Mica band heaters and ceramic heaters are two options used in thermal applications, but both provide very different benefits to the user. The following differences can help you determine which option is best for your needs.
The most significant difference between mica band heaters and ceramic band heaters is the temperature level. Mica band heaters typically tap out at about 800 degrees, though some options can reach 900 degrees. However, when they are used at these high temperatures for prolonged periods, it can greatly affect the life of the heater.
A ceramic band heater can reach temperatures up to 1200 degrees. Though you still should not keep your ceramic band heater on high at all times, the ceramic design is capable of withstanding these temperatures for longer.
Each product’s life expectancy will depend specifically on your care and maintenance of the product. However, it’s worth noting that the wiring and design of ceramic band heaters is more durable than the mica band design. Therefore, ceramic options are expected to last longer.
Mica band heaters are made of thin sheets of mica, an element that is used in many industries. These thin sheets are cheaper to produce than the ceramic knuckles of ceramic band heaters. Therefore, mica band heaters are typically the less expensive option.
When considering the price, though, it’s important to think beyond the initial price. While mica band heaters are cheaper, ceramic heaters usually last longer. Therefore, the cost of replacements can be in the same range as the initial cost of the ceramic band heater.
An important benefit to mica band heaters is that they can be customized. You can have them cut in various shapes and sizes to suit your needs. Ceramic band heaters, on the other hand, come in standard sizes – usually in ½ inch increments. There are little to no customization options.
If you are looking for specific sizes and features, a mica band heater is the better option for you. However, if a standard size and shape are all you need, a ceramic heater might be the answer.
Both ceramic band heaters and mica band heaters can help you achieve your thermal application goals. However, each offers specific benefits that you should consider when deciding which option to purchase. If you are uncertain of which to choose, you can speak to a thermal application specialist for advice.