Why are PTC heaters better than traditional heaters?

Profile picture for user Jason Herndon
By Jason Herndon | Oct 04, 2017
Benefits of PTC heaters compared to traditional heaters

This blog is the second in our series on Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) heaters. In the previous blog (read here), we learned about the fundamentals of this dynamic heating technology.

Meeting at the crossroads of safety and efficiency, PTC heaters provide more uniform heating than traditional heating technologies. Their inherent self-regulating nature results in fewer field problems and lowered warranty costs. Here are ten advantages of PTC heaters compared to traditional fixed-resistance heaters -

1) Improved safety - PTC heaters eliminate all the failure modes and pitfalls associated with resistive wire, etched foil and carbon fiber heaters. The PTC material acts as its own sensor, thus eliminating the risk of overheating.

2) Uniform heating - Every point on the PTC heating surface independently maintains its designed temperature. The even distribution of heat leaves behind no hot and cold spots.

3) Low power consumption - PTC heaters draw full power at colder temperatures to quickly reach the threshold temperature. Once they reach a steady state, they consume less power than traditional heaters, eventually saving more energy over the entire run time.

4) Better strength & durability - PTC heaters can endure mechanical abuse such as folding, creasing and piercing. They are also resistant to water, chemicals and corrosion, resulting in superior durability and prolonged life.

5) Design flexibility - PTC heaters can be produced in unlimited shapes and sizes, with custom holes and cutouts. They can be connected in parallel for large-area heating requirements. They can also be custom-designed to operate with multiple temperature zones and wattages.

6) Faster time-to-temperature - The optimum temperature is achieved in a very short period of time, especially at cold temperatures.

7) Fail-safe - Any failure will ‘fail to cold’, rendering them harmless. The failed portion will simply stop drawing more current, and the rest of the heater will continue to function safely.

8) No electronic controls - The heater self-regulates to its designed threshold temperature, thus wiping out the need for any diagnostic components or external control units.

9) Lightweight and thin - PTC heaters can be as thin as 0.005”, thereby taking up very little space. Their thin construction makes them lightweight and more flexible than silicone heaters.

10) Environment friendly - While the subtractive manufacturing of etched-foil heaters requires acid baths, the manufacturing process of PTC heaters does not produce or involve any hazardous chemicals.

In a nutshell, when it comes to safe and efficient heating solutions, PTC heaters will always emerge as the clear winner. Given the host of benefits they bring to the table, PTC heating systems are well suited for a wide range of applications across industries such as automotive, aerospace, and wearables. In the next blog post, we will dive into the applications of this heating technology. Until then, you can learn more by visiting our capabilities page here