The choice of a flexible heater varies with the application. There are different types of flexible heaters with flexible heating elements available, each with salient features, advantages, and disadvantages. There are several factors to consider when selecting a flexible heater, such as material type, voltage, size, wattage, and cost.
Flexible heaters are a versatile form of electric heating technology that can be used in a variety of applications. Flexible heaters are thin sheets of material that have been embedded with a heating element. This type of heater provides many benefits, such as flexibility, durability, and low cost, that make it an ideal solution for moderate heating requirements.
One of the most significant benefits of these heaters with a flexible heater element is that they can be used in spaces with limited access because of their thin cross sections. They can be used where other heaters is not possible or practicable.
Rama Corporation manufactures Ramaflex flexible heaters that have consistently met industry expectations in terms of durability, flexibility, and versatility.
Some of the most common materials used for flexible heaters are:
- Polyimide Film: Polyimide film is a strong and durable material, making it a great choice for industrial applications. It is preferred for applications with space constraints. It provides a uniform heat transfer in different environments. Polyimide is lightweight and ideal for uses where additional weight is not desirable.
- Fiberglass/Epoxy: Fiberglass/Epoxy is a versatile material that is highly resistant to corrosion and abrasion. This material is often used for applications where electrical insulation and flexibility are key.
- PTFE: PTFE is a high-temperature plastic with excellent dielectric properties and chemical resistance. This makes it an ideal choice for applications with high heat requirements.
- Silicone Rubber: Silicone rubber is a flexible and durable material that is resistant to temperature extremes; it is used for general applications where watt density of up to 60 W/in2 is required. It is suitable for wet environments and the outdoors. It is resistant to UV and heat degradation and offers temperatures of up to 455-500°F.
- FEP: FEP is a high-temperature thermoplastic material with excellent adhesive properties and electrical resistance. It is used to keep polyimide film heaters thin and with low stiffness.
- Polyester Flexible Heaters: These are suitable for smaller, low temperature applications. Manufacturers use them on irregular shaped surfaces. They are often used to remove moisture buildup to prevent damage to components.
Tips for Installing and Maintaining Your Flexible Heater
- Use the Right Wattage: When choosing a flexible heater, make sure that the wattage is appropriate for the application you are using it for. Too low a wattage will not provide enough heat, and too large of a wattage can cause the element to overheat.
- Check the Voltage: Voltage compatibility is important when choosing a flexible heater element. Make sure to check the voltage that the heater element is rated for, and ensure it is compatible with your system.
- Clean the Heater: Use a soft cloth to wipe off any dust or debris that may be on the flexible heater. Doing this will help to prevent any buildup of dirt or debris that could reduce its effectiveness.