Element and wire manufacturers build two types of silicone rubber heaters: etched foil and wire-wound. They consist of two layers of high-grade silicone rubber, with or without fiberglass reinforcement, and a wire-wound or very thin foil resistance element vulcanized between.
Silicone rubber heater manufacturers design their products for durability and precise temperatures with even distribution across all surfaces. The heaters resist most chemicals and are highly flexible. They can be manufactured to custom shapes and sizes.
For various reasons, silicone rubber heater manufacturers will select etched foil or wire-wound elements in the production process:
- Etched Foil – Etched-foil elements are the preferred option for higher quantities of small heaters. They have high watt density and even heating and consequently last longer. An etched foil heater’s flat surface also gives it better heat transfer than the wire-wound design.
- Wire-Wound – Wire-wound elements are preferred for small or medium batches of larger heaters. Wire-wound heaters are tougher and can hold up to repeated flexing. The elements are also well suited to the production of heaters with more complex shapes and three-dimensional geometry, and they work well for prototype testing and proofs of concept before making higher volume runs with etched foil.
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