OUR

BLOG

Minco Offers Heaters with Embedded Sensors

By Minco Staff

In most heating applications, the heating itself would be pointless without some kind of control. Typically, that process entails a controller and a sensor connected to the heater to create a feedback loop. That said, there are a number of good reasons to integrate the sensor with the heater instead of keeping the sensor as a separate component. First, this eliminates a step in assembly of the finished product. It reduces the size of the finished assembly and eliminates a set of connecting wires that could be a point of failure. It creates a more robust assembly for use in physically demanding military, aerospace, or industrial applications. It places the sensor as close as possible to the heater for accurate temperature measurement and swift response to thermal change. And while it may entail custom design and somewhat increase the cost of the heater/sensor assembly, it almost always reduces total cost of ownership and support.

The majority of heaters with integrated sensors are etched foil, and there are several types of sensors that can be integrated into such a device. These include thermistors, wire-wound copper, platinum, or nickel-iron sensors, and chip-based platinum RTD sensors. Each generates a changing resistance that varies relative to temperature, sending a signal to the controller, which turns the heater on or off to maintain the desired temperature.

A typical integrated assembly would be an etched foil heater with a pocket left in which the embedded sensor is installed. The entire assembly would then be covered with a polyimide sheet and autoclaved to produce an assembly approximately the size of the heater alone. It would have four exposed leads, two for power and two for connection to the controller.

The choice of sensors depends on the expected temperature range, the desired toughness of the assembly, and budget. Thermistors are relatively inexpensive but only operate within a limited temperature range. An embedded epoxy-coated thermistor would be an inexpensive solution for less demanding applications. Glass-bead thermistors are more rugged and more costly. Where budget is a key issue, a surface-mounted chip or thermistor can be configured at very low cost. These would sit above the heater surface and, depending on design requirements, might need potting for protection and be slower in response to temperature change due to the insulation. Wire-wound sensors have a wider effective temperature range than thermistors but cost more. Platinum wire-wound RTDs are the most expensive option but have the widest temperature range.

Any of these options will work with a wide variety of controllers, but all of them provide an economical alternative to the assembly of separate sensors in a heating application. Each entails custom design based on the requirements of the application. But as compact, accurate, and reliable options, they are well worth consideration in virtually any heating application.

Contact us today and our engineers will help you configure an integrated component unique to your company’s needs, or find your solution on our online store.

Share:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Related Posts

#Flexible Heaters #Temperature Sensors

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.