Advantages and Drawbacks of Heating Jackets

Friday January 25 2019

Heating jackets are unique thermal management solutions that are typically tailored for specific components in a research or manufacturing facility. They are custom-built with the end-use conditions in mind, usually incorporating a thermally-efficient fiber-reinforced fabric with flexible, functional coating materials inside and out.

Glas-Col offers three proprietary heating jacket solutions to provide active heating or improve the insulation of devices as varied as pipes, regulators, vacuum chambers, valves, and more. Our heating jackets are comprised of either a glass fiber textile with silicone coatings or a high-temperature composite of glass fiber with an external layer of fiberglass. Each of these offers tailored thermal management for research facilities.

In this blog post, we will explore the advantages and drawbacks of heating jackets in further detail.

High Versatility Insulation

Heating jackets are made to customer specifications that may be as basic as a simple sketch or as detailed as fully-realized computerizations. This is beneficial for complex systems, such as pipework, that are experiencing unacceptable levels of heat loss. It is also ideal for components that cannot be serviced with off-the-shelf heating solutions such as an insulating top or thermal tapes.

Glas-Col’s fiberglass construction heating jackets are available with insulation thicknesses as low as 1/2”. This enables the fabrication of lighter-weight and lower profile jackets for components with tight geometric constraints.

Exceptional Efficiency and Long Service Life

Glas-Col heating jackets are complete solutions comprising a heating element, electrical connections, and a proprietary fabric composite. They can generate operating temperatures of up to 600°C (1112°F) with a potential watt density of 12 w/in2. This translates into highly uniform heating across the full surface area of the component, distributing heat evenly throughout internal materials and eliminating the risk of localized overheating.

The high-efficiency levels of heating jackets combined with their tailored fit guarantees an extended service life compared to standard or retrofitted heating elements and insulation. Alternative solutions may succumb to gradual mechanical fatigue due to local variations in device architectures, which can limit the efficiency of thermal management. Heating jackets are engineered to precisely fit individual instruments, guaranteeing long-lasting performance.

Drawbacks of Heating Jackets

One possible drawback of custom-built heating jackets is that they cannot be removed and used for alternative applications like heating cords and tapes. The extent to which this can be considered a disadvantage depends on the cost associated with thermal losses from components, and the planned service life of the insulated components.

Heating Jackets from Glas-Col

Glas-Col has a wealth of experience in the development of novel heating and insulation systems for laboratory facilities of all scales. Our heating jackets were developed to meet the unique requirements of distinct scientific facilities, including cleanroom requirements and lower temperature applications.

We can provide a quick quote for a heating jacket solution based on your measurements. Or, if possible, we will send a representative to measure your components to ensure the closest possible fit for the end-product.

If you would like a quote on one of our heating jackets, simply contact us directly.