Heating is used commercially and industrially to complete a wide variety of tasks. They contain a heating element inside them. It generates heat whenever electric current passes through it. Heat is generated due to electric resistance. Industrial heating elements follow the basic principle of converting electric energy into heat energy.
The resistance heating process has two methods of generating heat energy:
- Direct electric resistance heating
- Indirect electrical resistance heating
Electric current is passed across an electrically conductive material directly in direct electrical resistance heating. On the other hand, in indirect electrical resistance heating, the current does not pass through the material to be heated but pass through the heating element. The heat generated is dispersed mainly by convection and radiation.
It is now clear that we are dealing with indirect electrical resistance heating in this article. The most common heating element used industrially and commercially in indirect resistance heating is Nichrome. It is a Nickel-Chromium alloy with 80% Nickel-20% Chromium composition. It fulfills all the criteria required to be a good resistance material for heat generation.
- High Melting Point
Nichrome has a high melting point i.e. approx. 1400 degree Celsius. It is perfect for high-temperature requirements for various industries.
- High Resistivity
Nichrome exhibits high resistivity to the flow of electric current. It can generate more amount of heat with less flow of electric current due to this capability.
- Low-Temperature Coefficient of Resistance
It is an important ability of Nichrome. The low-temperature Coefficient of Resistance allows Nichrome to keep the resistance stable in high-temperature.
- Absence of Oxidation
Nichrome exhibits an absence of oxidation due to the forming of the chromium oxide layer when heated at high temperature. The layer is impermeable to oxygen protecting it from oxidation.
Nichrome is used in heating devices in a wide variety of industries:
- Oil and Gas
- Heat Treatment
- Household Appliances
Apart from Nichrome, other heating elements are also used in various industries e.g. Kanthal, Cupronickel, PTC Ceramic elements, etc. Various exotic materials are used as heating elements for furnaces e.g. Tungsten Disilicide/ Molybdenum Disilicide, Platinum, Silicon Carbide, etc. Plenty of research & development takes place before the heating elements are converted to the final industrial product. It helps the manufacturers in creating new products as well as improving and upgrading their current products.
Several manufacturers and heating element suppliers in India offer the choice of customization to customers. It helps an organization in finding solutions according to their heating requirement. We suggest you visit the websites of those manufacturers & suppliers to know more in details.