Sunday, November 30, 2014

Advancements in Electric Resistance Heaters - Ceramic Heating Elements

Aluminum nitride, high performance electric heating elements using Tungsten traces on ALN. Product manufactured by Durex and Oasis Materials.
  • Power Densities up to 2500 Watts per square inch
  • 0-400º C in a quarter of a second
  • Extreme temperature uniformity
  • Inert in acidic solutions
  • Custom line widths and resistance values available
  • Encapsulated Tungsten RTD trace
  • 3D shapes and configurations
  • Thermal conductivity of Oasis' Aluminum Nitride (ALN) is 190 W/mK
  • Thermal conductivity of pure tungsten is 170 W/mK

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Basics of OEM and Industrial Electric Heating Elements - Part 2

This blog entry, reproduced from an electric heating element basics white-paper from Hotwatt, a leading US manufacturer of OEM and industrial heating elements. To download the PDF version, click this link.

Basic Heat Equations

electric heating elements
Electric Heating Elements
It would appear at first that calculating all of the heat transfers and losses in a design would be a daunting task. Fortunately a number of equations were developed that help simplify this task. First the equations were divided into three tasks: the wattage needed to heat a material to a specific temperature in a given amount of time; the wattage needed to overcome the losses at operating temperature; and a special calculation needed to reach a melting or vaporizing point.

This equation calculates the amount of wattage (W) needed to raise the temperature of a material a specific amount in °F (ΔF) in a given number of hours (T), you first need to know the mass (m) of the material being heated and its specific heat value (c):

m × c ×ΔF
W=  -------------------
3.412 × T

The mass and specific heat of some materials may be found at www.hotwatt.com/table1.htm for metallic solids, www.hotwatt.com/table2.htm for solids other than metals, and www.hotwatt.com/table3.htm for certain liquids and gases.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Basics of OEM and Industrial Electric Heating Elements - Part 1

This blog entry, reproduced from an electric heating element basics white-paper from Hotwatt, a leading US manufacturer of OEM and industrial heating elements. To download the PDF version, click this link.

Electric heating elements for OEM and Industry
Electric heating elements
for OEM and Industry
(courtesy of Hotwatt)
The simplest definition of an electric heater is any device that changes electrical energy into heat energy. But from that simple explanation, electric heaters explode into a myriad of types, sizes, applications, and designs depending upon what’s being heated, the degree of heating needed, and the method by which the heat is applied.

The measure of electrical energy is called the Joule after its discoverer, James Prescott Joule. Through numerous experiments, Joule determined that the quantity

(Q) of heat transferred from electrical energy is proportional to the square of the current (I2 ) multiplied by the resistance (R) for the period of time (t) through which it passes:

Q ∝ I2 × R × t

However, one seldom sees a reference to Joules used in modern electric circuits. Instead, the controlling factor becomes that of power (P):

P = I2 × R

You’ll note the only difference between the formula for determining power and that of determining Joules is the time component. The time factor in heating becomes readily apparent in any device that gets hot when an electric current flows through it: its temperature rises as time passes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thermal Solutions for Condensate and Particulate Control in Semiconductor Vacuum Pumps and Lines

semiconductor gas line heaters
Semiconductor Gas & Pump
Line Heaters (courtesy of Durex)
Low vapor pressure gas delivery lines must be held at elevated temperatures (higher than the gas vaporization point) in order to prevent condensation that adversely effects process yields. Similarly, sublimation (transition of a substance directly from the solid to the gas phase) occurs when the vapor phase materials are allowed to cool in a vacuum line.  The most common types of sublimation in the semiconductor process is of ammonium chloride (AlCl2) and nitrides (NH4) (NH4Cl).

The more common semiconductor processing applications requiring unique thermal solutions for condensate and sublimation prevention are PECVD, LPCVD, MOCVD, ALD, plasma etch and other vacuum applications.

Keeping temperatures elevated along the vacuum lines, and in the vacuum pump, assures gas temperature above the vapor condensation point, thus keeping condensate at bay.  Heating the vacuum lines, vacuum pumps, and forelines, also substantially reduces sublimation in these areas.

By controlling condensate and sublimation, the need for frequent preventive maintenance is dramatically reduced and subsequently, the costs. Additionally, the life of associated valves and vacuum pumps is increased as well.

The ideal heater should be self contained, be easy to install and remove,  fit tightly on the lines and pumps, and provide optimum heat transfer. It should be powered by readily available voltages (120, 240), have built-in fasteners, and provide over-temperature limit control. It should provide process temperatures up to 200°C and have the ability to distribute wattage along the length of the process line to compensate for colder line sections. The backside of the heater should include thermal insulation that can withstand the operating temperatures, while still providing good thermal insulation.

For more information on semiconductor line, pump and valve heating contact Belilove Company-Engineers at (510) 274-1990 or at sales@belilove.com.