What to Look for in a Silicone Rubber Heater Manufacturer

When purchasing a silicone rubber heater, it’s important to truly evaluate silicone rubber heater manufacturers to ensure that you will receive a high quality product which is well-suited to providing the heating solution you seek.

Key Considerations

Good quality silicone rubber heater manufacturers will have answers for the following considerations:

1. Thermal Analysis

Silicone rubber heater manufacturers should have the ability to perform a thermal analysis for your project. Many times a customer knows the temperature they need to heat the materials to but perhaps doesn’t to know how much power is required. For example, if a 20 lb. stainless steel vessel contains 16 pounds of liquid and the target temperature is 230F, silicone rubber heater manufacturers need to be able to calculate the required power to ensure the heater can accomplish the heating task. This is especially true when you need your heater to be able to reach a target temperature within an allocated amount of time. You simply don’t want to be waiting all day for the process to begin!

 

Chart on Heating Time and Temperature

 

ReactorThe project shown here was for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and they chose Custom Heaters & Research as their silicone rubber heater manufacturer because time to temperature was critical as they ran production simulations with this 10-liter vessel.  The first stage was to bring the contents to 60C in 20 minutes and then maintain that for 5 minutes.

The second phase was to raise the temperature of the contents slowly to 120C targeting the 115 minute mark and maintain that until the production run was replicated.

This was accomplished with a custom-made silicone rubber heater. The heater was manufactured to accommodate the features of the vessel, have adequate power for the task, and have an 8mm closed cell foam vulcanized to it for insulation.

2. How Do Silicone Rubber Heater Manufacturers Control Temperature?

Temperature control needs to be important to customers because you can’t have silicone rubber heaters operating at inaccurate temperatures. This means that a company has to be able to develop a temperature controller that meets your specific application. Prior to selecting a silicone rubber heater manufacturer, determine how the company plans to control the temperature and how accurate the temperature will be controlled.

Our company produces industry leading temperature control systems and provides customers with a digital temperature controller that fits the job. The temperature controller we used for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals was equipped with PID logic, had a ramp/soak program set to meet the parameters of the project and power output that was developed via a solid state relay.

3. Silicone Quality

Etch-Foil-heaterThis is arguably the most important consideration when choosing a silicone heater manufacturer because not all silicone is the same. A higher quality silicone creates a more durable and longer lasting heater.  When deciding on a manufacturer for your silicone heaters, make sure to find out what type of silicone they use. Many times, manufacturers will opt to use a cheaper, much more inferior silicone from Asia. This keeps their costs down, but creates a low quality product. These types of materials will dry and crack a lot sooner than high quality silicone.

Our company only uses USA sourced silicone from Arlon Silicone Technologies, who has been a leader in silicone rubber and silicone adhesive technologies for over 60 years. Silicone rubber is a unique elastomer that delivers high performance electrical insulation in low temperature and high temperature environments. As a silicone rubber heater manufacturer the quality of the raw materials is key to having a quality end product.  The Arlon silicone is a precision-calendared silicone rubber with extruded silicone self-fusible tapes. Arlon offers the class leading performance for reinforced silicone solutions. Because Arlon specializes exclusively in silicone, they have developed unmatched technical competence. Arlon is also certified to ISO9001:2008 quality assurance standards.

How to Determine if it’s High Quality

Quality tools require that quality materials are used in the manufacturing process.  The silicone may look the same to the layman, but for a long-lasting heater it’s important to ask your potential silicone rubber heater manufacturer about what silicone is used in their heaters.
Silicone-Types

Types/Styles of Heaters Offered

When seeking the proper heater, ensure that your manufacturer can supply a variety of heater types. No one would want a First Aid kit with only one type of bandage!

CHR Inc. can manufacture heating elements made of a wire wound construction or an etched foil construction depending on the application and volume of the project.

Make sure your potential silicone rubber heater manufacturer can supply different types of electrical insulation.  CHR Inc. can produce heaters with silicone, polyester and Polyamide (Kapton) insulations, which are used in a variety of applications.

Often a Wire Wound element is selected since it is perfectly suited for lower quantities and low cost prototypes. It also can be used to manufacture physically large heaters that are up to 35” wide and 118” long.  Wire wound heaters can be used in adhesive static applications but also where repeated flexing is required.

Etch Foil heating elements, which use a chemically etched stainless steel track (similar to the look of a printed circuit board), are well-suited to high power densities and more economical once volumes increase to medium or large quantities. These are mainly used in static applications where heaters are not flexed as part of normal operation. Maximum size 23.5” x 98”.

Determining Your Silicone Rubber Heater Manufacturer

When selecting a silicone rubber heater manufacturer make sure they have the capability to manufacture different styles of heaters to meet the needs of your application, but can also appropriately handle thermal analysis and temperature control. These items are crucial to address, especially if you want a high quality heater that will last a long time. If all else fails, check and see if they offer a warranty. With every silicone heater we produce, CHR Inc. offers a 1-year warranty on both parts and labor.

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