Flexible heaters are a unique solution to a challenging problem. This innovative style of heating element can fit into tight spaces and are flexible enough to wrap around the object you are heating, allowing them to be used where other products wouldn’t fit or would fail in demanding environments. All Flex Solutions manufactures flexible heater components and integrated assemblies for high-reliability applications critical to life and mission. In this article, we’ll look at the best and most common use cases for flexible heaters and integrated assemblies.

Types of Heaters and Integrated Assemblies

There are multiple types of heater and integrated assembly solutions available depending on your needs and the specific conditions of your application environment. Some of the most common include polyimide-insulated etched foil heaters, silicone rubber-insulated etched foil heaters, integrated assemblies that include heat sinks, sensors, over-temperature protection, and polyimide heaters integrated with flexible circuits and rigid-flex. Each carries its benefits and drawbacks to consider.

Etched Foil Heaters

Etched foil heaters consist of a thin resistive metal alloy foil, which is then etched and laminated between layers of insulation to create a highly precise and low-mass heating circuit. Because of the construction, etched foil heaters deliver heat quickly and efficiently. They can also be relied on to deliver heat to specific areas for better accuracy, uniformity, and thermal control.

Flexible Polyimide Heaters

Flexible polyimide heaters are a type of higher-temperature heater circuit that has incredible capabilities. Flexible polyimide heaters are made from an etched foil that use polyimide as the dielectric insulation. Polyimide heaters are capable of temperatures up to 260C and are a reliable and efficient solution for your heating needs.

They are known for their high-temperature resistance and ability to thrive in less-than-ideal scenarios, such as resisting exposure to solvents or chemicals. These thin and lightweight heaters quickly provide heat in tight spaces and can be configured into any complex geometry necessary for your application.

Flexible Silicone Rubber Heaters

Etched foil heaters manufactured using silicone rubber as the insulation system are a good general-purpose heaters. Silicone rubber heaters can be a lower-cost alternative to a polyimide heater depending on the design and size. These heaters are thicker and have more mass than a polyimide heater, but in some cases can have a higher temperature rating than some types of polyimide heaters. Silicone heaters do have fewer options for integration.

Industries That Use Flexible Heaters

Many high-tech industries rely on the benefits of flexible etched foil heaters because of their ability to fit the application and operate effectively in small spaces and extreme environmental conditions that solve an engineering need. The most common industries that rely on our flexible heater and integrated assembly products include medical, aerospace, and other high-reliability applications.


Medical devices have unique requirements, often revolving around the ability to maintain temperatures within a high degree of accuracy and uniformity. Flexible heaters play a crucial role in everything from fluid warming to DNA analysis, PCR, and blood analysis instruments. These devices rely on swift and accurate temperature control to work properly. Moreover, some devices require heating elements to fit within tight spaces, an aspect that flexible heaters thrive in.


The aerospace industry relies on flexible heaters for many purposes, including cabin heating, anti-icing mechanisms, and other temperature-sensitive instruments such as pitot tubes, which need to remain free of ice to record flight information properly. Flexible heaters that can create and transfer heat quickly are paramount to the aerospace industry.


The industrial and manufacturing sectors have numerous use cases for low-profile flexible heater products. Silicone rubber heaters are more commonly used in industrial applications. A use case may be to heat a process or maintain a specific temperature for viscosity.

Top Use Cases for Flexible Heaters

Regardless of the specific industry you operate in, there are often use cases that benefit from applying flexible heater products and integrated assemblies like those we offer at All Flex Solutions.

The need for precise temperature control is a primary use case for flexible heating products. Additionally, flexible heaters are often the best and only option for effective heating if you need to apply heat to a small or a complex-shaped object.

Weight requirements are another factor that may call for the use of flexible heaters. Particularly in the aerospace industries, where every pound counts, having a flexible heater circuit board that distributes heat quickly while being incredibly light compared to other heating elements makes them a compelling use case.

Environmental conditions may also signify the need for a flexible heater product. If the heater will be exposed to high or low temperatures, solvents, or chemicals, you want a product that will perform reliably in these rugged and harsh conditions.

The specific type of flexible heater you need will rely on multiple factors, including the environment, temperature range, the wattage output needed, control temperature, mounting method, and other application factors that we would like to discuss with you directly.

Trust All Flex Solutions for All Your Flexible Heater and Integrated Assembly Needs

All Flex Solutions is a manufacturer of custom flexible heating and integrated assembly solutions. For over 30 years, All Flex Solutions has delivered best-in-class flexible heating solutions for clients across all industries. We provide a diverse product offering, including integrated thermal assemblies, polyamide heaters, silicone heaters, flexible circuits, CatheterFlex® circuits, and rigid-flex builds.

We are a leader in providing flexible heating, flexible circuits, and rigid-flex solutions to a wide range of industries. We’re capable of working within the unique specifications of your application needs.

Get in touch with us today to discuss your specific flexible heater needs or request a quote from our team of custom design experts.

All Flex Solutions is a US based manufacturer of flexible circuits, multilayer flex, rigid flex, flexible heaters, large format flexible circuits and CatheterFlex™ for medical electronics. All Flex Solutions also offers complete assembly services for all their products. All Flex Solutions has over 40 years’ experience building flexible circuits typically used in high reliability applications such as medical, military and commercial electronics which customers place a premium on reliability, package density, and weight. For more information visit us at AllFlexInc.com.