What is heat tracing and why use this form of heating?

What is heat tracing

A mineral insulated heating element is an electric heater that consists of two different wires. A conductive wire is connected to a resistance wire, both insulated with high quality magnesium oxide, and covered with a corrosion resistant sheath material. The conductor ensures a safe connection of the heater and bridges the distance from the connection point to the process. The resistor is in contact with the process that needs to be heated up.

The resistive heat tracing elements heat up to the required temperature when electricity flows through them, thus regulating the temperature of the fluid in the system.

As such, by using heat trace systems, temperature maintenance is ensured even in the most extreme temperatures and atmospheres.

The use of a series resistor in our heat tracing elements, allows for an almost unlimited variety in voltage/wattage/cable length configurations within the cable’s physical operating limits.

The maximum length is variable and depends on the sort of heater. For example, a heat tracing element can go up to 200 meters. The outside diameter of a heater can vary from 1.0 mm up to 13 mm. Single and dual core series heating resistance cables are available.

Solution for temperature maintenance and heat loss

  • their excellent insulation which is provided by the highly compacted mineral layer. This means that there is no heat loss at very low temperatures.
  • furthermore, the compaction eliminates unnecessary weight and volume allowing for faster response times
  • they are able to withstand the influence of very high environmental temperatures. For example: a fluid can be kept at as much as 800°C in an environment with an exposed temperature of up to 1000°C
  • MI heat tracing cables are ideal for high voltage applications, up to 750V
  • they provide a constant power output independent of temperature variations, up to 300W/m
  • MI heat tracing cables are extremely strong and durable. When appropriately configured, these heaters can even withstand long term exposures in the core of a power nuclear reactor with negligible deterioration.
  • they are flexible and easily bent to any desired configuration (up to 2.5x the sheath diameter), allowing the heat to be provided exactly where required and thereby avoiding hot and cold spots.
  • a corrosion-resistant sheath material is used (such as stainless steel, Inconel600, or Alloy 825) which means the system can be protected from corrosive environments and aggressive chemicals.