Tips For Extending Strip Heater Life

by Rebecca Schneider

Heaters from leading manufacturers, such as Watlow or Backer Marathon deliver the benefits of advanced construction techniques. They offer high-temperature, high-watt density capabilities, with sheaths made from corrosion resistant materials. Our top strip heaters include: mineral insulated, mica insulated, ceramic insulated and finned strip heaters for efficient air or surface heating.

Avoid Contamination 

  • Contaminants such as oil, plastics, and dirt should not be allowed to collect on heaters, as they will find their way into the heater windings, eventually carbonizing and causing electrical shorts.
  • Avoid moisture, moisture can be wicked up by the leads or get into the inside of the heater causing the heater to fail.

Avoid Over Heating

  • Do not operate heaters at voltages over what the heater is rated for. 
  • Do not expose terminations to higher temperatures than that of what they are rated for. 

Ensure Proper Installation

  • When supported by mounting slots, the terminal end should be secured firmly. Opposite end should be slightly loosened to allow for linear expansion.
  • The surface being heated must be clean and smooth for efficient heat transfer. Small air gaps caused by imperfections can cause hot spots, resulting in heater failure.
  • Ensure terminal posts are not overly tightened.  Posts should be securely fastened but excessive torque could break the connection.

For further installation and maintenance tips visit our Strip Heaters Tech Talk.

Always consult your specific heater manufacturer’s installation and operation manual for best practice and maintenance procedures. All electrical wiring should be done by a qualified electrician.

Which Band Heater Should You Use to Maximize Efficiency?

by Becky Schneider

Knowing which band heater style best suits your application can minimize burnout and production downtime.  There are 3 main types of band heaters: Mica, Mineral Insulated and Ceramic. So, what is the difference?

Band Heater Applications

Mica Band Heaters

Mica heaters are economical and can be easily installed.  Mica provides resistance to chemicals and water making them less subject to corrosion. They are best suited in applications where a lower operating temperature range is required (max. temp 900OF).  Mica heaters are available in a wide range of sizes, up to a 44” ID and 15” width.  The heaters are highly customizable and can accommodate a variety of construction and termination options.

Like the options that a Mica band provides but need a higher operating temperature?  Try a Hi-Temperature (Hi-Density) Mica Band.  This band offers the same custom benefits with a higher operating temperature range (max. temp 1200oF).

Mineral Insulated Band Heaters

Mineral Insulated heaters offer higher performance capable of handling increased temperature (max. temp 1400oF) and watt density.  Made with a compacted mineral that coats the band heater it provides good thermal conductivity and corrosion resistance.   A bit more expensive than their Mica counterparts they can provide longer service life in applications with higher temperature requirements.

Ceramic Band Heaters

Ceramic segments used in these heaters make excellent insulators and provide long life and lower energy costs.  They provide efficient heat transfer, however, because ceramic tends to hold onto the heat it makes it a bit more difficult to control the temperature.  Ceramic bands are more expensive than other options but can make up for cost difference in heater efficiency and longer heater life (max. temp 1400oF).

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Every application has its own unique requirements and challenges, heating processes should be evaluated for specific needs.  Hi-Watt can assist with helping you select the right heater for your application or answering any questions you may have.  Reach out to our experts at 855-340-9121 or sales@hiwattinc.com