What you need to know about PTC heaters
Publicado por Adelle Webber en
PTC ceramic heaters, how they are made and used.
PTC ceramic heaters are an electrical heating element that uses the PTC (positive temperature coefficient) effect to control their temperature. In a PTC ceramic heater, the resistance of the heating element increases as its temperature rises, which limits the amount of power that can flow through it and helps to prevent overheating.
This makes PTC ceramic heaters a safer and more efficient alternative to traditional heating elements, as they can maintain a stable temperature without the need for external temperature control. They are commonly used in a variety of applications, including space heaters, hair dryers, and automobile cabin heating systems.
Where can I buy a commercial-grade PTC heater?
When purchasing a commercial-grade PTC heater, it is essential to consider factors such as the specific requirements of your application, the size and shape of the heater, the electrical and thermal performance specifications, and the price and availability of the heater.
It is also essential to consider the manufacturer's or supplier's reputation and reliability, as well as any warranties or guarantees offered with the heater.
In summary, commercial-grade PTC heaters can be purchased from a variety of sources, including electrical supply stores, industrial suppliers, online marketplaces, and directly from manufacturers.
We recommend directly from DBK USA, an industrial manufacturer and supplier with products readily available at our online store. Custom products, designs, and volume orders are also available.
Call directly and speak with a trained thermal management engineer to ensure you have the right product for your application.
How is a PTC heater made?
A PTC heater is typically made by mixing ceramic powders with a small amount of a conductive material, such as carbon or metal, and then pressing the mixture into the desired shape. The mixture is sintered or fired at high temperatures to create a dense ceramic structure. This structure contains a network of microscopic pores that serve as the electrical pathways for the heater.
Once the PTC ceramic material is formed, it is coated with metal electrodes, typically made of nickel or aluminum, which are then connected to electrical leads. The resulting PTC heater can then be integrated into an electrical circuit and powered by an AC or DC voltage source.
The specific composition of the ceramic mixture, the sintering temperature, and the size and shape of the heater can all be tailored to meet the specific requirements of different applications. For example, PTC heaters designed for high-temperature environments may be made from a ceramic mixture with a high-temperature coefficient of resistance, while heaters designed for use in lower-temperature applications may have a lower temperature coefficient of resistance.
Learn more about the manufacturing process.
Learn more about how PTC heaters work.
Are PTC heaters safer than resistive wire heaters?
Yes, PTC heaters are generally safer than traditional resistive wire heaters. This is because PTC heaters use the PTC effect to control their temperature, which means that their resistance increases as their temperature rises. This limits the amount of power that can flow through the heater, helping to prevent overheating and reducing the risk of fire.
In contrast, traditional resistive wire heaters rely on external temperature control systems, such as thermostats or temperature sensors, to regulate their temperature. If these temperature control systems fail, the resistive wire heater can continue to heat up, potentially leading to overheating and a fire hazard.
Additionally, PTC heaters are made of ceramic materials that are typically more fire-resistant than the metal or other materials used in traditional resistive wire heaters. This makes PTC heaters a safer option in applications where there is a risk of fire, such as in portable heaters or other heating devices used in homes or offices.
What type of heaters use PTC elements?
PTC (positive temperature coefficient) elements are commonly used in a variety of heating applications, including:
- Space heaters: PTC elements are often used in portable space heaters to provide efficient, safe, and reliable heating for rooms and other small spaces.
- Hair dryers: PTC elements are used in some hair dryers to provide fast and consistent heating for styling hair.
- Automotive cabin heating: PTC elements are used in some automotive heating systems to provide efficient and reliable heating for the cabin of a vehicle.
- Electric heating blankets and pads: PTC elements are used in some electric heating blankets and pads to provide safe and consistent heating for warmth and comfort. Very small flexible heating elements are used in medical devices.
- Industrial heating: PTC elements are used in a variety of industrial heating applications, such as in heating systems for process equipment and machines, as well as in heating systems for commercial and industrial buildings.
- Electronic devices: PTC elements are used in some electronic devices, such as smartphones, laptops, and other portable devices, to provide heating for thermal management and to protect against overheating.
The use of PTC elements in these heating applications provides several benefits, including high efficiency, fast heating, low energy consumption, and improved safety compared to traditional heating elements.
How are PTC heaters used in medical equipment?
PTC heaters are used in a variety of medical equipment for various purposes, including:
- Warmers for newborns: PTC heaters are used in warmers for newborns to provide consistent and safe heating for premature or low-weight infants.
- Heat therapy devices: PTC heaters are used in heat therapy devices, such as heating pads and wraps, to provide localized heat therapy for pain relief and improved circulation.
- Surgical equipment: PTC heaters are used in some surgical equipment, such as operating tables, to provide consistent and controlled heating for patient comfort during procedures.
- Medical imaging equipment: PTC heaters are used in some medical imaging equipment, such as MRI machines, to provide heating for thermal management and to protect against overheating.
- Laboratory equipment: PTC heaters are used in some laboratory equipment, such as incubators and warmers for biological samples, to provide consistent and controlled heating for experiments and procedures.
Are PTC heaters used in electric vehicles?
Yes, PTC heaters are used in most electric vehicles (EVs) for cabin heating. In EVs, the cabin heating system is powered by the vehicle's battery, and must be designed to consume as little energy as possible to maximize the range of the vehicle. PTC heaters are an efficient and effective solution for cabin heating in EVs because they consume less energy than traditional heating elements and provide consistent, safe, and reliable heating.
PTC heaters in EVs are typically used in conjunction with an energy-efficient HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system, which circulates warm air throughout the cabin. The PTC heater provides fast and consistent heating, while the HVAC system distributes the warm air evenly throughout the cabin. This combination of PTC heating and energy-efficient HVAC results in an efficient and effective cabin heating system that consumes less energy and extends the range of the vehicle.
PTC heaters are small and lightweight, making them easy to integrate into the compact and space-constrained cabin of an EV. This makes PTC heaters a popular choice for cabin heating in EVs, as they provide efficient and effective heating without adding significant weight or taking up valuable space.
Still, have questions?
Don’t hesitate to call our thermal management engineer. Her job is to help customers find the right heater and size for their applications. Call Kat at 864-791-6014