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Electric heaters are any electric-powered devices used to create heat. As such, they have widespread applications throughout many industries. For example, in industrial and manufacturing processes, they can provide heat to warm liquid tanks, help shape or melt material or radiate heat the air to preserve a substance’s molten state. Likewise, in extrusion processes, electric heaters sometimes supplement natural friction to create and support material plasticization. Other processes that benefit from electric heaters include: packaging, foam fabricating, metal fabricating, food processing and water treatment. They also provide heating to both residential and commercial buildings.

Because of these many applications, there are an astonishing variety of heaters available on the market, including crossover styles, a variety that continues to grow daily. Varieties include: band heaters, strip heaters, process heaters, cartridge heaters, radiating heaters, immersion heaters, circulation heaters and tubular heaters. Some heaters are very much like each other. Strip heaters and band heaters, for instance, would be exactly alike if not for the fact that band heaters are usually slighter smaller and more flexible than strip heaters.

Also, some heater terms, like air heaters and duct heaters, can be used interchangeably, and from time to time, cartridge heaters qualify as immersion heaters.A heater name is usually either chosen to describe its use or to describe its configuration. This is the case of drum heaters and tubular heaters, respectively. It should be noted that, though the heater naming system can seem a bit confusing, all varieties of heater do serve the specific need or needs of an industrial process, commercial utility or consumer product. Read More…

Leading Manufacturers

Backer Hotwatt, Inc.

Danvers, MA | 978-777-0070

Thermal Devices

Mt. Airy, MD | 800-282-9100


Hallandale, FL | 800-492-8826


Newark, NJ | 800-631-8830

Electro-Flex Heat, Inc.

Bloomfield, CT | 860-242-6287

Electric heaters are powered by electricity that is converted into thermal energy, which they access through a heating element. The composition and configuration of this heating element varies by heater. For example, some coil heaters use simple spiral-shaped metal resistors that provide direct heat, while others are comprised of elaborate shapes with advanced ceramic insulators to control heat qualities. Though they don’t necessarily need them, most electric heaters have some kind of insulation, which retains and absorbs electrical energy, for use as additional heat energy.

Cartridge and Immersion Heaters
Cartridge and Immersion Heaters – Backer Hotwatt, Inc.

Almost all electric heaters feature a sheath made of nickel, stainless steel, aluminum or another conductive material to extend operating life and improve performance. Of all the insulation materials, such as minerals, mica or fiberglass, the most common types of insulation are made of or with ceramics.

To get the most out of an electric heater, consider your application requirements, which will determine the material make-up and the power and temperature capacity you want. Different heaters respond differently to the environment you place them in or the tasks you give them. For safety and success, communicate your application intentions and requirements clearly with your service provider.

Electric Heaters Informational Video