Flexible Heater Glossary of Terms

Epec’s custom manufactured flexible heaters offer solutions to designs requiring challenging thermal property characteristics. With outstanding heat transfer properties, overall thin designs, customizable shapes and sizes, and resiliency to chemistries and environments, our flexible heaters can be the answer to your thermal concerns.

Below are specific terminologies to help you navigate the flexible heater options.

Polyimide Flexible Heater:
An etched foil heating element pressed between two layers of polyimide film with a thermal adhesive.
Silicone Flexible Heater:
An etched or wire wound heating element vulcanized between 2 layers of silicone rubber.
Polyester Flexible Heater:
An etched foil element or printed polymer element pressed between 2 layers of polyester film with a thermal adhesive.
A plastic film synthesized by polymerizing specific organic materials. Polyimide has excellent chemical resistance and thermal properties.
Silicone Rubber:
A type of rubber derived from silicone elastomers, with excellent flexibility, resilience, and thermal properties.
A polyester film is a polymer resin of the polyester family. Sometimes known as PET (polyethylene terephthalate), it is also commonly referred to by some trademarked brand names such as Mylar®.
Watt Density:
The heat flux emanating from each square inch of the effective heating area (heated surface) of the element. It determines a heater’s operating temperature for a given set of conditions.
PSA (Pressure Sensitive Adhesive):
A type of non-reactive adhesive which forms a bond when pressure is applied to bond the adhesive.
Etched Foil:
Metal foil patterned and etched to create a precise conductive element on its surface. The element’s rectangular cross section exposes more of the element’s heating surface and puts more of it in contact with the object being heated than the alternative, wound-wire heaters.
Wire Wound:
A computer designed, dedicated, winding pattern for resistance heating wire.
Printed Polymer Element:
Based on low resistance printed silver as electrodes, the heat is generated by a number of parallel connected polymer resistors with PTC characteristics (positive temperature coefficient).
To treat or bond with rubber under high heat and pressure.
Heat Transfer:
A physical process of spontaneous heat transport from hotter (i.e. having a higher temperature) bodies or parts of bodies to cooler ones.
Heater Zones:
Regions of higher and lower conductivity, within a flexible heater, created by a custom etched foil pattern.
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