A flexible heater is a heater made by screen printing conductive busbars and resistive heating elements on thin material substrates.
Unlike traditional wire heaters, this innovative technology uses electrically resistive inks to turn current into heat. Through precise design and manufacturing, these heating elements can meet specific operating parameters.
Butler Technologies' printed heaters have a thin, flexible, and sometimes stretchable form factor, providing the end user with increased design freedom compared with other commercially available technologies. They can fit into tight spaces, conform to complex shapes, or even flex and stretch with the body when integrated into garments.
Thin: Most flexible heaters are 0.05 to 0.76mm thick (thinner than a human hair.) Unlike wired heaters, flexible heaters can be incorporated into applications so seamlessly that your user won’t notice the difference (except the heat!)
Fixed resistance heaters are made from conductive silver ink traces and bus bars* printed on top of a substrate. Their resistance value changes very little, or stays “fixed”, as the voltage drives electrical current through the silver traces, causing them to heat up. By managing the heater’s voltage, resistance and current, we can design the heater for specific temperature requirements.
Fixed resistance heaters offer consistent heater operation during garment stretch and are the ideal solution for wearable applications.
*Except in the case of busless designs
Top Cover Layer: The TPU cover film is added for extra protection. Covers can be clear or customized graphics like logos.
Heating Element: Specialty resistive carbon, silver, or blended inks
BusBar System: Silver conductive inks send electricity through to the heating element
Base TPU Film: TPU is most common for its ability to stretch and conform to its user. The back can also have a hot-melt adhesive for easy application to fabric garments.
Fabric: The fabric layer is optional.
With all the different customization options and use cases, it might seem overwhelming.
Contact our expert team today and take the pressure off yourself.