Pros and Cons of Flexible Heaters

Various industries, such as medical, packaging, plastics, food packaging and more, use flexible heaters to produce heat in certain areas to address specific heating requirements. These heaters utilize electrical currents to deliver heat while leveraging the mechanical properties of the substrate. Flexible heaters are in fact, what their name implies – they are bendable to a degree. As such, they are ideal for attaching to various surfaces, whether curved or linear. At Nexthermal, we offer Nextflex – the custom flexible heater solution you need when it comes to your industrial and commercial requirements.

Flexible heaters are manufactured in various ways, including with the use of etching, printed electronics, and wires. The manufacture of these heaters must comply with certain performance standards and additional requirements related to weight, shape, and size. It is vital to choose the proper type of flexible heater for a specific application. Manufacturers may offer various custom flexible heater options to fulfill specific customer application requirements.

Types of Flexible Heaters

There is an array of flexible heaters available in today’s market, including polymide flexible heaters, wire heaters, and silicone flexible heaters. Even though these heaters have some of the same characteristics, they are differing in keyways. Each custom flexible heater offers advantages to the end user. The major distinctions between these heaters involves their construction and the materials from which they are made.

Nextflex Heater

The Nextflex custom flexible heater is more similar in nature to a tubular heater than a traditional flexible heater.

Pros of Nextflex

The main benefits of Nextflex are its user-formability, same or next-day shipping making it ideal for the replacement of a failed tubular heater, exceptional durability and heating profile, and convenient markings at the center and cold sections that provide visual verifications for installation.

Con of Nextflex

The one disadvantage of Nextflex is that it is not usable in the open air as a tubular heater because that would cause burn-out.

Some of the key pros and cons of using other types of custom flexible heating elements are provided below:

Advantages of Other Flexible Heaters

The various advantages of using flexible heaters include:

  • Excellent thermal stability across a wide temperature range.
  • Thin and flexible form factor.
  • Resistant to moisture and chemicals.
  • Easy bonding to any surface.
  • Cost efficient.

Disadvantages of Other Flexible Heaters

Some of the cons of using flexible heaters include:

  • Sudden failure possible when folded or pinched.
  • Various temperature limitations with silicone and polymide flexible heaters.
  • Bend limitations for sharp radius.
  • Silicone flexible heaters are more expensive that aluminum foil and other heaters.

The ability of flexible heaters to adhere to any size or type of substrate, along with their flexing capabilities for various requirements makes them a highly effective tool for use in several different industry applications.

For information about the Nextflex custom flexible heater we offer at Nexthermal, give us a call today at 269.964.0271 or email us at

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