Kanthal is a trademark for a group of iron-chromium-aluminium (FeCrAl) alloys used in a wide range of resistance and high-temperature applications including e-cigarette coils. Kanthal FeCrAl alloys consist of mainly iron, chromium (20–30%) and aluminium (4–7.5 %). The first Kanthal FeCrAl alloy was developed by Hans von Kantzow in Hallstahammar, Sweden.
Unlike some alternative coil materials such as Nichrome, Kanthal is durable enough to withstand the temperatures required in coil making, but flexible and cheap enough to be practical. Ordinary Kanthal alloy has a melting point of 1,500 °C (2,730 °F).
Kanthal comes in standardized wire gauging, with higher numbers being thinner and lower being thicker. There are around 15 different varieties of Kanthal available, each with slightly different properties, but the ones most commonly used in the vaping industry seem to be Kanthal A-1 and Kanthal A.