Tubular heating is used primarily in custom heating applications such as plastic injection molding, rubber molding, packaging, plastic welding, and plate heating. Food processing equipment uses the heaters to sterilize low-acid liquid foods, while small animal breeders use them to heat cages.
Many industries take advantage of tubular heaters and their diverse characteristics. Research operations use them to heat metals as well as for climate control. Large scale kitchen facilities can use them in water heating systems. Tubular heaters can also be used to heat homes and office buildings.
Tubular heaters differ in terms of features and options; some products are corrosion resistant and explosion proof, while others are finned or portable. Tubular heater suppliers categorize tubular heaters into two sections: single-ended and double-ended. Single-ended heaters have two terminals at one end, while double-ended have one at either end.
Tubular heaters create heat with a coil heating element. These heaters are constructed with a coil centered in the heating element binder; inside the binder, the coil is surrounded by magnesium oxide powder. The powder is vibration loaded to ensure even density throughout the length of the heater. The heater is then reduced to the finished diameter, causing the magnesium oxide powder to compress and “freeze” the coil in the center of the heater. The final step is to place the binder inside a protective sheath.
The coil converts electricity into heat and radiates heat through the insulation and sheath. The coil can be straight or curved to fit into smaller spaces, such as a coffee maker. The sheath is usually made from aluminum, copper, rubber or stainless steel and serves as a cover to the actual heating element.
Tubular heaters are very versatile and can be formed into many different shapes; this is done with bending tools and repressing dies on many different radii. This feature allows tubular heaters to be placed not only on flat surfaces, but on shaped surfaces as well.
Tubular heating manufacturers and distributors enjoy lower manufacturing costs for tubular heaters than for other types of electric heaters; this low overhead cost combined with tubular heaters’ energy efficiency make tubular heaters an overall cost-effective choice for buyers.