Drum heaters are used to heat containers of viscous materials. They can be wrapped around or placed inside containers that hold substances such as wax or grease. Drum heaters are used on drums or process materials in a number of ways. Some of the most common methods include cabinet heating, insertion heating, tunnel heating, and wrap around heaters. Cabinet heaters can heat either drums or containers depending on capacity. The drums or containers are loaded into the cabinet by forklift and after processing removed the same way. Insertion heaters are designed to fit through standard drum bung. Tunnel drum heaters convey drums or containers into the oven. They are processed and conveyed out the other end when warmed to the proper temperature. Wrap around heaters are sized to wrap around standard industrial drums sizes.
Drum heaters are specified by capacity since drums, containers, and vessels are listed by capacity. Choices include: 5-gallon, 15-gallon, 30-gallon, 55-gallon, 350-gallon, and intermediate bulk container (IBC). Specifications for drum heaters also include maximum operating (sheath) temperature, AC voltage required, wattage delivered, watt density and phase. Watt density is calculated by dividing the available wattage by the heated surface area. It is a good measure of how quickly a drum heater can transfer heat to a surface. Choices for sleeve or sheath material include: aluminum, brass, copper, fluoropolymer, high temperature foil (HT foil), iron, nickel alloy, polyimide, rubber, steel, and stainless steel. Drum heaters that have an exposed heating element with no sheathing are also available.
Drum heaters differ in terms of features. Some products are corrosion resistant, finned, or explosion-proof. Others features dynamic power regulation or are rated for cryogenic use. Hazardous location heaters are designed for use in places where there is a risk of fire or explosion. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or other regulatory agencies often rate these devices. Indirect fired heaters use a secondary heat exchanger to separate the breathable air stream from the combustion air stream. Drum heaters with overheat protection contain an automatic shut-off other mechanism to prevent overheating of the material. Weatherproof drum heaters have a sealed, liquid-proof housing and are designed for use in harsh, outdoor environments.
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Band heaters are ring-shaped heaters that clamp onto a cylindrical object and heat via conductive heat transfer.
Cartridge heaters are cylindrical devices generally inserted into a heated substance.
Circulation heaters are used to heat moving or circulating fluids.
Coil Heaters and Cable Heaters
Coil heaters and cable heaters are heating elements formed from straight (uncoiled) segments of round or square heating cable.
Cylindrical Ceramic Fiber Heaters
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.
Flat Ceramic Fiber Heaters
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.
Immersion heaters are used in applications that require immersing the heater in the substance to be heated.