Custom Heating Elements and Controls

custom heating element
Custom heating element.
Many types of industrial and manufacturing equipment, including analytical instrumentation, semiconductor, photovoltaic, medical, plastics processing, foodservice packaging, and aerospace equipment require some kind of custom electric heater, controller, and sensor.

For instance here, in semiconductor processing, you can find a need for electric heating in all these areas:  Bake platen heaters, bake/chill pedestal & platen heaters, hot chuck heaters, high temperature platen heaters, standard pedestal heaters, vacuum chamber heaters, and aluminum pedestal heaters.

A well engineered thermal system considers overall heat load, maintenance power requirements, control method, and sensor location. Working with a vendor who has the experience and background in this kind of product development is critical. Careful consideration of form, fit, and function requires the guidance an experienced applications engineer to avoid wasted time and money. 

Custom Epoxy Vacuum Feedthroughs

Equipment manufacturers and scientific researchers are continually challenged with supplying power, fiber-optic, control, and monitoring cables through sealed vacuum vessels. Whether due to space restrictions, special geometries, or number and type of conductors, standard glass-to-metal or ceramic feedthroughs never quite fit the bill. Unfortunately, because of limited options, many designers are forced to compromise and go for an off-the-shelf solution.

During the past decade, new epoxy compounds have been developed that rival glass and ceramic in performance. With modern epoxy feedthroughs, any kind of standard or custom connector is sealed in a completely potted, high-performance, clear epoxy compound. Epoxy seals offer countless design options, and most amazingly, performance equal to or better than glass or ceramic. Better yet, pricing is very competitive and quick turn-around for prototypes and short production runs are not a problem.

Electric Heating Element Technical Reference Guide

Carnot engine diagram
Carnot engine diagram
(courtesy of Wikipedia)
Here’s a very handy reference document (courtesy of Hotwatt) for the application of electric heating elements in industrial and OEM applications such as extruding, vulcanizing, laminating, curing, bonding and thermoforming.

The heater application guide provides all the important technical look-up tables required to properly apply electric heaters, such as wattage calculation formulas and examples, properties of metals properties of non-metallic solids, properties of liquids and gases, suggested watt densities, estimates of wattage required, guide for heat losses, suggested sheath materials, installation,  Ohms Law, and typical wiring diagrams. The reference document is also very helpful when designing custom electric heating elements and designing a thermal system.