Flat Ceramic Fiber Heaters Information
Flat ceramic fiber heaters consist of an iron-chrome-aluminum (ICA) heating element and a thick layer of ceramic fiber insulation within a non-curved housing. They are manufactured in a variety of shapes and sizes. The most common geometric shapes for flat ceramic fiber heaters are square and rectangular, but other shapes can be custom-configured depending upon the application. Flat ceramic fiber heaters offer faster heat up, greater temperature uniformity, faster recovery rates, and faster cool down time then most other heater types.
Flat ceramic fiber heaters are available with several configuration options. Some heaters may have multiple options. These configurations include fully heated (the entire area of the heater is considered heated area”), unheated ends or sides (the side or end edges of the heater are unheated), or all edges are insulated (all edges of the heater are unheated).
When determining which of the available flat ceramic fiber heaters are best for a given application, there are four main specifications to consider. These include the maximum sheath operating temperature, the AC voltage required to power the device, the output wattage of the heater, and the watt density. The maximum sheath operating temperature represents the maximum temperature that the sheath covering the heater may reach. It does not represent the maximum temperature that a heated substance may reach. Watt density represents the amount of wattage, per square inch, the flat ceramic fiber heaters are capable of delivering. Watt density is calculated by dividing the available wattage by the heated area. Watt density is a good measure of the heater's ability to quickly heat a substance. High watt density heaters should not be used with extremely viscous materials, materials that are not well-circulated, or explosive/volatile materials due to risk of fire.
Flat ceramic fiber heaters are available with a number of heating coil options. Heating coils may either be embedded directly within the insulation material of the heater, or they may be only partially embedded, or “exposed.” Embedded coils offer a number of advantages including protection from process media splatter, which can lead to smoking, sparking, or a lowered service life span. Generally, these flat ceramic fiber heaters cannot reach the high temperature rates of partially exposed coil styles.