Flexible Transparent Heater – An innovation by Linepro

Transparent Heater developed by Linepro’s Printed Electronics R&D center

Heating devices are commonly used as a means of temperature control, ensuring an environment where individuals feel at ease. But, they can help ensure the safety of electronic controller systems, keeping them functioning in the event of severe cold weather or deicing the surfaces covered by snow or ice. When the intended use isn’t suitable for standard heating techniques like radiant heating coils or forced hot air, transparent heaters find an opportunity to deliver direct heat to the surface without being a visual hindrance.

Commercial Refrigerated Displays without transparent heaters - Linepro
Condensation blocks internal contents view of a display refrigerator

There are many uses for transparent heater technology, like retail refrigeration systems, touch panels in industrial equipment, where a heat source can keep the content visible or the touch device functional even in case of frost and condensation. Transparent heaters can be used to warm up surfaces that have to be cleaned of snow, ice condensation or fog of any type. If a specific product needs a see through surface that requires being free of snow, ice, fog or condensation while the heater should not block visibility through surface, this is a case which exclusively needs a Transparent heater. Such heaters are also utilized to heat surfaces within close proximity to themselves and also require visibility to remain unaffected.

Applications of Transparent Heaters

Transparent heaters are utilized for various applications across diverse industries. The most common uses are:

Automobile Headlights, Outdoor CCTV Security cameras, Windshields of automobiles, HMI touch screens for industrial equipment, commercial refrigerated displays, Medical devices, Security and safety equipment.

Read our Blog on : What is Industrial HMI? Applications & Design Considerations.

The applications of transparent heaters are endless. Engineers and designers are always creating new products that require transparent heaters.

Transparent heaters are employed in many industries.

  • Automotive- Passenger & Commercial
  • Industrial- HMI screens or application that requires heating without affecting the visibility
  • Avionics- Internal and External Sensors, Windshield, Lights
  • Biomedical- Medical equipment used outdoors
  • Retail- Refrigerated Displays
  • Defense- Vehicles, Outdoor equipment
Aircraft cockpit windshield without transparent heaters - Linepro
Serious Frosting on aircraft cockpit windshield blocking the view for air pilots and movement of vipers too!

Transparent Heaters for Aircrafts

Aircrafts that were used in colder climates or at high altitudes were prone to frost accumulation on the windshields, preventing the pilot and passengers from being able to see through the frost.

Transparent heaters are in use since World War 2, used for heating the windshields of an aircraft. Though they were not efficient then in terms of heating and clear visibility, today Linepro has a technology to cater such requirements for every industry, which is derived from Printed Electronics.

Transparent Heaters for Automobiles

Some of the earlier designs of transparent heaters you may recognize are the lines that you see on your car’s rear windshield.

They are also known by the name of a secondary defogger. These are lines of conductors that resist heat, mostly made up of a silver-colored ceramic, either on or in the glass. Although they aren’t optically clear, they do let you see through the windshield in sufficient detail to be able to see while you are backing up, and also providing sufficient heat to melt the ice accumulation on glass surface.

The modern transparent heaters have made significant progress. Linepro has developed transparent heaters that can also meet the strict optical specifications for a professional camera, or even the HMI screen that requires complete transparency, with no obstructions.

As mentioned before in this article, the most commonly used transparent heaters are those which are present on the rear windshield of your car. They appear as fine lines spread across the rear windshield. Though they are not 100% transparent, they do not create a huge difference in visibility.

Read how transparent heaters are useful for varied industry verticals

Car rear Windshield with thin heating filaments - Linepro
A typical rear windshield of a passenger car with heating elements for defogging, deicing

If you require more transparency, a small micro wire which can carry current to heat the surface is bonded to the surface that is transparent. Sometimes, these are used on windshields or headlights, but there are some disadvantages. If your car is relying on optical cameras as security, the option you choose will not perform, so RADAR or LIDAR should be utilized instead of optical cameras. If used in windshields, this can be a good method of clearing the glass of frost and fog, however some drivers feel distracted because of the thin wires blocking drivers’ view.

If the project requires an optically clear heating element that is flexible as well, the ideal solution is a nanotube-based hybrid. This material, which is a marvel of nanotechnology, allows for the development of transparent and optically clear heaters that can be placed on various films that are flexible.

If you’re creating products that require heat and transparency there are several alternatives. It is crucial to determine how much heat and transparency you need and whether your product requires flat surface, curve or domed. Nevertheless, transparent heater arises as the best available option in terms of heating efficiency, flexibility and optically transparent view.

Linepro as a leader in transparent heater design & manufacturing

For problems like condensation, fogging and frosting, Linepro can guarantee you relief from these by using transparent heaters. Our experience in Printed Electronics and transparent heaters is quite strong and we have successfully delivered the best transparent heater solutions to various industries. We have a dedicated Research & Development center for Printed Electronics and an independent printing facility for processing printed and transparent heaters. Linepro’s experienced and skilled engineers & designers can take up any of your complex project ideas and convert them into reality. Share your project ideas and we start guiding you. Share your project details now!

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