Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Improved Electric Heating Element Design Optimizes Rocket Engine Propellant Flow

BCE HEM Sealed Heater

You might think a rocket engine would give off enough heat to keep any part of the engine warm, but as it turns out, that's not the case. In many instances, the high flow of very cold propellants can cause obstructions in the propellant manifolds and valves. The need for localized heat becomes essential, and is normally provided by exterior, surface mounted, flexible resistive heating elements. The most common type of electric heater used in these applications are thin polyimide patches bonded directly to the valves and manifolds. While this approach may be convenient in terms of shape and mounting, that advantage is significantly reduced when you consider what you lose in heater efficiency and
heat uniformity.

BCE, a California based manufacturer of electric heating elements, has developed a better approach. Their BCE HEM Sealed Heater™ is designed to be inserted directly in the heated bodies, maximizing the heat transfer and heat uniformity. The HEM Sealed Heater™ is secured directly to components by the means of an integrated flange. In essence, the BCE HEM Sealed Heater™ incorporates both the cartridge heaters’ wire wound resistive element encased in a metal sheath and the vacuum compatibility of a feedthrough. Furthermore, the BCE proprietary epoxy seal allows the heater to pass strict electrical tests ensuring the purity of the dielectric materials and hence, preventing shorting.

Learn more about the HEM Sealed Heater™here.