

Operators Note for Volatile Oil

  • We do not recommend filling particularly volatile high terpene extracts that bubble or foam.
  • When oil expandss with foaming or bubbling, gas will build up in the headspace and force oil through the atomizer. Also, when the cartridge is used it can also release volatile compounds which can continue to force too much oil into the atomizer. This will cause clogging and possible leaking.
  • Ultimately, foaming or bubbling oil is not stable oil. The oil might be decarbing and off gassing volatile compounds (terpenes, etc.) which create bubbles.
  • It is recommended that a longer decarb is done to further stabilize the THC-A into Delta  THC, or the extract is allowed to foam and re-stabilize (heat and stir) before being filled.a

Transportation and Cartridge Flipping

  • If your cartridges are traveling over elevation changes or in hot environments, it is best to ship them upside down so the oil does not flood the atomizer.
  • Carts should not stay for long periods of time upside down. This is to preserve seal integrity. They can be flipped as needed however, to prevent any pressure changes or heat changes from causing clogs and leaks.
  • Carts can also be flipped temporarily after filling to prevent leaks. Ultimately, this is just a band aid, and the filling procedure, fill temp and oil viscosity should be changed to avoid having to flip the cartridge.