Immersion Heater Elements
Immersion heater elements are those elements that convert electricity into heat inside immersion heaters, which heat both liquids and gases. Heating elements are made up of coils of wire that are wrapped in either protective or insulative materials, depending on the setting in which they are used. They generate heat from electricity via the resistance and subsequent friction the electricity encounters when it passes through the wires. To adjust the amount of heat being generated, operators can simply vary the amount of current passed through the wire. To picture this, imagine someone turning a stove up to boil water, or down to simmer it.
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Design of Immersion Heater Elements
All normal immersion heaters consist of an electrical terminal that stays outside of the substance tubular heating element, which are heat generating elements characterized by their tubular shape, though they may be bent in any standard or custom shape. From here, immersion heating elements are typically fabricated in one of three styles: flanged (through-the-side), over-the-side and threaded (screw-plug). Flanged immersion heaters have elements that are usually square-shaped or round, and brazed or welded onto pipe flanges. They are also bolted to a matching flange that is welded to a container wall. Flanged immersion heaters are the most commonly produced style for use with liquid heating. Among others, flanged heaters are popular with customers like boiler manufacturers, defense contractors, petrochemical researchers and utility companies. Some containers cannot hold or effectively hold through-the-side immersion heating elements. For those containers, over-the-side style immersion heating elements make an excellent alternative. Over-the-top immersion heating elements are installed as their name suggests, through the top of the container, which allows the heating elements to either lie at the bottom or along the side of it. Still other immersion heaters are made in the threaded, or screw-plug, style. This style, which is quite similar to the design of flanged immersion heaters, utilizes a hairpin bent tubular heating element. The element is welded to a plug that is screwed into the container via a threaded hole in its wall. Screw plug immersion heaters are popular and work best with applications related to process water freeze protection and heating. Other less common types of immersion heaters include circulation heaters and inline heaters. Like other immersion heaters, these heaters work well with applications such as air and gas heating, fuel oil heating, transfer oil heating, steam heating, water heating and freeze protection.
Applications of Immersion Heater Elements
Immersion heaters are able to heat a diverse set of materials; the materials that they heat include, but are not limited to: air, mild acids, oils, plating baths, salts and many chemical solutions. Immersion heater elements, or immersion heating elements, are known for their efficiency, cost-effectiveness and ability to be fully immersed in the materials that they are heating. Most often, they serve industries and applications such as: aerospace, automotive engineering, commercial manufacturing, electronics, industrial manufacturing, wastewater, heat transfer systems, oil and water heaters, process systems and boilers, railroad tank cars and storage tanks.
As you have likely noticed, many of the materials that immersion heater elements work with are quite corrosive. To protect heater elements from the adverse effects of these corrosive materials, heater elements are frequently shielded by a protective outer sheath. Sheaths may be made from any number of materials, depending on the substance or substances from which they are protecting the heater element. Such materials include brass, cast iron, copper, Incoloy, stainless steel and titanium. The substances they defend against are many and varied, but Incoloy, for example, works very well with both high temperature gases and air and alkaline solutions. Stainless steel, on the other hand, is an example of a sheath material that best defends against the corrosive effects of mild acids.
Things to Consider When Purchasing Immersion Heater Elements
Immersion heater elements support the fast and efficient heating of all kinds of liquids, from water, to oils and solvents, viscous materials, process solutions and industrial gases. Because immersion heater elements are so efficient, they have helped immersion heaters distinguish themselves as a more environmentally-friendly heating method. What’s more, electric immersion heaters are known for using the cleanest form of energy, leaving no residual discharge while still providing immediate heat transfers. Well maintained immersion heater elements can be trusted to serve many applications well for a long time. Operators should note, however, that it is common for heating elements to burn out over time, which is why most heating elements are designed to be easy to pull out and be replaced. The replacement of a heating element can, however, be a bit pricey, so it is best to make sure that it has really burnt out before ordering a new one. Some common issues that get mislabeled as the fault of a non-functioning heater element include a blown fuse, a problem with the wiring or some other issue that is preventing electricity from reaching the element.