We will be closed November 26th - 27th for Thanksgiving Holidays and December 16th to Jan 4th for Christmas Holidays and Inventory

Looking for a Flexible Heater?

Looking for a Flexible Heater?

Posted by Adelle Webber on

Plant or facility engineer, maintenance or production manager, process, or system engineer, looking for flexible heaters? 

The types of heaters that you can wrap around or conforms to surfaces.

This is Great News! 

DBK USA Now Offers Flexible Etched Foil Silicone Heaters


Biggest concerns about flexible heaters? 

Durability?

The quality of the materials and the manufacturing process can dramatically impact durability. All silicone is not equal, and it is one of the most used materials for etched foil flexible heaters. Silicone is durable, flexible, and excellent heat transfer properties. 

Does your flexible heater supplier use high-quality silicone?  Silicone rubber is moisture and chemical resistant. It is flexible and lightweight, yet durable.

Off the shelf sizes?

Flexible heaters continue to grow in popularity in industries around the world. One of their characteristics is the etched foil heaters are easy to customize for different applications. Except for design or product engineers, you probably want to purchase an off the shelf product.  There is an alternative to Amazon that offers better quality and personal service.

Voltage or heat output?

The heat output varies with voltage. Temperature sensors and power controllers will be needed to control the heat output in most cases. Pre-wired for standard voltages make your life easier. 

12V for your vehicle and battery heaters. 120 V is usually available for industrial applications. Multiple watt density outputs are available for each voltage.  Custom etched patterns can enhance the heat density for specific applications.


How do they wrap or conform?

The silicone rubber insulation covered with a cloth mesh backing keeps the silicone from tearing and enables areas outside of the etched circuit to be drilled and grommeted. These heaters are thin and flexible making them very useful in tight conditions.

PSA or pressure-sensitive adhesive on one side for fastening directly to a surface. Tie wraps or similar fasteners are alternatives where the heaters may need removal for maintenance of a component.  Silicone RTV can also be used in the field where resistance to harsh weather, mildew or humidity is present.

Attaching methods can impact the heat transfer capabilities of the heaters.  Contact our applications experts when in doubt of which method to use.

Etched foil or wire-wound heaters?

Etched foil is thinner than wire-wound and has higher watt densities—the etched foil designed with different patterns for specialized heating applications. The specially designed resistance patterns focus the heat onto specific areas of the device to be heated. 

With either type, you will need temperature sensors to monitor the temperature and temperature controllers to control the current.  Heat distribution is better with etched foil.

What are the typical applications for these heaters?

Let your imagination be your guide but here are some popular applications;

  • GRP pipe curing systems
  • Composite aircraft repair
  • Battery warming
  • Industrial catering
  • Laboratory equipment
  • Satellite dish snow melting
  • Anti-condensation
  • Environmental control for electronics & communications
  • Outdoor gas and oil pipeline valves
  • Medical equipment
  • Curing laminates
  • Freeze protection

How do you connect the heater to your circuit?

Quality industrial grade heaters have leads attached to the etched foil resistance wire and bonded to the silicone insulation. This secure factory connection with lead wires sized for the current and voltage of the heater is easy to connect to your circuit. 

Ensure the connection is part of the etching and silicone bonding process. These types of secondary connections can harm the integrity of the silicone and resistive element.

Where do you get industrial quality heaters?

Not Amazon.

DBK USA makes it easy to order online. Go to our online shopping website and select the heater that best fits your needs. When in doubt, engineers are standing by to answer any questions. These engineers can also help you with custom designs and quantities.


Share this post



← Older Post Newer Post →