Strip Heaters: For Ovens and Conveyors Alike
Heating systems do not always look the way one would assume they should look. Personally, I have always thought that electric heaters looked like giant furnaces in the basement of a house or commercial building unless it was a small portable space heater, like most ceramic heaters. However, there is a much greater variety of electric heaters utilized in the industrial world as well as by consumers. A perfect example of how one style of heater can be used in two very different applications is the strip heater, used within ovens and conveyors alike.
So you might be wondering how this specific type of electric heater, a strip heater, is able to heat the inside of an oven as well as be attached to a conveyor to keep it warm during the winter months. The answer is malleability. In fact the malleability of strip heaters enables them to be used in even more bizarre applications then these two, although we will begin with them. A strip heater is shaped flat and long like a ruler, although the width, depth and other physical dimensions may vary depending on what application it will be applied too. Often constructed from a variety of metallic materials, such as aluminum or stainless steel, strip heaters are basically transforming electric energy into thermal energy, the range of temperature depending on the type of material. For example, stainless steel is able to reach higher temperatures and therefore put out higher levels of heat, then zinc steel.
Because they are able to reach such high levels of temperature, strip heaters work well in portable or manufacturing ovens, even used in some residential kitchens. Because they can be designed to lie flat and long they can also be utilized on conveyors to keep them from cracking in cold weather. Some of the other bizarre applications include pipe heating when they are wrapped around them like band heaters, automobile heating, duct heating, to heat plastics that need to be formed into specific shapes and as moisture protection.