What is a Cartridge Heater and How Does it Work?

Cartridge heaters are types of heating elements that effectively and reliably transfer heat. They are ideal for various applications within industrial settings. At Nexthermal, we are your source for high quality cartridge heaters for custom heating applications.

What is a Cartridge Heater?

Cartridge heaters are heating elements with a tube-like shape that are designed to be inserted snugly into holes which have been drilled by a drill bit. They are manufactured to various diameters, in the range of 1/4” to 3/4″ (6.5 mm to 16 mm).

These heating elements have a sheath, which is an outer metal enclosure often constructed of stainless steel and containing a nickel-chromium heated wire coil and an insulator. Typically, these heaters include a standard electrical connection. There are also other cable design options available, including flange mounting, fixing tab, and right-angle exit, among others.

How Does a Cartridge Heater Work?

The operation of a cartridge heater is straightforward. Within the cartridge heater, the coil receives an alternating current which heats up the resistive wire. Then, this heat energy is delivered from the wire into the outer metal enclosure (sheath) and then throughout the surrounding space. This is done through a process called conduction. The result is a highly efficient transfer of heat into a metal solid.

Cartridge Heater Applications

The heat transfer provided by cartridge heaters is superior to many other methods. As such these devices are ideal for generating temperatures as high as 1472°F (800°C). They are often used for challenging localized heating requirements. Some applications they are used for including the heating of molds, dies, platens, and other solids.

Cartridge heaters are also ideal for:

  • Fluid heating, such as chemical solutions and water
  • Regulating air temperature in devices susceptible to condensation, such as closed circuits and control panels
  • Rubber molding
  • High watt density applications

Some of the industries in which cartridge heaters are needed include plastics molding, food production and manufacturing, medical, and packaging. As a durable and versatile heating element, they are ideal for multiple heavy-duty applications.

For information about the cartridge heater options we offer at Nexthermal, give us a call today at 269.964.0271 or leave us an email at sales@nexthermal.com.

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