Choosing the Ideal Flexible Heater Elements for Your Applications

Localized heating is important in many industrial applications. Manufacturers use different types of customized flexible heating elements to achieve the required requirements for thermal transfer in various applications. These heating elements are offered in mainly two different forms – wire wound and etched foil. The materials used for these heating elements can include polyimide, silicone rubber, and aluminum foil, among others. At JenTer Technologies, we offer multiple types of custom flexible heating elements to meet the needs of numerous industry applications.

Let’s look at the types of heater elements available:

Wire-Wound Elements

Dynamic applications often make use of wire-wound heaters. These heaters can undergo abrasive forces and can be made significantly larger in size than etched foil heaters.

Etched Foil

Static applications in which weight and size are a significant factor often make use of etched foil heaters. These heaters possess high watt densities and fast cool down and heat-up capabilities. They can also be manufactured denser as required for the application.

Let’s look at the types of materials available for custom flexible heating elements:

Silicone Rubber

Silicone rubber heaters offer a number of great benefits, including:

  • Usable in a broad temperature range between -40°C to 200°C (392°F)
  • Easily embedded into thermal switches, cut-offs, and sensors
  • Can handle temperatures in outdoor environments
  • Can be used with 3D applications
  • Provide exceptional bonding and thermal efficiency when vulcanized onto surfaces
  • Can be manufactured to as little as 0.060 inches thick


Flexible heaters manufactured with polyimide consists of two layers of polyimide film that sandwich a layer of etched foil element. The polyimide film is referred to as Kapton®. Various adhesives may be used to hold the etched foil element in place, including FEP Teflon® and acrylic, among others. Some of the benefits of Kapton® flexible heaters include:

  • Enable rapid cooling and heating
  • Ideal for 2D applications due to their small profile
  • Ideal for environments subject to extreme temperatures
  • Chemical and water resistant

Aluminum Foil

Typically, two layers of foil are positioned on either side of the resistive heating element. These heating elements have the following features and benefits:

  • Can operate in a temperate range of -150°C to 500°C
  • Ideal for applications that require high volume installation
  • Custom designed to achieve a fast thermal response
  • Have fast recovery times and produce superb heat transfer

When it comes to flexible heaters, manufacturers with the right know-how, resources, and experience can be trusted to deliver the heater designs required for a wide array of applications. That’s what JenTer Technologies possesses as a reliable source for silicone rubber, Polyimide, and Aluminum Foil flexible heaters.

For information about the custom flexible heating elements we offer at JenTer Technologies, call us today at 920.928.2022 or use our contact form to leave us a message.

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