Cylindrical ceramic fiber heaters consist of an iron-chrome-aluminum (ICA) heating element and a thick layer of ceramic fiber insulation within a cylinder-shaped housing. The ceramic fiber insulation isolates the heating chamber from outside temperatures, allowing the heater to reach process temperatures quickly. Because they are light-weight, cylindrical ceramic fiber heaters are easy to install and replace. Their high temperature capability, low thermal mass, and ease of modification allow them to solve difficult heating problems. For example, cylindrical ceramic fiber heaters are used in complex piping. The numerous notches around pipes, flanges, and gussets can be molded into the heater, or cut to fit. 

Cylindrical ceramic fiber heaters are available in several base geometries and with multiple features. Some heaters are full cylinders while others provide full, left, or right vestibules. A vestibule, the section at the end of a cylinder, has the same outer diameter as the cylinder but a smaller inner diameter. Heaters without vestibules have a constant inner and outer diameter throughout the length of the cylinder. Cylindrical ceramic fiber heaters are available with a variety of inner and outer diameters, as well as different heated lengths and heated inside diameters.   

The heating elements for cylindrical ceramic fiber heaters are either embedded or exposed. Flat or V-shaped sinuated heating elements can be embedded in insulation material, or flush-mounted to the surface. Coils are embedded. Cylindrical ceramic fiber heaters also differ in terms of required voltages and watt outputs. Watt density is the wattage per square inch that a heater can deliver. Watt density measures the ability to heat a substance and is calculated by dividing the available wattage by the heated area. Due to risk of fire, cylindrical ceramic fiber heaters with high wattages are not used with extremely viscous materials, poorly circulated materials, and explosive or volatile materials.  

Cylindrical ceramic fiber heaters include a variety of special features. Some provide cooling options or are suitable for cryogenic use. Others are corrosion-resistant or have a built-in thermocouple for temperature sensing. Cylindrical ceramic fiber heaters with distributed wattage deliver uneven wattage along the length of the heater. These heaters are useful in applications where some portions of a heated object require a higher watt density than others.

There are a variety of applications for cylindrical ceramic fiber heaters. For example, in the aerospace industry, these devices are used for crystal growth, research and development, and for tensile and creep testing. In other industries, cylindrical ceramic fiber heaters are used to pre-heat and manufacture glass, heat-treat metal, cure paint, and anneal wafers. The plastics industry uses cylindrical ceramic fiber heaters in the manufacture of sealers and formers, and the petroleum industry uses them to apply test gauges to drill bits.


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