Band heaters imply ring-shaped industrial heaters designed to clamp around and increase the temperature of a cylindrical component through conductive heat transfer. Most of these heaters have insulation materials that assist in minimizing environmental heat loss.
The major parameters that impact a band-style heater’s operating capabilities and efficiency include mounting and termination, insulation materials, maximum sheath temperature, required watts, maximum operating temperature, and AC voltage. To choose the optimal size, you need to consider the required temperatures and size restrictions. If you want to know the best type of band that suits you, you can continue to read this guide.
Types of band heaters
Mineral band heaters
A Mineral insulated heater is produced using stainless steel sheath and a sinuated nichrome element placed between layers of mineral insulation. In most cases, manufacturers use magnesium oxide for insulation. Mineral insulated heaters can tolerate maximum heat capacities of up to 760°C. They also have high watt densities and low mass that cool down and heat up quickly. However, magnesium oxide used in the design is hydroscopic and can minimize dielectric strength. Not only that, mineral insulated heaters have limited design variations, are stiff, and have energy efficiencies similar to that of mica band heaters.
Ceramic band heaters
They are designed using 24 to 26 gauge aluminized or stainless steel. The heaters can handle extreme temperatures of approximately 1,400°F. The ceramic segment has excellent insulation that enables you to concentrate heat where it is required. Also, the insulation is retained for an extended period. Ceramic bands help to minimize energy consumption and operation costs. They can sustain temperatures like the mineral insulated heater while the outside temperature remains low. Therefore, you will experience limited heat waste.
Ceramic industrial Mica band heaters can be produced in two, three, and four-piece segments. However, based on the flexibility of the band, such productions are unnecessary. These heaters are usually produced in widths of at least 3 inches to maximize the integral insulating blanket. Also, ceramic bands greater than 20 inches in diameter need to have compression springs at the lockup.
Mica band heaters
Mica band heaters are designed using 20-to-24-gauge rust-resistant steel, plate mica, and nichrome resistance wire. Manufactures wound the resistance wire onto the plate mica and supported it using a metal sheath. One of the advantages of using mica band heaters is that they are associated with design flexibility, quick response times, durability, and lower cost. Also, manufacturers can produce the mica heater in different shapes, including plate, cone, rectangular, square, and round, with varied lockups and electrical connections. However, their main disadvantage is low energy efficiency. That means without an insulating blanket or shroud, approximately 40 percent of the wattage can be lost to the outside environment.
Mica is a good insulation component since it has good dielectric strength and is corrosion resistant. It can also resist water and chemicals and might display some elasticity. It can hold a maximum heat of 900°F.
The above industrial heaters are used in different industries, starting from molding and plastic injection to medical industries. Although the fundamental heat application and design remain the same, the maximum temperature, insulation, and size make the band heater used in different applications, such as:
- Sterilizers and autoclaves
- Hot runner molding bushings
- Plastic extruders
- Holding tanks
- Fluidized beds
- Blown film dies
- Drum heating
Mica band heaters have numerous advantages over other kinds of heater bands. Some of the elements which make it the most used heater include durability, good efficiency, reasonably high watt capabilities.