Printed Heaters for Automotive and Aerospace Industry

Printed Electronics - Printed Heater for automotive and aerospace - Linepro Controls Pvt Ltd

What are Printed Heaters?

Printed heaters can be described as heating elements that have been screen printed on flexible materials. They are designed to heat a product. Precision screen printing allows you to print resistive or conductive inks on a flexible material such as active carbon or silver. These inks can be tailored to meet specific requirements or needs for printed heaters. Many types of printed heaters are available, depending on the operating conditions and your requirements. You can use them for many different purposes, such as:

Apparel

Automotive

Aerospace

Consumer Products

Food Service

Healthcare Application

Medical Application

Types of Printed Heaters

Wire (Resistive) Flexible Printed Heaters

Before the invention of printed heaters, wire heaters were typical. The wire heaters were used for heating blankets. They can be bulky and inflexible, leading to problems when using wire heaters. These heaters are limited in their applications and are rapidly becoming obsolete, especially compared with Kapton or Positive Temperature Coefficient printed heaters.

Kapton Flexible Printed Heating Heaters

Kapton Flexible heaters are flexible printed heaters made from a thin film. They can be used when a higher heat generation is required. These heaters are used most often in aerospace and automotive interior heating. Kapton heaters can be described as “film” heaters. They are lightweight and thin and can provide constant heat at higher temperatures. These heaters are self-regulating and can reach temperatures up to 240 degrees Celsius. These heaters are great for industrial applications exposed to high temperatures. These printers have one drawback: they must be controlled not to heat up too much.

Flexible Printed Heaters with Positive Temperature coefficient (PTC)

These heaters are often used in clothing and wearables because of their safety, flexibility, elasticity, and stretchability. The maximum temperature at which PTC heaters can operate is set to a safe and comfortable level. PTC heaters can maintain their temperature without external interference or controls because the heater is powered by electricity, and its resistance increases and limits the current flowing. The heater will cool down as the current increases.

Print Heaters and Their Use in Automotive Applications

Print heaters are used in many industries, including automotive, construction equipment and tractors. A printed heater can be used in a variety of functions within a car. They could even eliminate the need for heating cores in vehicles. The heaters are self-regulating, which means they can heat up to the desired temperature and keep it there. Imagine every passenger in a vehicle being capable of setting their own temperature. Print heaters offer this option. Instead of heating the whole vehicle to the same temperature, each passenger can set their own heat settings.

Fun fact: The heat produced by a standard car comes from the heated air being forced out of its engine. Electric Vehicles (EVs), however, don’t generate heat from the electricity they use to power them. These vehicles must find another source of heat. Electric vehicles must locate a light source of heat. The heavier the heating core, the faster the vehicle will lose its batteries.

This is the moral of the story: By using PTC or Kapton printed heating elements, electric cars can be more efficient and travel farther on the same charge.

You can use these printed heaters for many purposes in your car. Print heaters can be used in your car as a seat heater, steering wheel warmer, window defroster or simply as a heater.

Seat warmers

Seat Warmers for automotive applications
Seat Warmers using Printed Electronics

Have you ever heard that car seat warmers can cause “seat burns?”. The seat warmers are controlled by a wire heater. This means that there is a chance for the heater to overheat, malfunction or catch fire. PTC heaters are self-regulating. This means that the material acts as its sensor. This eliminates the risk of overheating. A PTC heater is a great option for seat warming. It provides uniform heating which means heat is distributed evenly.

Steering wheel warmer

Printed Electronics for Steering Wheel
Steering wheel warmer using printed electronics

Tired of trying to drive your car while the steering wheel is cold? You won’t have to deal with that problem again by using a PTC heating element on your steering wheel. With the fact that PTC heaters have a faster time-to-temperature ratio, the steering wheel will be heated up by the time you’re ready to take off.

Defroster 

The printed heaters will make sure that you don’t have an interminable wait for the car to defrost in the morning. With a printed heater in your car it will be able to maintain an even temperature, thus eliminating the long wait time to defrost your vehicle.

Floorboard Warmer

Printed Heaters can be put on the floorboards of cars to ensure that the vehicle can remain at a constant temperature. They can also be used as an alternative for the heating cores that are typically found in cars. They are not only safer, they’re more durable and lighter making them less burdensome on the vehicle.

Personal Heater 

Printed heaters offer a fantastic alternative to heating elements that are found in most cars nowadays. Imagine if you have the ability to control your temperature on your own instead of having to heat the entire vehicle? The printed heaters will give every person in the car the option of regulating the temperature to the setting they would like.

Printed Heaters and Their Use in Construction Automotive

Printed heaters aren’t simply designed to be used in automobiles. They are ideal for use in construction as they can be utilized for equipment like bulldozers, cranes, tractors and more.

In case of construction sites, the equipment used for the construction job, like bulldozers, cranes, tools such as bulldozers, cranes, etc. is likely to be left throughout the job completion. It’s no surprise that in winter the equipment will often get frozen. This is one of the many instances wherein printed heaters come to the rescue. The printed heaters are able to swiftly clear the equipment from frozen water. Not only are the printed heaters capable of defrosting the safety equipment, they can be utilized to provide personal heating inside the equipment when operating it. The safety device can also be used as a form of personal heating.

Construction workers are exposed for a prolonged period in cold weather and that is the reason construction sites often use temporary space heaters. The problem of temporary heaters is, if they are not used correctly they may pose a serious risk of fire. It could pose a danger on the construction site as a whole but also pose a risk of injury to employees too. This is why we believe printed heaters are an alternative. They are able to reach a high temperature index and also regulate the amount of heat that is released.

If power is applied, the printed carbon expands and heats up. The electrical resistance increases and restricts the current flow to the heater, causing the carbon to become cool. When the heater cools, the current will increase and it will reach operating temperatures. This is a sign that the printed heater is self-regulating. This results in a secure and effective heating element, while eliminating the possibility of overheating and generating the required heat for employees and the site.

Printed heaters can also be added to batteries on the construction site to make sure that the batteries are maintained at a temperature that is warm inside. This will ensure that the battery stays active throughout the time on the construction site, to ensure that workers be productive throughout the time. Regarding the construction workers, these printed heaters could be put into the clothing of construction workers, such as their coats or hard hats, gloves or anything else you can imagine. When you insert these printed heaters into clothing items of workers, you can keep them warm and active throughout their stay at the site of construction.  When it comes to printed heaters, the usage possibilities are endless!

Printed Heaters and Their Use in Aerospace or Aeronautical Application

Printed heater used in aircraft wing for defrosting ice accumulation
Placement of Printed Heating Element on wing edge to prevent ice accumulation

In the realm of aerospace, it’s not a surprise that a significant amount of energy in the form of heat is required, especially in the extreme temperatures. Weight reduction of components is very essential, and is one of numerous reasons why Kapton heaters are the best choice. Kapton heater is recommended instead of a standard heater core. The excess heat is usually required for maintaining temperatures of a plane. What if there was an easier solution? By using Kapton heaters, planes do not have to waste their time trying to deice the plane’s surface or turbines. The Kapton heater can help the plane’s exterior maintain the temperature at a comfortable level, avoiding problems of freezing throughout the flight.

Although the Kapton heaters are able to maintain the temperature outside of aerospace, PTC heaters can also be used to maintain the temperature inside. Most often, electrical components in the aircraft will require an energy source to maintain their temperature in the space’s atmosphere. This is where PTC heaters can be utilized. The PTC heaters can be utilized in a variety of ways within the aircraft to ensure the temperature of its interior. It could be used as a seat warmer (as mentioned earlier in the automotive section) as well as on the floorboards, or an individual heating source or even as a way to speed up defrosting the plane.

Printed Heaters for Camera Lenses

Camera Lens use printed electronics heater for getting rid of dew
A Camera lens with fogging and dew, making photography useless

Another distinct task the printed heater can be utilized for is defogging and cleaning of camera lenses. Most of the times, particularly in the aerospace industry cameras are in constant use. Through the use of a printed heater, it is possible to make sure that camera lens do not get clogged, which can cause you to not get the “snapshot” of anything. There are many distinct advantages that printed heaters can be utilized to accomplish, and the possibilities are limitless with them.

Printed Heaters for cooking purposes

Did you not know that Kapton heaters are an energy source for cooking? Without flames, there’s the safety feature that comes with the use of these heaters. Kapton heaters are able to heat up to 240 degrees C which means there’s plenty of warmth for cooking in an aircraft. This is only one of the amazing features that Kapton heaters can be utilized to serve!

Naturally the internal heater is required in order to maintain an appropriate temperature for the engine of the aircraft. In the case of extreme temperatures it is imperative that extreme care be taken to guarantee that the aircraft can maintain it’s internal temperature specifically inside its engine. This is another example where printed heaters can have an impact.

Printed Heaters may have a variety of advantages in the aerospace and automotive industries. They can be used as:

Seat Warmers

Steering Wheel Warmer

Defroster

Floorboard Warmer

Personal Heater

Apparel

Cooking over a hot source

Space Heater

There are a myriad of options regarding ways in which printed heaters can be utilized in our daily lives. Printed heaters, while not widely recognized, are an important component of the automotive as well as aerospace industry. They will only see more use and development in the coming years.

If you’re interested in exploring an idea together with our Linepro Team feel free to get in touch!

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