The benefits of our portfolio of patented PTC conductive inks on flexible substrates
November 4, 2020 at 7:00 AM
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Our PTC heating technology portfolio has evolved over the past 6 years - developed with the goal to provide safe and efficient heating products globally. Compared to traditional carbon fiber or wire options, PTC heating is safer, more reliable, and it can be used in a variety of applications, from healthcare equipment to automobiles.

In this article, we’re exploring how this technology works, and we’re sharing the benefits of using PTC heating technology on flexible substrates.

What is PTC heating technology?

Traditional heating technology uses elements like coils or carbon fibers to generate heat. With this type of technology, an electrical current flows through the coil, and the electrical energy is converted into heat, which then radiates from the heating element.

For example, if you look inside a toaster and see glowing coils or ribbons, this is exactly what’s happening. While this technology has been used for years, it comes with many challenges, such as overheating, uneven heating, higher energy consumption, and more.

PTC heating, which stands for “positive temperature coefficient,” solves many of these challenges. PTC heating technology uses conductive ink that is printed on flexible materials. As the name suggests, conductive ink is a material that conducts electricity. It essentially allows you to draw or create working circuits on thin materials and textiles, such as polymer-based substrates. The ink is typically infused with graphite, silver, or other conductive materials.

Moreover, PTC heaters are self-regulating and use “positive temperature coefficient” materials, which means that the electrical resistance increases whenever the temperature increases. In other words, this self-regulating material restricts the electrical current when temperatures rise, and it allows more current to pass when temperatures decrease. Because it runs open-loop, there is no need for external diagnostic controls.

More on utilizing PTC heating technology on flexible substrates

PTC heating technology has opened up a new world of opportunities for manufacturers. Since substrates are so thin and flexible, this makes it possible to include heating elements virtually anywhere, without the need for bulky coils.

Here are some of the main benefits of using PTC heating technology on flexible substrates:

  • Safety: Safety is a major concern with any heating element. Because PTC heaters act as their own sensor, they virtually eliminate the risk of overheating, which is traditionally associated with coil and carbon fiber heaters. They also have built-in fail safes: the failed part will simply stop drawing the electrical current, allowing the rest of the heater to continue functioning.

  • More uniform heating: Traditional heating technology often leads to cold spots or uneven heating. PTC heaters independently maintain an ideal temperature, resulting in an even distribution of heat at all times.

  • Lightweight: Did you know that PTC heaters can be as thin as 0.005 inches? Their flexible, lightweight design makes it possible to install heating technology in a wide variety of products, from automobile seats to wearable devices. Since they can withstand more abuse, such as folding and creasing, they are also very durable.

  • Environmentally friendly: Manufacturing a PTC heater creates much less waste compared to traditional heaters. They also use less power than traditional heaters, and they are very energy efficient.

  • Temperature & Resistance: Our patents are based around the ability to achieve a wide variety of "switch temperatures" which is critical during the design phase of any development project. Moreover, our inks reveal a high multiplification of resistivity when compared to other inks in the industry - another patented feature.

  • Design Flexibility: Contact us with your PTC Heating application, and we can DESIGN and MANUFACTURE your PTC solution.

Contact us about our patented PTC heating technology

New business development opportunities that involve our PTC design and manufacturing capabilities are run through our sibling company, Nuova Heat. You also may get in touch using our parent company website to learn more.