Polyimide / Kapton® Flexible Heaters
Epec’s Polyimide Flexible Heaters are your solution to heating curved and irregular surfaces. Due to their design, polyimide heaters can be extremely thin, as low as 0.007”, excluding any type of affixing adhesives. The etched circuit is pressed between 2-layers of polyimide film with either an FEP adhesive or an acrylic adhesive depending on the thermal characteristics required of the heater.
The design of a polyimide heater offers dimensional stability, superior tensile strength, and overall improved resilience. Polyimide is also resistant to most chemicals.
We offer multiple heating elements for polyimide heaters, such as stainless steel 304, CuNi44, and Inconel600, with excellent dielectric properties and operating environments between -319°F (-195°C) and 392°F (200°C). Kapton heaters also offer a quicker thermal transfer than silicone rubber heaters.
Benefits of Polyimide/Kapton® Flexible Heaters
Polyimide/Kapton® heaters offer several benefits for customers looking to utilize them in many different applications. Below are some benefits of using Polyimide/Kapton flex heaters in your application.
- Heaters have a lower temperature threshold than silicone rubber heaters, as they can operate within temperatures as low as -320°F and as high as 400°F.
- Polyimide has superior dielectric properties as they exhibit excellent tensile strength, durability, and dimensional stability which makes it almost impossible to tear even using the thinnest dielectrics.
- These heaters produce uniform thermal distribution which prevents uneven material expansions even with rapid heat-up and cool-down characteristics.
- Watt densities up to 50 W/in2 (7.75 W/cm2).
- Kapton® heaters can provide thermal stability over a wide temperature range and quicker response on thermal delivery to the surrounding mass.
- The resistive property is inherent to the film, so it cannot be cracked, rubbed off or otherwise easily damaged.
Heaters made on Polyimide/Kapton® material have low outgassing properties which means that the release of gas that was dissolved and trapped in the creating of the material is minimal. Outgassing can be a big problem if it collects in a closed environment where air moves slowly so the lower the emissions the better. Outgassed products can condense onto lenses and other sensors which is a problem if it collects in a closed environment.
Custom Polyimide/Kapton® Flex Heater Solutions
Based upon the material to be heated (steel, aluminum, water, oil, plastic, air, etc.) custom designed and manufactured polyimide flexible heaters offer a low profile and rugged design while maintaining safety by being both abrasion and acid-resistant. Because we can create designs with any outline shape required, they are more cost effective and energy efficient than competitive solutions.
We utilize thermal imaging modeling based on your specs, that allow for design optimization as the image of the heater can be very precise as the photoimaging and chemical etching process can operate well within +/-0.003” tolerances. We have built our business on working with customers to design the perfect flexible heater for every application and are flexible enough to manage small quantities up to production volumes.
Features of a Custom Polyimide/Kapton® Flexible Heater Design:
- Internal Cutouts
- +/-0.005” Using Mechanical Equipment
- +/-0.002” Using Laser Cutter
- Integrated Thermostats, Thermistors, Fuses and Other Components
- Mounting to Aluminum or Steel Supports
- Full Range of PSA’s (Pressure Sensitive Adhesives) To Meet Any Application
- Stiffeners for Connector Support
- Mounting Holes
- Multizone Heaters
- Various Wire Lengths, Sizes and Connector Options
- Pre-Formed Flexible Heaters
- Strain Reliefs at Connection Point to Ensure Reliability
Epec Engineered Technologies only designs and manufactures custom Kapton®/polyimide flexible heaters but you can visit one of our partners Omega Engineering who offers a vast number of standard heater sizes that are in stock for instant delivery.
Current Specifications for Polyimide Heaters
- Maximum Watt Density: 50 W/in2
- Maximum Operating Temperature: 392°F (200°C)
- Minimum Operating Temperature: -319°F (-195°C)
- Wattage Tolerance: ±10%
- Dielectric Strength: 1000 VAC
Examples of industries that can benefit from the heating capabilities of a custom designed flexible polyimide heater include medical, aerospace, military, foodservice, and many more. Anywhere that operates with tight spaces and demanding conditions should consider the benefits of a Kapton heater.