Development of Protoypes of Novel Laminar Heaters

Lead Participant: Heat Trace Limited


Heat Trace is the technical world leader in the manufacture of self-regulating heating cables,
used primarily for heating pipes within the oil/gas market sector. The heating cables comprise
two stranded circular copper conductors embedded within a semi-conductive polymeric
heating material
For this project, the intention is the use of Heat Trace’s base technology to develop prototypes
of novel, laminar heating mats, which can be used into targeted markets, thus introducing selfregulating
technology for the first time into those markets. The objectives are to develop
laminar heating mats providing significant technical benefits, whilst having a lower
manufacturing cost than the current state of the art products
The major innovative benefit of self-regulating heating technology is that the heater is
incapable of overheating or burning out – as its temperature increases, so the heat generated
reduces, to a point where the heat output is zero whilst remaining within the maximum
withstand temperature of the heater’s constructional materials. Conversely, as the temperature
reduces, so the heater produces an increasingly higher power heating load. Such heaters are
inherently temperature-safe, and do not require thermostatic control.
The major challenge is product cost – the main markets to be addressed involve high volume
commodity pricing, where conventional heating cable pricing will be too high. Up to 80% of
the cost is in the two copper power conductors. This has been addressed by substituting the
expensive copper round wires with flat aluminium foils, thereby reducing the heating element
cost by 70%, resulting in very competitive products

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Heat Trace Limited, FRODSHAM £750,937 £ 250,000


10 25 50