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What is a Flexible Silicone Heater?

What is a Flexible Silicone Heater?

Posted by Adelle Webber on

Medical equipment and instrumentation



FAQ Flexible Silicone Heaters

Where are flexible silicone heaters used?

Use these heaters for applications with limited space that require protection from moisture and excellent dielectric insulating properties.

  • Medical equipment and instrumentation
  • Photo processing equipment
  • Computer peripherals
  • Semiconductor processing equipment
  • Aerospace
  • Packaging equipment
  • Foodservice equipment
  • Battery heating
  • Vending equipment
  • Drain freeze protection
  • Spacecraft

What is a flexible silicone heater?

Flexible silicone heaters are thin and lightweight surface heaters with the ability to flex or mold to the contour of the surface heated.  

Why is silicone rubber used for the flexible heating elements?

Silicone rubber has several advantages making it an excellent solution to protect the electrical heating elements from damage, a wide temperature range, and superior heat transfer properties. It is also lightweight and flexible.

What is the thickness of flexible silicone heaters?

Depending on the internal heating elements, the thickness ranges from 0.022 - 0.0056 inches.

What type of elements are used in flexible silicone heaters?

Wire wound and etched foil are the most common types of heating elements. Vulcanization or extrusion bonds the silicone rubber reinforced with fiberglass or similar material.

How do the elements create heat?

Both types of heating elements create heat by resistance to electrical current. As the electrical current passes through the elements, they heat the same as any resistance heater.

What is the difference between wire wound and etched foil elements?

Both types are lightweight and flexible, but etched foil allows for closer, more precise spacing over the surface of the heater. The etched foil heaters are also ½ the thickness of the wire wound heaters.

How is the flexible heater attached to electrical power?

Electrical wires for connecting the heaters are built into each heater and protected by the silicone vulcanized over the heating elements.  Different wire sizes and specifications are available for your application. 

How are the heaters mounted to the surface to be heated?

Heaters can be custom made to attach to specific surfaces. Often just special heat resistant adhesive is used. Holes or eyelets in the design, as well as belts, are also used.  See the variety of patterns and fasteners available.

What sizes and shapes are silicone heaters?

Flexible heaters come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, including holes and adhesives for mounting. Check with DBK USA for other sizes and types that can be made readily available.

Can I buy off-the-shelf heaters?

There are many flexible silicon heaters available off-the-shelf you can purchase for testing and small quantity applications. Check with DBK USA for other sizes and types that can be made readily available.

Can I get custom shapes and sizes made?

Custom sizes and shapes are available for most applications.

How long does it take to get a custom design prototype?

The lead time on small quantities is generally between 10 and 14 days, including the design stage. Set-up charges are minimal. Call for more information.

What is the melting temperature of silicone?

Silicone does not have a melting point and remains solid until combustion occurs. It does become brittle over time when exposed to high temperatures. It varies with composition, but burning is around 450 degrees C. Most heaters have a max continuous operating temperature of 180 degrees C.

Is silicone an excellent electrical insulator?

Silicone rubber is an excellent electrical insulator. Actual insulating properties are dependent on the mixture of rubber during its manufacture. It is also resistant to oxidation and degradation from UV radiation, making it the right choice for electrical insulators.

Can I prevent heat loss from one side of a silicone rubber heater?

Aluminum or additional silicone insulation can be applied to one side of the heater to prevent heat loss where heat is not needed.

How small are etched silicone heaters?

Practically any shape, size, or profile is available, including holes and cut-outs for mounting. The smallest size of etched silicone heaters in stock is 2 X 2 inches square, 0.05 inches thick. Contact us if you have a custom requirement.

Do flexible heaters meet industry standards?

Flexible heaters meet UL, VDE, IEC, NEC, ISO, or NFPA standards as required in your locality. Call 864-607-9047 if you have any questions about complying with local regulations. LSLT, low smoke low toxicity options are available.

What voltage supply can I use?

The heating elements are resistive and designed to suit voltage from 6V - 240V, AC or DC, single or three-phase.

How do you control the temperature output?

Heaters can have thermal limiting devices hard wired directly into the heater. Temperature sensors fitted to the heater mat work with external temperature controllers.

Don’t see the answer?

Call 1-864-607-9047 and talk with one of our thermal solutions engineers.

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