Galvanized Heating Conductors
Electrical heating conductors are being used as trace heating units for many applications. Connecting the heating conductor as closely as possible with the main body often poses a problem. Usually, the heating conductor gets firmly placed unto the main body on top of, or, if possible, into grooves.
This, however, causes only partial contact and therefore bad thermal conductivity. It can be improved by soldering, but the heating conductor’s stainless-steel case tends to wet incompletely and can suffer from overheating.
Electroplating can help with all those disadvantages. A flawless connection between electro-deposited copper, heating conductor and main body are the main conditions here. All parts must go through different preprocessing according to their base material.
We’ll exemplify the advantages of electroplating on a charge exchange channel for negative Helium ions, a so-called Lithium Oven.
This Lithium Oven (see illustration above) must be heated up to 600°C as quickly as possible.
The American producer coiled the heating conductors around the copper cylinder and fixed them with clamping sleeves. Due to the bad contact between main body and heating conductor the research operations were interrupted frequently, which not only left the personnel with a constant feeling of insecurity but also the loss of the heating conductor itself.
The end-user, the institute of solid-state research Jülich, proposed to have the heating conductors embedded in galvanized copper. This resulted in a heating time that was four times as quick as before and a service duration that was ten times higher, too.
Advantages of Electroplating
Almost any metallic base body can be fitted with a heating conductor and galvanized afterwards. Plastic parts can be coated with a metallic layer and get heated that way as well. The plating happens at room temperature, therefore, warping and changes in firmness don’t happen.
Partial plating is also possible; parts that are not supposed to get another coat, get covered and spared.
An even more optimal temperature distribution can be achieved by placing the heating conductors further apart, making use of transverse conductivity.
Thermal conductivity of GT-copper: 350-400 W/m x K
Advantages of galvano-t
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