Positive Temperature Coefficient

What are PTC Heaters?

PTC Heater Types Explained

PTC ceramic heating elements are used throughout our industrial economy.  Their compact size, efficient heat transfer, reliability, and ability to self-control the amount of heat produced are highly valued.  PTC heating elements are found in our homes, cars, trucks, trains, planes, ships, medical equipment, industry & manufacturing.  


The small PTC ceramic materials or disks, specially made for specific temperatures, are encased in materials that facilitate thermal energy transfer for this compact source.  The small ceramic stones are doped with barium nitrate during manufacturing for specified temperatures.   These set-point temperatures are what make these elements unique in heating applications.

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How to transfer heat from a PTC heating element

PTC element heat transfer   Medical Laboratory Maintains Temperature with PTC Heating Elements   The ceramic heating element designed with PTC, positive temperature coefficient, characteristics require a heat transfer medium to move the heat from the component to the material requiring heat.  The heat transfer design is dependent on the material, distance, and surface area. Heat transfer is heat moving from a warmer object to a cooler thing.  Heat is a measure of the kinetic energy possessed by an item.  The heat measure of an object changes with time until equilibrium between the warmer and cooler things.   Conductive heat...

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How does a PTC heater work?

Traditional resistive element heating

Resistance in a circuit produces thermal energy, which equates to heat.  Nichrome, a non-magnetic alloy of nickel and chromium, is one of the most common resistance wires.  The material has a high resistance to current and oxidation at high temperatures. Other materials and alloys are used for specific applications to create heat with some coated with heat-conducting materials that protect the elements from oxidation at high temperatures. Typical lengths of each type of wire produce the desired heating.  

Forced air or natural convection heat exchangers are utilized to transfer heat to the atmosphere, solids, and liquids.  This heating device has long been used for electrical heating in homes, transportation, and industrial applications.  The resistance is chosen concerning temperature requirements, voltage, and current.  In most applications, temperature sensors and current-limiting components are required to maintain the proper temperature.The current through such wire resistors is nearly constant and does not change with temperature, nor does the wire's resistance.



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PTC Fan Heaters

OTC PTC Fan Heaters for Electronic Enclosures Positive Temperature Coefficient heaters are becoming increasingly common in the military, industrial, commercial, and home applications. The unique characteristics of rapid heating and maximum temperature with little or no control circuitry provide efficient heating.

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PTC Finned Heaters

PTC Finned Heaters for Industrial Applications PTC finned, air, or convection heaters, contain ceramic disks that utilize positive temperature coefficient (PTC) technology that is safer, more efficient, and reliable than traditional electric resistance heating elements.

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