Ceramic heaters are among the most widely used electric heater varieties. Ceramic heaters are used as heating elements in a variety of configurations to provide conductive and radiant heat. Conductive ceramic heaters can be combined with aluminum nitride or other compounds to form warming plates or bonding instruments for medical devices and semiconductor applications. Stand-alone ceramic heating elements may be packed with magnesium oxide and terminated with lead or copper wires for use in a number of industrial applications.
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Design of Ceramic Heaters
Ceramic space heaters use ceramic insulated heating elements combined with aluminum baffles and fans to provide safe, energy efficient radiating heat as ceramic room heaters. Many other types of electric heaters, including ceramic strip heaters and ceramic band heaters, can use ceramic insulation to conduct heat. Ceramic-insulated heating coils can be much safer than uninsulated heating coils, especially in the context of industrial and consumer ovens. They protect the coils from contact with dripping grease or other materials, ensuring the coils’ continued effectiveness and reducing the risk of fire. Ceramics can even be used in consumer hair-care products like straightening irons. Ceramics are prized as insulators for the evenness, safety and effectiveness with which they distribute heat.
Applications of Ceramic Heaters
Because ceramic heaters are used so widely in so many contexts, a great variety of ceramic heater configurations is necessary to accommodate them. The most basic ceramic heater constructions involve nothing more than electric wire or coil heating elements encased in ceramic insulation or ceramic fibers; this basic configuration is used in a variety of shapes and rods to provide a heating source in copiers, dehumidifiers, glue guns, heat sealing guns, shrink wrapping machinery, soldering equipment, valve heaters, resistors and many other radiating heat applications. Healthcare, packaging, aerospace equipment development, appliance manufacturing, semiconductor fabrication, plastic forming, food processing, surface finishing and other processes involve the use of ceramic heaters to warm, plasticize, seal, test, mold and otherwise heat-treat various materials. Because ceramic materials are capable of absorbing so much heat, they are commonly used in infrared ceramic heaters for paint drying, in vacuum chambers, for powder coating and in some baking applications. Ceramic heaters are highly energy efficient and are characterized by their even heat radiation, high heat capacity and cost efficiency.