Choosing The Right Electric Heating Elements

Heaters and heating elements play a fundamental role in a wide range of industries, whenever it is necessary to apply heat in order to effectively conduct a process or create a product.
With this in mind, it’s vital that you have the right electric heating element in place to efficiently and cost-effectively heat the medium you require.

At Hedin Heaters, we have more than 80 years of experience supplying electrical heaters and components to customers around the world and in a whole host of industries.
In this article, we’ll outline how you can select the right electric heating elements to meet your needs.

Key Factors in Choosing an Electric Heating Element

Temperature Requirements

The first and most critical consideration when selecting an electric heating element is the temperature requirement of your application. Different heating elements are designed to operate at specific temperature ranges. It is essential to determine the temperature range your process requires and select an element that can reliably operate within that range.

Material Compatibility

The material being heated is another crucial factor to consider. Some materials may be corrosive or reactive, which can affect the lifespan of the heating element. It is important to choose a heating element made from a material that is compatible with the substance being heated.

Wattage and Watts Density

The wattage of an electric heating element determines its heating capacity. Higher wattage elements produce more heat and can heat up quickly, but they may also consume more electricity. To determine the appropriate wattage, you should calculate the Watts density required for your application. This the amount of heat generated per unit area of the element’s surface. It is crucial to strike a balance between achieving the desired heating rate and avoiding overheating, which can lead to premature element failure.

Size and Shape

The size and shape of the heating element should be selected to fit the space available in your application. Elements come in various forms, such as coils, rods, or flat panels. The shape and size of the element should provide even heating across the target area.

Voltage and Current Requirements

Understanding the electrical requirements of your heating element is vital for safe and efficient operation. You must ensure that your power supply can provide the necessary voltage and current to meet the element’s specifications.

Longevity and Durability

The lifespan of an electric heating element is a significant consideration, especially for industrial applications where downtime and maintenance costs are critical. Elements made from high-quality materials and craftsmanship tend to last longer. Additionally, choosing a reputable manufacturer such as Hedin Heaters with a track record of producing durable heating elements can be advantageous.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is a growing concern in today’s world. Choosing an electric heating element with good energy efficiency can lead to cost savings and reduced environmental impact.       

The Best Heaters for Moulds and Dies

Moulds and dies are both tools that are used to shape all kinds of materials. Whether it’s plastic or metal, a mould is used to indicate the shape required whereas a die is a tool that cuts or forms the material in a certain way.

Cartridge Heaters

Cartridge heaters are an excellent choice for heating molds and dies. These heaters are inserted directly into the mold or die, allowing for quick and efficient heating. Cartridge heaters are known for their high watt density, which means they can deliver a lot of heat (up to 750°C) in a small space, making them ideal for applications where space is limited. They are available in different wattages, voltages, and sheath materials to meet specific heating requirements.

Cartridge heaters are one of our specialisms here at Hedin Heaters, and we’ve been supplying them to customers around the world for decades.        

Band & Plate Heaters

Band & plate heaters are also a popular choice for heating molds and dies due to their versatility and efficiency. These heaters generally consist of a metal band or plate that covers the surface of the mold or die, providing uniform and efficient heat distribution. They can be customized to fit different sizes and shapes of molds and dies, ensuring precise temperature control. Band & plate heaters are available in various materials, including ceramic and mica, making them suitable for different temperature ranges and environments.

Ceramic Infrared Heaters

Infrared heaters

Ceramic infrared heaters are known for their rapid and efficient heat transfer. These heaters emit infrared radiation that directly heats the surface of the mold or die, providing precise and uniform heating. Ceramic infrared heaters are energy-efficient and offer precise temperature control, making them suitable for applications that require high temperatures and fast heating cycles. They are also known for their durability and long lifespan.

Strip Heaters

Strip heaters are flat, rectangular-shaped heaters that can be mounted directly onto the surface of molds and dies. They provide even heat distribution across the entire surface, ensuring uniform temperature control. Strip heaters are available in various sizes and wattages, making them suitable for a wide range of applications. They are often capable of higher watts densities but it is important to ensure good surface contact across the whole heated face.

The Best Heaters for Liquids

Immersion Heaters

Immersion Cartridge Heater

Immersion heaters are one of the most common and versatile options for heating liquids. They consist of an electric heating rod element encased in a tube, which is immersed directly into the liquid. Immersion heaters are available in various forms, including flanged, screw-plug, and over-the-side configurations, allowing them to adapt to different container sizes and mounting requirements. Key benefits of immersion heaters include their efficiency, fast heating capabilities, and precise temperature control. These heaters are also relatively easy to install and maintain. They can be equipped with thermostats or temperature controllers for precise temperature management, making them ideal for applications where maintaining a specific temperature is critical.

There are a number of immersion heaters to choose from including:

  • Fixed element immersion heaters
  • Withdrawable immersion heaters 
  • Flanged immersion heaters 
  • Over-the-side immersion heaters

Circulation Heaters

Circulation heaters are designed for liquids that need continuous heating or recirculation. These heaters use a combination of immersion heaters and a circulation pump to maintain a consistent liquid temperature. Circulation heaters are commonly used in industries where the liquid needs to be heated and then circulated through a system, such as chemical processing and HVAC applications. One significant advantage of circulation heaters is their ability to provide uniform heating throughout the liquid, preventing hotspots and ensuring product quality. They are also energy-efficient since they only heat the liquid when it is circulating.

Infrared Heaters

Infrared heaters use electromagnetic radiation to heat liquids indirectly. They emit infrared radiation that penetrates the liquid’s surface and heats it from within. Infrared heaters are known for their rapid heating capabilities and precise temperature control. These heaters are commonly used in laboratories and research settings for applications where gentle and precise heating is required, such as in sensitive chemical reactions.

Our team at Hedin Heaters can recommend which type is most suitable for you based on your requirements. 

The Best Heaters to Heat Plastic

Band Heaters

Band heaters

Band heaters are a versatile and widely used heating solution for plastic processing equipment. These heaters consist of a metal or ceramic band that wraps around barrels, nozzles, or other components of machinery used in plastic manufacturing. Band heaters provide uniform and efficient heat distribution, ensuring precise temperature control during the plastic-melting process.

One of the key advantages of band heaters is their adaptability; they can be custom-made to fit specific machinery and heating requirements. This flexibility makes them a popular choice in injection molding, extrusion, and blow molding applications.

Nozzle Heaters

Nozzle heaters are used in applications such as injection moulding and blow moulding and heat the plastic at point where it enters the mold. Hedin Heaters has a standard range of products with fixed dimensions, watts, volts and fibre glass leads which can be supplied off the shelf in the event of a breakdown situation. Alternatively we can manufacture bespoke nozzle heaters to order based on the application or working to samples.

Tubular Heaters

Tubular heaters are versatile heating elements used in various industrial applications, including plastics processing. These heaters are available in different configurations, such as straight, U-shaped, or custom-bent designs, to suit specific heating requirements. They can be used for both direct and indirect heating of plastic materials. Tubular heaters are often used in plastic extrusion processes, where they heat the plastic material within the extruder barrel. They are durable and known for their longevity, making them a cost-effective heating solution for continuous production.

Infrared Heaters

Infra-red heaters are often used in the vacuum-forming process. The individual heaters are put into assemblies to form ‘banks’ of heating elements that give good coverage across a wide surface area and ensure consistent and tightly controlled temperatures.

The Best Heaters for Food Machinery

The food industry relies on heating elements for a whole host of processes: 

Tubular Heaters

Tubular heaters are versatile and widely used in the food industry. They consist of a heating element encased in a metal tube, making them suitable for direct or indirect heating of liquids, air, and surfaces. Tubular heaters can be customized to match specific food machinery requirements, such as heating tanks, ovens, or conveyor belts. One of the key advantages of tubular heaters is their durability and resistance to corrosion. They are commonly used in processes like pasteurization, sterilization, and drying, where precise temperature control is crucial for food safety and quality. Hedin Heaters will always be able to specify the correct sheath material and watts density for your food application.

Cast Heaters

The food industry relies on heating elements for a whole host of processes and cast heaters are a great choice. Cast heaters make sure heat is evenly distributed, ensuring the longevity of machinery and avoiding contamination – which is vitally important for the food sector. Cast heaters are typically used in applications where even and consistent heating is required. If your food machinery requires such precise temperature control, such as in the baking or drying processes, cast heaters can be a good choice.

In short, a cast heater is a heated element that can be inserted into all types of equipment. As well as machines used in the food industry, cast heaters are also effective in packaging machinery, vacuum forming and much more. 

At Hedin Heaters, we’ve spent more than 80 years providing customers worldwide with a wide range of quality heating elements, components, and spare parts. To find out more, get in touch with our team today.    


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