When heating elements fail, significant maintenance issues can result, leading to production issues. Repeated heating element failures can significantly impact the production process, resulting in unexpected and unplanned downtime and financial loss. At Nexthermal, as an experienced heater manufacturer, we offer an array of custom heaters designed to function at high performance for various industrial applications.
Every type of heating element tends to diminish in performance and eventually fail at some point in time. These components require maintenance to sustain the quality of their performance and maximize their service life.
Below are some tips on maximizing the performance of custom heaters:
Leads and Protection
It’s important to select the correct leads and lead protection for your specific application. With an array of options such as Teflon, fiberglass, and silicone leads plus different types of armor cables and sleeves for lead protection, you will be able to protect your heater from issues caused by movement, humidity, and contamination.
Properly Select Heater and Sizing
To minimize heater cycling, the power should match the load requirements of the application. The voltage cycling of the heater shortens the heating element’s lifespan. It is important to ensure the correct fit between the application and the heater to prevent hot spotting and gap leakage that results in overshoot failures.
Be sure to electrically ground all equipment as a matter of safe practice and common sense, including custom heaters. This will help keep personnel safe if an electrical failure occurs.
Prevent Excessive, Slow Heater Cycling
A cycle rate that produces full contraction and expansion of the heater resistance wire shortens the life of the element exponentially. The most effective means of minimizing the temperature cycling of the heating element is to utilize SCR power controllers and solid-state relays (SSRs) connected to PID temperature controllers.
Maintain Material Compatibility
It is vital to ensure the correct materials are used in high temperature applications. The proper selection of a heater ensures proper heat transfer and minimal overshoot. The sheathing materials of the heater must be compatible with the application. It is also important to consider the compatibility and effectiveness of the internal insulator material.
Temperature and Limit Control
Utilize control panels having multiple thermocouples to measure the temperature of the air in close proximity to the heating element for high limit protection. For process temperature control adjustment, use the other thermocouple. Let time elapse to increase the process temperatures. Establish proper ramp rates to keep the stress on the element to a minimum.
Manage Maintenance and Replacement Schedules
Not too many companies carry a stock of spare heating elements on-site. It is important to know the lead times for getting a replacement heating element. It helps to work with a heater manufacturer that stocks heating element replacements on a regular basis and offers exceptional customer service. Ask the manufacturer to see its service records and the time required to replace or rebuild heaters.