Cartridge heaters are an important device that usually helps with maintaining heavy industrial processes, such as medical devices, plastic and packaging applications, analytical test instruments that are used on trucks, aircraft, and rail cars, and many more. These heaters are used for heating solid metal plates, blocks, and dies. It can also be useful with a vacuum atmosphere with proper design guidelines.
Cartridge heaters, when used in the wrong way, can easily get damaged and faulty. Mishandling can cause it to go haywire, which is why today, we are giving you some tips on how you should handle your high limit temperature controller and cartridge heaters.
Contamination and Fluids
Contamination is the number one killer when it comes to your cartridge heater. Make sure to keep it clear from hydraulic fluids, water, and moisture so it won’t break down easily.
The best way to avoid this is to keep your cartridge heater safe from moisture and other types of fluid. If you feel like this is not possible, then at least run the heater at a reduced voltage for a few minutes. This will help reduce the chances of the element shorting to its sheath whenever you apply full power to it.
Lead Failure Because of Too Much Heat
Too much heat can cause the lead to fail eventually. The average standard leads are only rated up to 842 degrees, so anything higher will cause the lead to malfunction.
To avoid this type of malfunction, make sure to reduce the wattage or increase the voltage ever so often. You can also use the cartridge heater configuration that comes with the unit, as this utilizes ceramic beads over its pin wires, which works as insulation.
Not Using it Properly
Of course, one of the killers when it comes to cartridge heaters is improper usage. Make sure that there is no part of the cartridge heater that is exposed to air while some of it is inserted in something that is conducting the heat away. If you do this, then the heater will most probably fail eventually.
If you ever need to have some part of the heater exposed, then ask the manufacturer or supplier to specify a cold section before ordering the unit.
Lead Failure Because of Too Much Movement
Too much movement can eventually cause the lead to fail, so make sure to use swaged leads rather than crimped leads. The difference between swaged leads and crimped leads is that the swaged leads are connected internally, while the crimped leads have a solid nickel pin wire exiting the cartridge heater.
Another thing that you can do is to use a flexible stainless steel hose, as this can help retard the wire’s ability to make repeated sharp bends.
Knowing your cartridge heater well will save it from being damaged soon after getting and using it. Always read the manual instructions and ask the manufacturer how you can make its lifespan longer. You can also ask them for tips on how to work with your cartridge heater. Good luck!