What is a Flexible Heater?

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(Newswire.net — August 29, 2019) — A flexible heater is a screen printed, wire wound, or chemically etched heater which can be bent or flexed to fit into the contours of the area which needs heating. There are many kinds of flexible heaters, such as transparent heaters, carbon printed heaters, and film heaters. All these heaters come in various variations which include the potential to customize the thickness, shape, and size along with incorporating components which can boost the performance of any application.

Flexible heaters are efficient, accurate, reliable, rugged, and have characteristics that make them chemical and moisture resistant. Since they can be easily adhered or bonded to any size and type of substrate, flexible heaters have an extensive range of military, profit-oriented, and industrial applications. They are suitable for harsh environments, are lightweight, thin, and can be operated at temperatures up to 500oF intermittent and 392oF continuous.

Effective and efficient heat exchange is the key to being successful in any heating application. Flexible heaters can be configured directly to the surface that needs heat, which is the most appropriate method to make sure that thermal energy is transferred out of the heating element. If the heater is correctly designed and mounted so that it has a uniform interface between the substrate to be heated and the radiator, there is no better mechanism to select.

Ohms Law

Ohms law exhibits the correlation between resistance, amperage, horsepower, and voltage. It is good to understand Ohm’s law to compute the batch you will be interchanging with your digital controller or thermostat. For instance, if you select a flexible heater and apply 120 Vac to one that is ranked at 200 Watts, the tide will be 1.6 Amps.

A is equal to W / V where: A = Amperes; W = Wattage; and V = Voltage.

Using the example above 120Vac / 200 Watts = 1.6 Amps. Some other Ohm’s Law variation include: Volts = Watts/Amperes, Volts = OHMS x Amperes, OHMS = Amperes/Volts, Amperes = OHMS/Volts, and Watts = Amperes x Volts.

Kilowatt Requirement

The following formula is used to calculate the Kw needed to heat concrete.

Kw = (Cpx x WT        T) /h x 3412


Cp = Ib- OF/BTU

    T = Temperature Increase, oF

3412 = Kwh/BTU, Conversion Factor

H = heat-up time

Select the Correct Flexible Heater

 1. Silicone Rubber Heaters

These heaters speed warm-ups and improve heat exchange where computerized heating is needed in small spaces. The temperature must be monitored because the limit might besurpassed. This takes advantage of the unique properties of silicone rubber to provide a flexible heating element of unprecedented performance.

2. Polyimide Film Flexible Heaters

Polyimide heaters offer a high degree of chemical resistance and are available in a variety of wattages, sizes, and shapes. The heater has incredible outgassing characteristics in high vacuum habitats. Normaldesignis made up of a chisel foil element of 0.0001” or 0.0005” diameter which is sheathed between two films of FEP adhesive and Polyimide Film.


Depending on the application, there are a variety of temperature sensors and controllers one can use. The surface mount temperature sensor is one of the most common sensor types for heater applications. Thermistors, RTD, or Thermocouple, are accessible with adhesive backing.