OUR

BLOG

High School Students Turn to Thermal-Clear

By John Baichtal

Earlier this year, Minco was approached by Edina High School students looking for help with a project. The students were participating in their school’s Project Lead the Way (PLTW) engineering program, a series of semester-long classes that introduce students to engineering principles and expose them to different areas of engineering—biomedical, aerospace, civil, and so on. The final course, “Engineering Design and Development” puts students together in teams to research and engineer real-world problems.

Seniors Alex Artola, Mia Coma, Precious Ayelomi, and Ethan Kopieki heard that the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT) was having problems with their new traffic signals – they were icing up because the stoplight LEDs didn’t emit enough heat to keep the lenses defrosted during winter storms. The team came up with the idea of using flexible heaters to warm the lenses. However, the challenge presented itself: how could they prototype a traffic signal to help them come with a solution?

The resourceful students talked MNDOT into loaning them a working traffic signal, then tested out a number of heating elements to try to melt the snow without damaging the signal’s plastic lens. Not finding the right element, the students reached out to Minco and our Thermal Solutions department donated a number of samples, including one of our Thermal-Clear line of transparent heaters. Thermal-Clear heaters consist of a pair of optical grade polyester sheets sandwiching a micro-thin wire heating element. The result is a transparent heater able to defog windows and maintain LCD displays at their optimal operating temperature — the perfect solution to keep traffic signals free of ice and snow.

Minco was happy to help this ambitious team of future engineers with their project, and we wish them all the luck in their future studies.

Photos used with permission.

Share:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Related Posts

#Flexible Heaters

Subscribe

Sign up to get Minco news.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Minco, 7300 Commerce Lane, Minneapolis, MN, 55432, US, http://www.minco.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.

Recent Blog Posts

ABOUT MINCO

For more than 60 years, Minco Products has designed and manufactured heating, flex circuit, temperature sensing and instrumentation solutions for some of the world’s most demanding applications.

PRODUCTS

Address a specific design challenge or customize fully integrated solutions with Minco’s proven product lines.

Thermal performance for standard and custom use cases — from environment stabilization to faster thermal cycling.

Accurately sense and measure temperature, humidity and fluid levels across a wide range of applications.

Achieve new design freedom with flex circuit solutions that improve reliability in a condensed package size.

System-matched controllers complement Minco sensors and heaters to deliver improved system accuracy.

Leverage decades of engineering expertise to design integrated solutions that enhance performance and reduce cost.
Learn more about Minco’s approach to design innovation – and consider joining the team.