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Quad Industries | The advantages and functioning of PTC heaters

Sometimes manufacturers would like to install heating in objects that are difficult to heat. The armrest of your car. Your sporty winter coat. Bags for food delivery. Sleeping bags.

All of these are products that are usually influenced by environmental temperature and cannot autonomously create their own level of temperature.

Until now.

Imagine a fast pleasant temperature in your vehicle, not just coming from your seatback, but also from the side panel, steering wheel or armrest. Think of immediately defrosted mirrors and sensor de-icing that make it safer to drive off right away.

Picture a more comfortable dentist appointment because the dentist chair is pleasantly warm. Preheated surgical tables and drapes, pet clothing, baby strollers, a warm rug in your dining room… a lot of objects can create a more satisfying experience when generating heat at once. PTC heaters make all these applications, and many more, possible today.

Positive Temperature Coefficient heaters or PTC heaters are electrical resistance heaters whose resistance increases with temperature. If a constant voltage is applied, the heater produces a large amount of heat when its temperature is low and a smaller amount of heat when the temperature rises, until it reaches its peak level or equilibrium point, at which the temperature stays relatively stable.

PTC Effect Curve ©Henkel

PTC heaters are created by printing conductive ink on a flexible substrate. At first silver is printed as a busbar to conduct current. On top of that PTC ink is printed to create resistant heating zones. This ink has the characteristic to self-regulate at a specific temperature.

The advantages are correspondingly obvious:

  • As the temperature regulates itself at the desired maximum, the chances for overheating are significantly reduced. This increases the safety of the heater.

  • The low resistance at low temperature causes a rapid increase in temperature and high resistance at higher temperature before self-regulation kicks in. Thus, a rapid functioning and automatic peak level.

  • The design of the substrates and the printed areas can be adjusted to the shape of the object so hot spots can be avoided and a uniform and flexible heating can be applied underneath very different shapes and materials.

  • As the heaters are printed on thin foils, they are also very light weighted. And since the printing technique is an additive process and no etching process, this technique is more sustainable than most others.

  • The desired maximum temperature is determined by using the right inks. Today, we offer solutions that maintain a constant temperature of 40, 60, 90 or 105°C.

Battery heater, 300 x 400 mm, 60°C PTC ink

We are the specialists to develop and apply this technology in the form and functionality you envision. But you are the product specialist who will undoubtedly discover new possibilities with this technology. Don't hesitate to ask for more information about how we can develop the right PTC heater together with you.


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