Heating Showdown: Tubular Heaters vs. Cartridge Heaters - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Heating Showdown: Tubular Heaters vs. Cartridge Heaters


"Explore the differences between tubular heaters and cartridge heaters. Uncover which heating solution best suits your industrial needs. Read more! " – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Date added: 25 November 2023
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Title: Heating Showdown: Tubular Heaters vs. Cartridge Heaters

Heating Showdown Tubular Heaters vs. Cartridge
Heaters Unveiling the Key Differences
  • NexThermal Mfg (I) Pvt Ltd

(No Transcript)
Tubular Heaters vs. Cartridge Heaters
  • Heating elements are essential components in many
    industrial processes and commercial appliances.
  • Two of the most common electric heating elements
    are tubular and cartridge heaters.
  • While both serve the purpose of converting
    electrical energy into heat, there are some key
    differences between the two that impact their
    optimal applications and performance.

Overview of tubular and cartridge heater designs
  • Tubular heaters consist of a metal tube (usually
    stainless steel or alloy steel) that contains a
    coiled heating wire. The tube protects the wire
    and provides efficient heat transfer.
  • Cartridge heaters have a cylindrical shape but
    lack an outer metal sleeve. Instead, the heating
    element wire is insulated with magnesium oxide
    and enclosed in a stainless-steel sheath.
  • This allows insertion into drilled holes.

Some key physical differences between the two
  • Tubular heaters consist of a metal tube
    surrounding a heating coil.
  • Cartridge heaters have an insulated heating wire
    pressed into a metal sheath.
  • Tubular heaters can be much longer than cartridge
    heaters. Tubes over 36 inches are common.
  • Cartridge heaters are limited to shorter lengths,
    typically under 16 inches.
  • Tubular heater diameters range from 0.25 inch to
    2 inches. Cartridge diameters span 0.25 inch to 1
  • Tubular heaters can handle higher wattage
    densities than cartridge heaters.
  • Now that weve compared the basic designs lets
    look at how these physical factors influence the
    performance and applications of tubular and
    cartridge heaters.

1. Temperature capabilities

Key performance differences
  • The maximum temperature a heater can reach
    depends on the materials used in its
  • Tubular heaters made from steel alloy tubes can
    withstand temperatures up to 1400F. Stainless
    steel tubes allow temperatures up to 1600F.
  • Cartridge heaters typically max out at lower
    temperatures, around 750F for stainless steel
    sheathed heaters. However, Incoloy sheathed
    cartridge heaters can reach 1200F.
  • The ability to handle higher temperatures makes
    tubular heaters better suited for processes like
    heat-treating metals, preheating combustion air,
    and maintaining molten polymers.
  • Cartridge heaters are often selected when
    temperatures below 1000F are needed, such as
    warming adhesives or heating diesel fuel.

2. Watt density and wattage output
  • Watt density refers to the number of watts
    dissipated per square inch of heater surface
    area. A higher watt density means more watts can
    be packed into a smaller space.
  • The tubular design allows tubular heaters to
    achieve watt densities over 100 w/in2. Cartridge
    heaters typically max out around 60 w/in2.
  • Higher watt densities enable tubular heaters to
    deliver more power overall. Tubular heaters are
    available for over 70 kW, while most cartridge
    heaters top below 2 kW.
  • When high heat output is required in a compact
    area, tubular heaters have the advantage.
    Cartridge heaters are often favored for
    lower-wattage applications

3. Duty cycle rating
  • A heaters duty cycle describes how long it can
    operate at full-rated power without overheating.
    This is expressed as a percentage or minutes per
  • Tubular heaters often have a 100 continuous duty
    cycle rating, meaning they can run steadily at
    full power.
  • Cartridge heaters are only rated for intermittent
    operation, around 25 duty cycle. This equates to
    15 minutes per hour at full-rated wattage.
  • The tube metal in tubular heaters provides a more
    effective dissipation of heat generated by the
    internal coil. The compact cartridge design lacks
    this additional heat-sinking ability.
  • For applications requiring constant heating,
    tubular heaters are the better choice. Cartridge
    heaters work well for short-burst heating needs.

4. Robustness and durability
  • The metal tube encasing the heating element makes
    tubular heaters durable and resistant to damage.
    They can withstand harsh industrial environments
    and vibration without failure.
  • Cartridge heaters lack an outer metal sleeve,
    making the heating wire vulnerable. Care must be
    taken to avoid crushing the cartridge or exposing
    the internal coil.
  • Tubular heaters also handle high-pressure
    washdown and moisture better. Their screen
    barrier helps prevent water ingress. Cartridge
    heaters rely on potting compounds and seals to
    protect the element.
  • Tubular heaters are often preferred for critical
    applications where ruggedness and reliability are
    priorities. Cartridge heaters may make sense for
    gentler low-pressure uses.

5. Flexibility and shape options
  • Tubular heaters are produced in straight or bent
    tubes, allowing some flexibility in shape. But
    they are still essentially limited to a
    cylindrical form.
  • Cartridge heaters can be manufactured in
    straight, L-shaped, and helical coiled designs.
    This allows cartridges to fit unique spaces and
    wrap around components.
  • When flat or contoured heating surfaces are
    needed, cartridge heaters provide more
    variability. Tubular heaters offer simplicity and
    consistency in basic tube shapes.

6. Cost considerations
  • Tubular heaters generally have a higher upfront
    cost than comparable cartridge heaters. The metal
    tube adds material and manufacturing costs versus
    cartridge heaters.
  • However, the higher duty cycles and lifetimes
    achieved with tubular heaters can lead to lower
    operating costs in the long run. The increased
    robustness also means fewer unexpected failures
    and less downtime.
  • Cartridge heaters provide a lower initial price
    point but may need replacement more frequently.
    Determining the total cost of ownership helps
    identify the better value.

Typical applications and uses
1. Tubular heaters applications
2. Cartridge heater applications
  • Heating liquid baths and tanks
  • Maintaining molten metals like zinc, tin, and
  • Preheating combustion air for ovens and furnaces
  • baking and drying ovens
  • Plastic injection molding nozzles and barrels
  • Gas line and pipe heating
  • Industrial process heating
  • Diesel fuel heating
  • Adhesive melting pots
  • Hot stamping tools
  • Medical equipment sterilization
  • Food service equipment warming
  • Shrink wrap machines
  • Packaging equipment, seaming tools

Installation and maintenance
  • Proper installation and maintenance help ensure
    optimal performance and lifetime for tubular and
    cartridge heaters. Here are some best practices
  • For tubular heaters
  • Ensure heater tubes are properly inserted into
    bored holes. Use thermal grease to aid
  • Avoid bending tubes tighter than the minimum
    recommended bend radii.
  • Use insulated power leads rated for max
    temperature and wattage.
  • Allow space for air circulation around the heater
  • Check for leaks and inspect for damage during
    routine maintenance.

  • For cartridge heaters
  • Never insert cartridges beyond the recommended
    insertion depth.
  • Apply thermal paste inside holes to maximize
  • Secure cartridge flanges with plates or collars
    when possible.
  • Using short power leads to minimizing the heating
    of wires.
  • Ensure wet or high moisture conditions are
  • Check cartridge seals and terminals during
    routine maintenance.
  • Adhering to manufacturers recommendations can
    maximize heater lifespan and safety.

Choosing between tubular and cartridge heaters
  • When selecting a heating element for an
    application, consider these key factors
  • Required power output and temperature rating
  • Available space and shape needs
  • Duty cycle and longevity demands
  • Environmental and safety concerns
  • Tubular heaters tend to be better choices for
    applications like
  • High temperature (above 750F) heating
  • Continuous, intensive industrial processes
  • Large tanks and baths needing high watt densities
  • Harsh, high-moisture environments

  • Cartridge heaters offer advantages for
  • Compact spaces requiring short heating elements
  • Lower temperature (below 750F) intermittent uses
  • Custom shapes and sizes
  • Cost-sensitive, replaceable applications
  • Of course, many factors beyond those compared
    here may apply to specific heating situations.
    Working with a qualified heating element supplier
    is the best way to ensure you get the right
    tubular or cartridge heater for your unique

  • Tubular and cartridge heaters provide localized
    heat for various industrial and commercial
    applications. Understanding the key differences
    in their construction and performance allows
    selecting the right heater for optimal results
    and cost-effectiveness.
  • Tubular heaters offer high temperatures, watt
    densities, and durability in basic cylindrical
    shapes. Cartridge heaters provide more
    flexibility and lower costs for intermittent
    lower-temperature uses. With careful selection,
    installation, and maintenance, tubular and
    cartridge heaters can provide long-lasting,
    efficient heating solutions.

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