Let's talk about The Pearl (IQ, Miqro, IQ2)
We use the pearl in most of our recent devices. The pearl itself has a couple of interesting properties, and we included it mainly for the following three.
The first is even airflow. Air moves through the IQ2 from the bottom, through the holes in the Airdial™ and is guided in to the oven through an inlet. Because the pearl is round, it guides the air around it into the oven chamber's cylindrical axis. This allows air to flow through the oven more evenly than it would without the pearl.
The second reason why we chose this pearl is, it helps compact the herbal material that you load into the oven. As far as conduction vaporizers go, one of the factors that effects how heat transfers through your oven, and thus through your herb, is the surface area of contact. When your herbal material is compacted, the shreds are closer together. This increases the surface area contact, allowing more energy to transfer through your material. Compaction of your herbal material helps heat transfer. This is why we have spacers, and this pearl. This idea can be seen in coffee filters and other devices outside the cannabis industry as well.
The last point is heat transfer. The oven is made out of alumina-ceramic, which has a higher heat transfer coefficient (K-Factor). That allows heat to distribute itself evenly throughout the oven. The black ceramic that the pearl is made out of is called zirconia. It's stronger, but when compared to the oven, it's thermal conductivity is lower. The pearl acts as an insulator because of this. This allows more energy to stay in your herbal material because it is not being transferred into the pearl. Later in your session when the pearl DOES heat up, you will start to get more even heating throughout your oven.