Flexible Heaters: Different Heater Designs, Same Wattage

Jahn Stopperan, All Flex


Producing a flexible heater with a defined wattage can be accomplished in a variety of ways.

The images below all represent a heater of the same wattage designed to operate with different voltages.  Typically, OEM designers define the wattage of the heater, its overall shape/size/configuration, location of the power wires, whether there is mounting adhesive, and the expected attachment wire location.

However, the heater manufacturer typically defines the internal heating element design/pattern based upon the manufacturer’s fabrication tools and capabilities.  The key factors that drive the pattern within the heater are the foil type, the foil thickness, and the length of the conductor.  The combination of these three produce a resistance, and when coupled with the input power supply (voltage and current), wattage is achieved.  The wattage then delivers thermal output, which is the desired result for the application.