Trace heating is installed on pipes and vessels to compensate for the rate of heat loss through the containment wall and its thermal insulation.
Trace heating will:
- protect your operations from frost damage
- raise the temperature of your product storage and flows where required
- maintain temperature of products within pipelines, tanks, vessels etc. during manufacture
- generally ensure that all vital product flows are kept moving and/or stored at the required temperature
- protect against frost on paths, fire escapes and steps
- leak detection on pipework
- keeps water above 55° C reducing risk of diseases e.g. Legionnaires
A typical trace heating system comprises of a thermostat, heating element, fixings, terminations and presence (warning) labels.
The heating element looks a bit like mains cable, it’s long and thin with plastic outer sheathing.
The self-regulating heating element in trace heating has two wire conductors separated within an encapsulation of semi-conductive polymer. In its raw form, this looks like a long thick strip of liquorice. The polymer is insulated and copper braid is woven around the outside of it. An outer jacket is applied for protection. When self-regulating heater is powered, a small amount of current is allowed to pass through the semi-conductive polymer. This has a heating effect.