How to Sneak a Cart Through a Metal Detector: Ceramic Vs. Metal

  • By: Chris
  • Last updated on November 17, 2022
  • Time to read: 9 min.
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You love your vape.

You take it everywhere you go. But sometimes, you run into a problem that strong-arms your habit.

Metal detectors.

Many of you found the answers to your questions in my other vape-related articles, but I’ve recently gotten emails asking to clarify how metal detectors react to vape carts. 

Are they any different than JUULpods? Can they be detected when not inside a vape?

And how can you sneak them through a metal detector?

Well, you ask, and I answer.

Best Way to Hide Vape Cartridges

best way to hide vape cartridges
Use a ceramic vape cart, and you won’t have to worry about metal detectors.

If you need more time to review your options, read the rest later.

Until then, I’ll get right to the point.

The best way to hide your vape cartridge and sneak it through a metal detector is to use a ceramic-made cart. 

Of course, there are other methods to follow, but these non-metallic cartridges will go unnoticed by the metal detectors you encounter.

Are Vape Cartridges Made of Metal?

Before I tell you what those other methods are to sneak a cart through a metal detector, let’s talk about the different vape cartridge elements.

Specifically, what are vape cartridges made of?

are vape cartridges made of metal
There are many vape cartridges made with metal, but not all.

Metal is a popular material used to make vape cartridges. However, depending on the manufacturer, some are made with plastic or other superior commodities such as glass or ceramic.

Each has its pros and cons when comparing functionality and performance.

But all of them tend to come with some transparency. This way, anyone can see how much e-liquid remains in the cartridge.

But how does each affect the sensor of a metal detector?

Will a Vape Cartridge Set Off a Metal Detector?

In other articles, I’ve gone over the reaction a metal detector has to vape products, but if you’re looking to sneak just the cart through a metal detector, that’s a much easier answer.

will a vape cartridge set off metal detector
A vape cartridge will set off a metal detector if there are metal components able to trigger the threshold of the sensor.

In my experience, a vape cartridge won’t set off a metal detector, even if it’s made of metal.

Vape carts typically go undetected because they’re incredibly small and don’t produce enough electromagnetism to trigger a metal detector alarm.

However, by no means is that a guarantee.

Metal detectors generate a magnetic wave targeting a measured zone, and when an electrically conductive metal enters that space, it responds with its own opposing field.

It’s that opposing field that alerts a metal detector of a metallic presence.

A metal detector sensor could detect a metal vape cartridge if calibrated to a higher sensitivity setting.

But it’s unlikely.

By turning up the sensitivity on a metal detector that high, you’d pick up every button and metal filling that passes by.

Ceramic Carts Vs. Metal Carts

ceramic carts vs metal carts
Ceramic vs. metal carts: how does each affect a metal detector?

So now you’re familiar with metal carts and how a metal detector interacts with them.

But what if you have a different kind of cart? What if your cart is made of plastic, glass, or ceramic?

If that’s the case, then you’re in luck.

Plastic, glass, and ceramic are not metal substances and, therefore, won’t set off a metal detector.

Or will they?

Ceramics are a bit complicated.

In some industries, ceramics are made with non-metallic compositions, including powder, water, and clay.

ceramics are made with power water and clay
Many ceramics are made from organic or nonmetallic properties.

But there are situations where ceramics are made with electrically conductive materials.

So when it comes to ceramic carts vs. metal carts, what are we dealing with?

Are all ceramic carts created equal?

Keep reading to get your answer!

What is a Ceramic Vape Cartridge?

A ceramic vape cartridge is an e-liquid container that provides vapers with a metal alternative for better taste and quality.

Two favored types of ceramic materials are used to create a vape cart.

The first is zirconia ceramics, which are heavily used in dentistry because of their high medical-grade quality.

The second ceramic used to make vape cartridges is alumina ceramics.

Let’s start with alumina and find out if metal detectors react negatively to it.

Will an Alumina Ceramic Vape Cart Set Off a Metal Detector?

will an alumina ceramic vape cart set off a metal detector
While alumina can be manipulated into metal in its ceramic form, it’s undetectable to metal detectors.

Alumina is produced from bauxite, made up of aluminum oxides.

Now, you might ask yourself, “Isn’t aluminum a metal? Won’t it set off a metal detector?”

Well, yes and no.

Aluminum is a metal and can set off a metal detector, but alumina is a separate compound that needs to be electrolyzed to become aluminum metal.

Alumina ceramic carts are dielectric, which means they cannot pass an electric current.

In short, a metal detector cannot pick up an alumina ceramic vape cart.

Will a Zirconia Ceramic Vape Cart Set Off a Metal Detector?

As zirconia ceramic vape carts are made of a crystalline oxide containing no metals, they will not set off a metal detector.

will a zirconia ceramic vape cart set off a metal detector
Zirconia ceramic is a durable material that metal detectors do not pick up on.

Zirconia has all the benefits of alumina and more. It’s stronger and more flexible than its counterpart.

That may not matter to you, but it sure does to vape manufacturers.

That’s why zirconia is the more popular ceramic used to make vape cartridges.

Plus, its source mineral, zircon, is abundantly available. It’s found along streams and lake beds known as alluvial deposits.

How Do I Know if My Vape Cart is Ceramic?

Ceramics sounds like an excellent option to sneak a cart through a metal detector.

But how do I know if my cart is ceramic?

The easiest way to determine if your vape cart is ceramic is to inspect the materials, especially the heating element.

First, let’s be clear about what we’re talking about. 

how do i know if my vape cart is ceramic
Look inside…do you see any metal?

There are vape cartridges with ceramic mouthpieces that have metal inside the housing. 

But when discussing ceramic carts, I’m referring to a full ceramic cartridge from the mouthpiece to the coil in any color you’d like. However, they traditionally come in black or white.

If you have a full ceramic vape cart, you’ll plainly recognize the lack of metal, specifically in the tube and heating element.

More specifically, most cartridges use a coil made with metal wire as it can easily carry electricity and conduct heat to the wick, thus creating vapor.

Ceramic vapes also use a wired coil, but it’s encased in a ceramic material and replaces the wick, which leads to some added benefits.

So how can you distinguish ceramic carts from other materials?

distinguish ceramic carts from other materials
How can you tell the difference between carts?

As you just learned, ruling metal out as the primary element in your vape cart is as simple as observing the absence of a metallic tube and atomizer (coil).

As for glass and plastic carts, they’re entirely transparent unless the center tube still utilizes metallic properties.

Can You Bring a Cart on a Plane?

Regarding airport security and TSA restrictions, liquids and smoking products can make you hesitant to bring your cart and vape.

Lucky for you, a cart has more freedom than you think.

According to TSA officials, you bring your cart on a plane if it’s filled with no more than 100 ml of liquid.

can you bring a cart on a plane
Follow the TSA guidelines, and your vape cart can travel with you.

Vape cartridges come in several sizes, the standard being 0.5 ml or 1 ml capacity.

If you bring only 1 ml-sized carts on a plane, the maximum allowed will total 100 carts.

I suspect you’d never need to bring that many on a flight, but there you go.

As for your checked baggage, pack as many as you want because there’s currently no limit to the number of carts you can bring.

So if you’re wondering how to sneak a cart on a plane, you can feel secure knowing that it’s unnecessary and TSA allows e-liquids within guidelines.

More Answers for How to Sneak a Cart Through a Metal Detector

If you need to sneak your cart through a metal detector somewhere other than an airport, you have some options.

more answers for how to sneak a cart through a metal detector
If ceramic isn’t a fit for you, try these options out.

Using a ceramic cart would be my top recommendation, but here are your next best options.

  • If the cart has metal, pass through the metal detector with no other conductive materials on you. The metal cart alone is most likely too small to activate an alarm. But an added lighter or belt buckle could mean trouble.
  • Hide the cart in your shoe and hope the magnetic field from the detector isn’t targeted at the ground.
  • Try using a glass or plastic cart without a metal tube or coil.

Sneaking a cart through a metal detector doesn’t have to be complicated.

By limiting the amount of metal on you, you can easily slip by a metal detector unnoticed.

So enjoy your concert, Disney adventure, or trip to Six Flags without additional anxiety.

FAQs About Ceramic Carts and Metal Carts

Once you sneak your cart through a metal detector, then what?

I’m sure you have more questions. So let’s talk about some of the more popular ones.

FAQS about ceramic carts and metal carts
Questions, questions, and more questions.

Will Carts Explode on Airplanes?

A full cart will explode on an airplane with enough air pressure expanding the internal oxygen.

But before you freak out about the carts in your purse as you wait for takeoff, let me explain a bit more.

When I say a cart will explode on airplanes, I don’t mean it will combust into flames. I mean that your cart could shatter from the inside.

This happens because the plane’s altitude shift pushes the air pressure to rise and fall.

When the pressure rises, the air within the cart will expand

If the air and e-liquid balance aren’t offset, the expanding air will supply enough force to produce a leak and relieve the pressure.

In the right conditions, that leak can quickly lead to an explosion or shattering of the cart.

How Do You Stop a Cartridge From Leaking on a Plane?

No one wants their cart to leak on a plane.

To stop a cartridge from leaking on a plane, you could use plastic carts since they are more pliable in higher-pressure situations.

In addition, make sure the bottom seal and mouthpiece are tight.

how do you stop a cartridge from leaking on a plane seal tightly
Make sure that seals are tightly screwed on to avoid leaking.

In truth, you only need to worry about full carts. Partially used carts with less e-liquid should be safe for your flight.

They have more space for air molecules to expand and can handle the added pressure.

How Many Puffs in a 1ml Cartridge?

This is such a subjective question. 

In my article about Elf Bars, I explain in detail how the amount of puffs from each vape and cart is constantly in flux.

Generally, a 1ml cartridge will allow 200 puffs, give or take. But this can change quickly depending on your vaping habits.

how many puffs in a 1ml cartridge
Unfortunately, the answer here will never be the same for everyone.

Each vaper takes a distinctive number of puffs per situation and inhales a unique quantity of vapor from a single puff.

If you take short puffs instead of an extended inhale, you could double the puffs from the same-sized cart. You are essentially turning those 200 puffs into 400 based solely on habit.

So again, it’s subjective at best.

The Roundup

Are you guys still with me?

We covered a lot, but all of it is important to your question.

By understanding what a cart is and how it’s made, you can develop a sound strategy to sneak it through a metal detector.

strategy to sneak a cart through a metal detector
If you’re hell-bent on sneaking a cart through a metal detector, plan for success.

Remember, using a ceramic cart will give you the best advantage to get through undetected.

But if ceramic material isn’t an option, remove any other metal on your person. This way, the cart’s metal is too small to reach a metal detector’s sensitivity threshold.

Good luck!

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