Custom Heating Solutions

Custom heater design and prototyping services immediately available

Your Custom Heater

At the core of our business are our design and prototyping services. We can manufacture 3-D heaters, and design holes, cutouts, and notches so the heaters accurately fit to the part.  Heaters can be bonded to the parts to create a complete thermal sub-assembly.  View photo gallery of examples


If you have an idea or a problem, Fullchance designs the solution and manufactures prototype heaters for testing.

  • Rapid concept to design
  • Low engineering costs
  • Quick turn on prototypes  

Because of our custom capabilities and expertise, we can design a heating element that will fit exactly on your part to deliver the heat as needed.  In order to do this we are experts at bonding or fastening heaters to parts.

You'll find examples here of the design variations and components available with our custom heater solutions. We also offer a catalog of standard, in-stock silicone rubber heaters.

Custom Heater Holes, Cutouts and Notches  

The holes, cutouts and notches of heaters are located per your specifications.

  • Fit your exact design requirements
  • Distributed wattage for uniform heat distribution

Mechanical Fasteners

For heating applications on cylindrical parts or where the installation is temporary, eyelets with springs or snap fasteners are used to mount heaters.  Spring fasteners allow for variations in circumference while providing close contact with the part to be heated. Many types of fasteners used for canvas or leather can be built into the sheath of the heaters.

  • Eyelets and Springs 
  • Hook and Loop Fasteners

 Wire Leads

Standard leads for heating elements are eight inches long, silicone rubber insulated, flexible, plated copperwire. They are UL Style 3135 rated for 200°C/600 volt operation.

Location of exit is centered along the narrow side of rectangular heaters.

Electrical wire lead types and exit locations are adaptable to application requirements.

  • Teflon
  • Silicone Rubber
  • HPN type insulator

 Custom 3-D Heaters

Fullchance offers 3-dimensional heaters, which can be designed and built to conform around the complex contours of your part. This results in efficient heating and lower heating costs, because there are no "dead" areas.

 Heaters Bonded to Parts

Silicone rubber can be bonded to metal parts to create complete thermal sub-assemblies.  Since a perfect fit between heater and part is a vital factor in heater efficiency, customers normally supply metal parts so we can bond or vulcanize the heater to the part in our factory, and thus assure optimum contact.

  • Customer Supplied 
  • Fullchance Fabricated

 Adhesives

Silicone rubber adhesive (RTV) can be used for a strong permanent bond, a room temperature vulcanizing (RTV) silicone rubber adhesive is used. Heaters can be bonded to your parts at our factory, or we will supply recommendations for proper application.

The maximum service temperature of polyester pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) is 250°F (121°C). This adhesive is only used on polyester heaters. Bond strength is improved if a dwell time of 12 hours is observed before operation.

The maximum service temperature of this high temp silicone pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) is 500°F (260°C). This adhesive is used on silicone rubber heaters.   Bond strength is improved if a dwell time of 12 hours is observed before heater operation.

The engineering team was able to listen to what I needed, and then create the design just from a general description. Exactly, yes. They worked fast, and the response was great. The human relationship was amazing."
- D.M., Manufacturer of fabricated aluminum heated product

 Temperature Controls

Heaters can be fabricated with thermostats, thermal fuses, temperature sensors, thermocouples and resistance temperature detectors (RTD) as an integral part of the heater.

Mechanical Thermostats

Snap action and creep action are two different types of thermostats.  Both are based on a bimetal expansion-contraction principle and nearly all are pre-set to a specific temperature (non-adjustable). If the heater application requires very close temperature control an electronic controller with sensor is suggested over the mechanical thermostat.

Freeze protection, enclosure temperature and high limit protection are the applications best suited for the low cost mechanical thermostat.

 

 

The creep action units are constructed with a bimetal strip that curves with the temperature excursions to provide the mechanical action of make and break for the contacts. This provides a close differential between on/off, but can cause radio frequency interference in enclosures that have sensitive electronics.  The temperature setting is factory preset and has the range of between 40°F and 300°F, +/- 5°F.  Maximum amperage of these units is 8 amps at 120 volts.  These small thermostats are commonly used as motor protectors or over temperature protectors in appliance applications.

The snap action units are round in construction (approx 5/8” dia.) due to the bimetal disk that provides the snap action. The disk is shaped similar to a contact lens and snaps back and forth at pre-set temperature to make and break the contact points. The pros and cons of these types of units are:

 


 

  • Due to the energy required to snap the disk over center, the temperature differential between on and off is 20° to 30°F.  When used as a high limit over 300°F this differential can be as large as 75°F. Maximum temperature for high limit is 500°F.
  • The wide differential does not provide narrow band temperature control but also does not generate any radio frequency interference due to the positive make/break action.
  • The most common use for these units is freeze protection and enclosure control with a setting of On at 40°F / Off at 60°F.
  • These units must be covered with an overmold that is bonded to the heater.
Temperature Sensors

Sensors can be located to monitor either heater surface or part temperature. Small sensors are held in place with a protective cover of silicone rubber/fiberglass vulcanized to the heater body. Larger sensors and thermostats have a protective cover (overmold) that is bonded to the heater body.

Thermal Fuses

Thermal fuses open the circuit if the heater exceeds the selected fuse temperature. They are a one time over temperature protection device that can prevent heater runaway in the event that a control device has frozen in the on position. Testing is suggested to select the location and temperature setting of the fuse to protect your product most effectively. 

Fuses are preset with a range of 150°F to 460°F. Electrical ratings are 120/250 VAC and 15 amp maximum. They must be covered or enclosed because the outer case of the fuse is electrically live.

"In 1992 we developed a heater within our customer's price range to heat batteries in a containment drawer that was waterproof. We've since done over 100,000 heaters for that application for that one customer."

 

 

Thermocouples & Resistance Temperature Devices (RTD)

These devices are most commonly very small and can be attached to the heater with a patch of silicone rubber/fiberglass.  Almost any type thermocouple can be used. Type ”J” is most commonly employed.  RTDs are either 100 Ohm or 1000 Ohm two conductor type. Special sensors can be provided to your specifications and we can mount customer-supplied sensors.



Custom Heating Solutions 2



Flexible heaters give you design options that other conventional heaters can not match. Fullchance's custom heating solutions
include Element Design and Integrated Components & Accessories.

Element Design

Insulation Type: Fiberglass reinforced silicone rubber or polyimide (e.g. Kapton™).
Heating Element Type: Wire wound or etched foil.
Wire Wound element uses a round resistance wire(wire harness) while Etched Foil uses a chemically etched thin & flat metal track much like a printed circuit board.


Silicone heater or Kapten Heater?

Kapton heaters(Etched foil) are ideally
suited for applications with space and
weight limitations, or where the heater
will be exposed to vacuum, oil, or
chemicals for long time.

Silicone heaters (Wire Wound ) are ideal
for small quantities and low cost sampling,
or where repeated flexing is required.
Etched foil heater 
Element Patterns: Dual Voltage, 3-phase,Zoning and profiling.
Multiple heating circuits can be designed to achieve dual voltage and multiple zones. On dual voltage heaters, three leads, including a
common in a specific color, are provided for wiring the heater in series for the higher voltage or parallel for the lower voltage. 120/240 Vac or 240/480 Vac can be specified.

Multiple circuit areas can be zoned to compensate for various heating effects desired.

Three-phase circuits can also be designed for large high current applications. A profiled foil element offers Distributed
Wattage and levels out temperature gradients by providing extra heat where losses occur, such as along edges or around mounting holes.

Outline Shapes: With a 3-dimensional approach, heater shapes are only limited to imaginations.
Holes, cutouts, and notches can be designed so the heaters accurately fit to the part.
Silicone heater with irregular shape 1   
 
 
Leads Exit and connection tab: Heater's power leads can be configured and an unheated lead exit tab can be added to the heater to eliminate cold sections or when used in a compression application to remove the bulge at lead exit area from between the plates.


shape of sillicone heater

 

Integrated Components and Accessories


A) Heater Installation (PSA, Field Applied Adhesive, Vulcanized silicone rubber,Laminated polyimide heaters, Mechanical Fasteners:)

Versatile flexible heaters allow a variety of mounting methods. Proper installation is crucial to heater performance. The heater must be in intimate contact with the heat sink,
as any gaps can block heat transfer and cause a hot spot incurring premature heater failure.

Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA): The simplest mounting method, with factory-applied PSA, you just remove the backing paper and press the heater in place.

Field Applied Adhesive: Room temperature vulcanizing (RTV) silicone rubber adhesive is used for a superior permanent bond.
After applying a thin film between the heater and the surface, a roller should used to remove any air bubbles, and then allowed to cure for 24 hours.

Factory Vulcanization ( for Silicone heaters) and Lamination( for Kapton heaters): Silicone heater and kapton heater can be factory bonded to its mating metal
without adhesives for permanent attachment and excellent heat transfer. Metal parts(heat sinks) can be manufactured by Fullchance or supplied by the customer.
Enclosure heater is a typical example of factory vulcanization.

Mechanical Fasteners: Mechanical Fasteners are applied where heater installation is temporary.
The most common mechanical mounting methods are : spring hooks, Velcro, buckles and straps, boots hook and lacing, snap fastener.

B) Thermal Insulation

To increase heater efficiency, silicone sponge rubber or EPDM insulation can be bonded to the top side of the heater. Typical thermal insulation thicknesses are 5mm, 8mm, 10mm.

 








C) Temperature Control and Thermal Management(Preset Built-in Thermostat, Adjustable Thermostat, Built-in temperature sensors(k,J thermocouples, RTD-PT100, digital controller)

Thermostats, temperature sensors, digital temperature controller and thermal fuses can be fabricated as an integral part of the heaters.

Pre-set Mechanical Thermostats: Snap action and creep action are two different types of pre-set Mechanical thermostats. Both are based on a bimetal
expansion-contraction principle and are pre-set to a specific temperature non-adjustable. Typical applications are freeze protection, enclosure temperature and
 high limit protection.They provide a low cost means temperature control. The thermostat is normally built in by wiring directly into the heater and enclosed in
a molded silicone rubber/fiberglass housing on the heater permanently.
Electronic controller with sensor is suggested over the mechanical thermostat for precise temperature control applications.

Adjustable Mechanical Thermostats: Adjustable Mechanical thermostats allow the user to set a specific temperature and attain a desired result.
The thermostat is encapsulated in a silicone rubber overmold. Typical Adjustment Ranges Available are: 0~80 Deg C, 30~150 Deg C, 50~250 Deg C.

Buit-in Temperature Sensors: Thermocouples, RTDs, and thermistors can be located to monitor temperature of either  the heat sink (part being heated)
or the heater surface itself. For silicone heaters, temperature sensors are held in place with a protective patch or probe pocket of silicone
rubber/fiberglass vulcanized to the heater body while for Kapton® heaters they are affixed to the surface with epoxy.

Thermocouples: Almost any type thermocouple can be applied at almost anywhere on the heater surface. Type ”J” and "K" are most commonly employed.

Resistance Temperature Devices: The RTD’s resistance changes in a very linear relationship with its temperature and is considered the most
accurate and stable sensor. Thin film PT100 or PT1000 are commonly used. They can also be encased in probes.

Thermistors: 
Thermistors are also resistive-based temperature sensors but as they do not respond in a linear style, they are only used in a limited temperature range or at a specific single temperature.

Thermal Fuse: Thermal fuses are a one time over temperature protection device that can prevent dangerous temperatures in the event of
a control device failure. Testing is suggested to select the location and temperature setting of the fuse to protect your product most effectively.

Digital Temperature Controller: Recommended for applications where precise temperature control is desired. Perfect match with thermocouples
or RTDs as the temperature inputs. Fullchance's standard digital controller is Omron E5CZ. Please specify manufacturer and model # if you require otherwise.