It may seem like a difficult decision to make. They both transfer heat via infrared – reaching high temperatures and providing an almost instant source of heat – but they perform differently. If you’re in need of a little advice and guidance, the team at Under Control Instruments (UCI) are always on hand to help identify the best heating element for you.
What are quartz heaters?
Quartz heaters are a type of heating element which use infrared technology. The element itself is comprised of a series of quartz tubes, which run parallel to each other and contain a coiled resistance wire. When this wire is heated up, the heat is subsequently emitted (via medium wavelength radiation) and absorbed directly by any nearby objects. The working temperatures is between 450-750 deg C which suits the majority of applications and sits nicely between short-wave and far-wave.
This is often the preferred source of heat when rapid heat response is needed and, as such, quartz heaters are often used for plastic thermoforming and high-speed processes that has several tooling changes thought out the day.
How efficient are quartz heaters?
Quartz heaters are one of the most efficient types of heating element available. They convert 100% of the electrical energy used into heat. All parts come fully encased in a steel housing, which prevents heat from escaping from the back of the device.
What’s more, they only heat specific areas and objects (rather than the entire surrounding area) and rapidly reach the desired temperature. As a result, heat energy is never wasted.
How much do quartz heaters cost?
This will depend on two main factors, including the size of your chosen quartz heaters and the quantity that you require. Here at Under Control, we currently offer quartz heaters in:
Our prices are incredibly competitive and we even offer a generous multi-buy discount. For example, buy 2-3 quartz heaters and we will take 2% off your order. Purchase 3-5 and we’ll take 7.5% off, 6-10 and we’ll give you a 10% reduction and so on. We also provide free delivery on all elements.
What are ceramic heaters?
Ceramic heaters also use infrared technology – albeit, in a slightly different way. An electrical current is first used to heat the ceramic heating elements. The heating type is called far wave infrared. This heating process operates at a lower temperature between 260-710 deg C. The wave pattern is more stretched out making it able to more easily penetrate the heating surface more easily and therefore better suited for thicker material types.
This type of infrared heating element is typically used for applications such as vacuum-forming and thermoforming, dryings paints and inks and industrial and commercial space heating.
Are ceramic heaters energy-efficient?
Ceramic heaters are not quite as efficient as quartz heaters. But they still offer approximately 96% infrared energy efficiency and reach high temperatures for a minimal cost.
How much do ceramic heaters cost?
This also depends on several factors, including the size and quantity chosen and whether you wish to add a K-type thermocouple to your order. Our half-size ceramic heaters (i.e. 125 x 62mm) are currently priced at £10.80 for just the heating element and £13.70 with a thermocouple. Full-size ceramic heaters (i.e. 245 x 60mm) are a little more expensive, costing £12 and £16, respectively.
Either way, they’re an affordable option for most applications. They also benefit from free delivery and, again, we offer a multi-buy discount – whereby the more you buy, the more you save.
4 factors to consider when choosing an infrared heating element
Although they cost around the same price to buy, it’s important to bear in mind, quartz heaters are more efficient than ceramic heating elements. They convert more electrical energy into heat. Less heat is lost and therefore – generally speaking – they are cheaper to run. It won’t make a massive difference to your electricity bill, but it is something to consider if you’re on a tight budget.
Quartz heaters lose their range after approximately 10-15ft. By contrast, ceramic heating elements can effectively distribute their heat further via far wave infrared as well as by the process called convection. Therefore, you must consider – where will your new heating element be positioned? What does it need to heat? Think carefully about its intended application and choose the element that best fits your needs.
You should be very cautious when using quartz heaters. Yes, they offer high levels of heat at high speed but are easy to break as the tube are made from quartz glass.– Ceramic elements are made from ceramic/porcelain so will take the odd knocks and easier to clean off.
Ceramic heaters reach optimal temperatures in 4-5mins; however, it is quartz heaters that have become renowned for their ability to heat up quickly. In fact, they heat up and cool down in less than half the time of a ceramic heater – making them the preferred option for fast-response applications.
Contact UCI today for an infrared heating element
If you would like to find out more about infrared heating elements, please feel free to get in touch with our team here at UCI. We have excellent knowledge in this area, stocking a wide range of quartz and ceramic heaters and can help to identify the best product for you.
All of our quartz and ceramic heaters are manufactured to the highest possible quality. Available at a competitive price, they offer excellent value for money, and are exactly what you need to maintain a comfortable temperature – without breaking the bank! So why not take a look today? If you have any questions about the quartz heaters or ceramic heaters that we stock, either call 0121 238 2795 to speak to one of our experts or send an email to email@example.com.