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    Watlow® Polyimide Layered Heaters

    March 14th 2024

    Watlow’s polyimide layered heaters provide the precision and flexibility needed to ensure the highest level of thermal performance in wafer processing applications.

    These ‘film strip’ heaters have a wide range of integration capabilities compatible with various metal and ceramic substrates across a wide range of application environments, including extreme ones.

    What is a polyimide heater?

    Also known as Kapton® heaters, polyimide heaters are normally made from a thin, lightweight organic polymer film originally developed by DuPontTM. Their construction sandwiches the ultra-thin etched foil heating element that can be as little as 0.0001” thickness between two layers of the Kapton polyimide film, bonded with FEP adhesive.

    Planar layered heating circuits can be manufactured using various technologies including thermal spray, thick film and thin film deposition, wet etching and laser ablation.

    These flexible heating elements are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, with wattage densities ranging up to 7.75 watts per square centimeter, to generate operating temperatures of up to 200oC.

    Polyimide heater advantages

    Polyimide film provides excellent tensile strength, tear resistance and dimensional stability. Polyimide is also solvent resistant.

    Their distinctive combination of thinness, flexibility, light weight and high-watt density allows polyimide heaters to deliver precise heat distribution in extreme environments and confined spaces. They can maintain temperatures over prolonged periods, maintain their original shape regardless of temperature exposure and are also self-extinguishing.

    Watlow® polyimide layered heaters incorporate distributed power circuitry to accommodate multiple zones and multiple layers.

    Layered heater applications

    Polyimide heaters have introduced a new era of thermal process enhancement across various sectors, including life sciences. Their thin profile, high tensile strength, resistance to common solvents and fluids, and precise heating capabilities make them ideal for any environment subject to corrosive spills, extreme temperatures and where there is a need for rapid heat up or surface heating when space or weight restrictions are present.

    Polyimide heaters find applications in various industries and sectors due to their unique properties. Among the everyday examples of polyimide layered heater applications are consumer electronics devices, including smartphones, tablets, and wearables, where the layered heaters are used to maintain battery temperature, display demisting, etc.

    In the life sciences, polyimide heaters are employed in medical devices and laboratory equipment used for applications such as sample preparation, reagent heating, analytical instruments, DNA sequencing, and temperature control in incubators and diagnostic equipment.

    Polyimide heaters are also used in 3D bioprinters to provide uniform and controlled heating of the print bed. This helps in achieving optimal printing conditions and prevents warping or uneven cooling of the printed object.

    A further area of life sciences application is in environmental chambers and testing equipment to simulate specific temperature conditions for sample testing and accelerated aging tests.


    Click on WATLOW® Polyimide Heaters to learn more.
    Click on WATLOW® Flexible Heaters for brochure download.
    Click on Thermal Solutions for Medical and Clinical Applications for brochure download.
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    Watlow® Polyimide Layered Heaters

    Watlow® polyimides layered heaters are ultra-tough and versatile and are available in a very wide range of sizes, forms and wattage densities.

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