Radiant Heater Elements Information
Radiant heater elements are replacement heater elements for radiant flat panel heaters and radiant reflective heaters. Radiant heaters are used to heat objects via radiant, usually infrared (IR), heat transfer. They are used in applications such as space heating, drying and curing, water evaporation, food processing, sterilization, material preparation, bonding and joining, and industrial manufacturing and production. Radiant reflective heaters are similar to radiant flat panel heaters, but include reflectors that require periodic maintenance. Both radiant flat panel heaters and radiant reflective heaters are ruggedly built and resistant to various levels of shock and vibration. Many radiant heaters are so precise that heat can be directed to exact locations.
Important specifications for radiant heating elements include element style and element type. Element style describes the shape or configuration of radiant heating elements. Some elements are straight. Others are U-shaped or available in a hairpin configuration. Element type describes the way in which radiant heating elements are protected. Typically, devices have a metal sheath or quartz sleeve. Radiant heater elements with custom dispersion angles and other special features are also available.
Selecting radiant heater elements requires an analysis of power requirements and outputs. AC voltage is the amount of power that radiant heater elements require for normal operation. Heater output is the number of kilowatts (kW) that devices can maintain. Maximum watt density is the number of watts per square inch (W/in2) that radiant heater elements can deliver. Watt density, a measure of the ability to quickly heat a substance, is calculated by dividing the available wattage by the heated area. Most suppliers specify the heated length (effective length) of radiant heater elements. Because of the risk of fire, devices with high watt densities are not suitable for use with extremely viscous materials, poorly circulated substances, or explosive/volatile materials.
Radiant heater elements differ in terms of sleeve materials, termination options, and special features. Common sleeve materials include aluminum, brass, copper, iron, nickel alloy, steel, and stainless steel. Proprietary sleeve materials include Inconel®, a registered trademark of Special Metals, Inc. and Monel®, a registered trademark of E.I. DuPont, Inc. Termination options for radiant heater elements determine how electrical connections are made to the heater. Some radiant heaters are equipped with threaded screw terminals or lugs. Others have tabs with slotted holes, quick connect / disconnect plugs, or insulated wire leads. In terms of special features, some radiant heater elements are equipped with liquid-tight bulkhead fittings.
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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 primarily to heat moving, flowing, or circulating fluid streams. Fluid flows through the heater, which transfers heat to the fluid stream. Any liquid or gas is generally acceptable for use with a circulation heater.
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.
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.
Duct heaters are used to heat moving gas streams.
Explosion Proof Heaters
Explosion proof heaters are constructed with housings that can withstand explosions, protecting the materials being heated. This classification may also include housings, which can withstand sparking and flames.