Infrared Blog

Quartz vs ceramic heaters

Quartz and ceramic are two different types of infrared heating element. They each have their pros and cons and, when looking to buy, it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.

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 short to medium wavelength radiation) and absorbed directly by any nearby people or objects.

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.

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. Air is then passed over the warm heating elements and distributed throughout the room via the process of convection.

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.

3 factors to consider when choosing an infrared heating element

  1. Efficiency

Quite simply, quartz heaters are more efficient than ceramic heating elements. They convert 100% of the electrical energy used into heat, compared to 85-90% for ceramic heaters. In addition, all parts come encased in a highly reflective stainless steel housing, which prevents heat from escaping from the back of the device.

But be sure to keep in mind, quartz heaters lose their range after approximately 10-15ft. By contrast, ceramic heating elements can effectively distribute their heat around the room (via the process of convection) and are a great way to reach high temperatures using minimal energy.

  1. Safety

You need to be very cautious when using quartz heaters. Yes, they offer high levels of heat at high speed – but, in certain situations, this can be dangerous. For example, if the heat becomes too concentrated or is focused in a specific area, it could lead to burns or a fire. The heater itself should, therefore, be situated at least 3ft away from walls, furniture and other objects to avoid hazards.

Ceramic heaters are a much safer option. Their maximum temperature is 700°C and they have a handy mechanism which prevents overheating. The heating elements are enclosed within a ceramic core and, thanks to their ‘tilt detection’ feature, potentially dangerous situations can be avoided.

  1. Speed

Ceramic heaters provide an almost instant source of heat; however, it is quartz heaters that have become renowned for their ability to heat up quickly and perform at high speeds. 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 info@undercontrol.co.uk.

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