Frequently Asked Questions- Kapton and Silicone Rubber Heaters…
Kapton (Polyimide) and Silicone Flexible Heaters FAQ’s
Q. What is the difference between foil and wire?
A. Wire Wound element uses a round resistance wire and is ideally suited for small
quantities and low cost sampling. It also lends itself to larger sizes to a maximum
of 900mm x 3000mm not only can it be used in adhesive static applications but also
where repeated flexing is required.
Etch Foil uses a chemically etched stainless steel track (see pic above) much like
a printed circuit board suited to high power densities and medium to large quantities.
Used mainly in static applications. Maximum size 600mm x 2500mm.
Q. What temperatures can heater mats be used at?
A. Silicone rubber remains flexible from -60°c to 180°c. Specialist high temperature
silicones are available for applications in excess of 250°c.
Q. What is a silicone rubber insulated heating element?
A. Comprising of a wire or etched resistor laminated between sheets of silicone rubber
compound. These heaters are ideally suited for the heating of surfaces in a multitude
of applications. Being of low thermal mass their heat transference is exceptional
and being resistant to moisture do not suffer moisture ingress associated with mineral
insulated heating elements. Their thin lightweight construction and ease of installation
make them a cost effective, reliable heating solution.
Q. What shapes can I have?
A. Practically any shape, size or profile is available along with holes, cut-outs
and slots (pic) within the maximum sizes of 900mm x 3000mm for wire and 600mm x 2500mm
for etch foil.
Q. Can I cut the heater to size?
A. No, all the heaters are designed with a border between the edge of the heater
and the resistor wire of approximately 5mm and therefore any cutting may damage the
Q. Can I have a 1 off?
A. Of course you can. NPH are pleased to produce 1 of heaters be it for a problem
solving application or prototypes for OEM (original equipment manufacturers) projects.
Q. How much will my 1 off be and how quickly can I have it?
A. Delivery on small quantities is normally 7-10 days including design. Cost is dependent
upon the size of heater, but set up charges are minimal for wire wound heaters. Etch
foil prototypes are available within 2-3 weeks and still only incur tooling charges
of a few hundred dollars.
Q. What voltage supply can I have?
A. The heaters are a pure resistor and therefore can be designed to suit any supply
voltage, AC or DC, single or three phase.
Q. What power will I need and how long will it take to heat up?
A. NPH can provide detailed power calculations and offer advice for individual applications.
Heat up times will depend on many variables such as ambient temp, mass & specific
heat value of product and whether thermal insulation is utilized. Please contact
us for application assistance.
Q. Do NPH have any third party approvals?
A. Yes, our manufacturing partner(s) meet all the relevant European directives and
are CE marked accordingly. VDE approval as well as UL/CSA recognized products are
available on request.
Q. What quality system do NPH operate?
A. Our manufacturing partner has ISO 9001:2008 approval which is audited by Underwriter
Q. How are the heaters fixed?
A. For static applications a self-adhesive backing is a simple, quick method of installation.
Where removal is requested hooks, eyelets and springs, Velcro, magnetic bindings
Q. How can I control the temperature?
A. Heaters can be supplied with thermal limiting devices hard wired directly to the
heater. Temperature sensors such as thermocouples, PT100’s and thermistors can be
fitted to the heater mat for connection to external process controllers.
Q. What IP rating are the heaters manufactured to?
A. IP ratings as high as IP67 can be achieved in special circumstances. IP65 is the
highest standard rating when using a moulded silicone cable termination.
Q. What standards relate to the product?
A. See standards datasdheet.
Q. Are the heaters CE marked?
A. See CE statement.
Q. Does NPH produce heaters other than Silicone?
A. Polyester and Polymide (Kapton) are used in a variety of applications. Contact
our technical sales for further details.
Q. Applications- Where can the heater be used?
A. Anywhere a surface is required to be heated to 200c (click her to see just a few
of the applications).
Q. What is a high power density?
A. This is dependent on the application and type of control used.