Custom Heater Solutions
Custom flexible heater design and prototyping services immediately available
At the core of our business are our design and prototyping services for flexible heating elements. We can manufacture 3-D heaters, and design holes, cutouts, and notches so the heaters accurately fit to the part. Flexible heaters can be bonded to the parts to create a complete thermal sub-assembly. View photo gallery of examples
If you have an idea or a problem, Hi-Heat designs the solution and manufactures prototype heaters for testing.
- Rapid concept to design
- Low engineering costs
- Quick turn on prototypes
Because of our custom capabilities and expertise, we can design a heating element that will fit exactly on your part to deliver the heat as needed. In order to do this we are experts at bonding or fastening heaters to parts.
You'll find examples here of the design variations and components available with our custom heater solutions. We also offer a catalog of standard, in-stock silicone rubber heaters.
"I sent one email, and then we talked on the phone. I gave them a general specification, and they did the rest. I thought a few weeks would be reasonable, but they created a flexible heating element it in 3 days." - Product designer for commercial painting application in Middle East
Custom Heater Holes, Cutouts and Notches
The holes, cutouts and notches of heaters are located per your specifications.
- Fit your exact design requirements
- Distributed wattage for uniform heat distribution
Mechanical Fasteners for Flexible Heater
For heating applications on cylindrical parts or where the installation is temporary, eyelets with springs or snap fasteners are used to mount heaters. Spring fasteners allow for variations in circumference while providing close contact with the part to be heated. Many types of fasteners used for canvas or leather can be built into the sheath of the heaters.
- Eyelets and Springs
- Hook and Loop Fasteners
Standard leads for heating elements are eight inches long, silicone rubber insulated, flexible, plated copperwire. They are UL Style 3135 rated for 200°C/600 volt operation.
Location of exit is centered along the narrow side of rectangular heaters.
Electrical wire lead types and exit locations are adaptable to application requirements.
- Silicone Rubber
- HPN type insulator
Custom 3-D Flexible Heaters
Hi-Heat offers 3-dimensional heaters, which can be designed and built to conform around the complex contours of your part. This results in efficient heating and lower heating costs, because there are no "dead" areas.
Flexible Heaters Bonded to Parts
Silicone rubber can be bonded to metal parts to create complete thermal sub-assemblies. Since a perfect fit between heater and part is a vital factor in heater efficiency, customers normally supply metal parts so we can bond or vulcanize the heater to the part in our factory, and thus assure optimum contact.
- Customer Supplied
- Hi-Heat Fabricated
Silicone rubber adhesive (RTV) can be used for a strong permanent bond, a room temperature vulcanizing (RTV) silicone rubber adhesive is used. Heaters can be bonded to your parts at our factory, or we will supply recommendations for proper application.
The maximum service temperature of polyester pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) is 250°F (121°C). This adhesive is only used on polyester heaters. Bond strength is improved if a dwell time of 12 hours is observed before operation.
The maximum service temperature of this high temp silicone pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) is 500°F (260°C). This adhesive is used on silicone rubber heaters. Bond strength is improved if a dwell time of 12 hours is observed before heater operation.
The engineering team was able to listen to what I needed, and then create the design just from a general description. Exactly, yes. They worked fast, and the response was great. The human relationship was amazing."
- D.M., Manufacturer of fabricated aluminum heated product
Heaters can be fabricated with thermostats, thermal fuses, temperature sensors, thermocouples and resistance temperature detectors (RTD) as an integral part of the heater.
Snap action and creep action are two different types of thermostats. Both are based on a bimetal expansion-contraction principle and nearly all are pre-set to a specific temperature (non-adjustable). If the heater application requires very close temperature control an electronic controller with sensor is suggested over the mechanical thermostat.
Freeze protection, enclosure temperature and high limit protection are the applications best suited for the low cost mechanical thermostat.
The creep action units are constructed with a bimetal strip that curves with the temperature excursions to provide the mechanical action of make and break for the contacts. This provides a close differential between on/off, but can cause radio frequency interference in enclosures that have sensitive electronics. The temperature setting is factory preset and has the range of between 40°F and 300°F, +/- 5°F. Maximum amperage of these units is 8 amps at 120 volts. These small thermostats are commonly used as motor protectors or over temperature protectors in appliance applications.
The snap action units are round in construction (approx 5/8” dia.) due to the bimetal disk that provides the snap action. The disk is shaped similar to a contact lens and snaps back and forth at pre-set temperature to make and break the contact points. The pros and cons of these types of units are:
- Due to the energy required to snap the disk over center, the temperature differential between on and off is 20° to 30°F. When used as a high limit over 300°F this differential can be as large as 75°F. Maximum temperature for high limit is 500°F.
- The wide differential does not provide narrow band temperature control but also does not generate any radio frequency interference due to the positive make/break action.
- The most common use for these units is freeze protection and enclosure control with a setting of On at 40°F / Off at 60°F.
- These units must be covered with an overmold that is bonded to the heater.
Sensors can be located to monitor either heater surface or part temperature. Small sensors are held in place with a protective cover of silicone rubber/fiberglass vulcanized to the heater body. Larger sensors and thermostats have a protective cover (overmold) that is bonded to the heater body.
Thermal fuses open the circuit if the heater exceeds the selected fuse temperature. They are a one time over temperature protection device that can prevent heater runaway in the event that a control device has frozen in the on position. Testing is suggested to select the location and temperature setting of the fuse to protect your product most effectively.
Fuses are preset with a range of 150°F to 460°F. Electrical ratings are 120/250 VAC and 15 amp maximum. They must be covered or enclosed because the outer case of the fuse is electrically live.
"In 1992 we developed a heater within our customer's price range to heat batteries in a containment drawer that was waterproof. We've since done over 100,000 heaters for that application for that one customer."
Thermocouples & Resistance Temperature Devices (RTD)
These devices are most commonly very small and can be attached to the heater with a patch of silicone rubber/fiberglass. Almost any type thermocouple can be used. Type ”J” is most commonly employed. RTDs are either 100 Ohm or 1000 Ohm two conductor type. Special sensors can be provided to your specifications and we can mount customer-supplied sensors.