Your Reliable Heat Trace Manufacturer in China

Jiahong is a Chinese heat trace producer with 25 years of experience in both ODM and OEM. As the only listed manufacturer (870541) In China, we focus on mass production of commercial, residential and industrial heating cables, and Our annual export ratio exceeds 80% of China’s total heating cable exports. Most of the American and European brands, Distributors, and other importers have always been sourcing from Jiahong.

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    Accessories Supports

    Complete accessories for any heating products are available.

    Complete Certificates

    All the products have been approved by both the Europen and American Testing institutes.

    10 Years Warranty

    Self-regulating Heating Cables have 10 years super long warranty.

    Fluoropolymer Insulated

    High Quality Leading Brands' Fluoropolymer.

    Design & Technical Support

    Technical team and design team provide free supports at any time.

    Full Heating Cable Categories

    Products cover all popular heating categories in Europe & North America.

    Professional Functions Test

    Complete range of quality tests in our own lab according to the CSA standards.

    PTC Core Technology

    The only manufacturer that holds PTC technologies in China.

Heat Trace Cable

Heat trace is a special cable which provides outward thermal compensation. Also, used for different purposes like maintenance of industrial processes, in pipes, and vessels’ protection from freezing, melting of snow and ice in gutters and dams respectively. Generally, the heat trace enhances industrial productivity while protecting pipes from bursting. Jiahong is always dedicated to providing a safe heat tracing solution.

Complete Heat Tracing Solutions

Since 1993 to date, the Heat Trace manufacturer uses the OEM and ODM technologies to produce heat tracing cables for both the local and the international market. You get the most common trace cables especially in America and Europe.

Maximum maintaining Temperature: 65°C (150°F)W/M @10°C:  11, 17, 25
Maximum Exposure Temperature: 85°C (185°F)W/FT @50°F: 3, 5, 8
Voltage: 208-277V, 110-120VApprovals: EAC, UL, CE.

Heat trace is a term that refers to the use of specific cables that have been designed to assist in regulating the heat of substances that flow through a pipe. Even though the original design was implemented in order to assist in the regulation of water, as well as other types of liquids

Maximum maintaining Temperature: 65°C (150°F)W/M @10°C: 11, 17, 22, 25, 37
Maximum Exposure Temperature: 85°C (185°F)W/FT @50°F: 3, 5, 6, 8, 10
Voltage: 208-277V, 110-120VApprovals: EAC, UL, CE.

Heat trace is a term that refers to the use of specific cables that have been designed to assist in regulating the heat of substances that flow through a pipe. Even though the original design was implemented in order to assist in the regulation of water, as well as other types of liquids

Maximum maintaining Temperature: 65°C (150°F)W/M @10°C: 11, 17, 22, 25, 44
Maximum Exposure Temperature: 85°C (185°F)W/FT @50°F: 3, 5, 8, 10, 12
Voltage: 208-277V, 110-120VApprovals: CE, CSA, ATEx, UL, ETL, EAC, IECEx.

Heat trace is a term that refers to the use of specific cables that have been designed to assist in regulating the heat of substances that flow through a pipe. Even though the original design was implemented in order to assist in the regulation of water, as well as other types of liquids

Maximum maintaining Temperature: 65°C (150°F)W/M @10°C: 17, 30, 45, 60
Maximum Exposure Temperature: 85°C (185°F)W/FT @50°F: 5, 10, 15, 20
Voltage: 208-277V, 110-120VApprovals: EAC, CE, IECEx, CE, and ATEx.

Heat trace is a term that refers to the use of specific cables that have been designed to assist in regulating the heat of substances that flow through a pipe. Even though the original design was implemented in order to assist in the regulation of water, as well as other types of liquids

Maximum maintaining Temperature: 65°C (150°F)W/M @10°C: 11, 17, 25
Maximum Exposure Temperature: 85°C (185°F)W/FT @50°F: 3, 5, 8
Voltage: 208-277V, 110-120VApprovals: EAC, UL, CE.

Heat trace is a term that refers to the use of specific cables that have been designed to assist in regulating the heat of substances that flow through a pipe. Even though the original design was implemented in order to assist in the regulation of water, as well as other types of liquids

Maximum maintaining Temperature: 65°C (150°F)W/M @10°C: 11, 17, 25
Maximum Exposure Temperature: 85°C (185°F)W/FT @50°F: 3, 5, 8
Voltage: 208-277V, 110-120VApprovals: EAC, UL, CE.

Heat trace is a term that refers to the use of specific cables that have been designed to assist in regulating the heat of substances that flow through a pipe. Even though the original design was implemented in order to assist in the regulation of water, as well as other types of liquids

Maximum maintaining Temperature: 65°C (150°F)W/M @10°C: 11, 17, 25
Maximum Exposure Temperature: 85°C (185°F)W/FT @50°F: 3, 5, 8
Voltage: 208-277V, 110-120VApprovals: EAC, UL, CE.

Heat trace is a term that refers to the use of specific cables that have been designed to assist in regulating the heat of substances that flow through a pipe. Even though the original design was implemented in order to assist in the regulation of water, as well as other types of liquids

Maximum maintaining Temperature: 65°C (150°F)W/M @10°C: 11, 17, 25
Maximum Exposure Temperature: 85°C (185°F)W/FT @50°F: 3, 5, 8
Voltage: 208-277V, 110-120VApprovals: EAC, UL, CE.

Heat trace is a term that refers to the use of specific cables that have been designed to assist in regulating the heat of substances that flow through a pipe. Even though the original design was implemented in order to assist in the regulation of water, as well as other types of liquids

Maximum maintaining Temperature: 65°C (150°F)W/M @10°C: 11, 17, 25
Maximum Exposure Temperature: 85°C (185°F)W/FT @50°F: 3, 5, 8
Voltage: 208-277V, 110-120VApprovals: EAC, UL, CE.

Heat trace is a term that refers to the use of specific cables that have been designed to assist in regulating the heat of substances that flow through a pipe. Even though the original design was implemented in order to assist in the regulation of water, as well as other types of liquids

Maximum maintaining Temperature: 65°C (150°F)W/M @10°C: 11, 17, 25
Maximum Exposure Temperature: 85°C (185°F)W/FT @50°F: 3, 5, 8
Voltage: 208-277V, 110-120VApprovals: EAC, UL, CE.

Heat trace is a term that refers to the use of specific cables that have been designed to assist in regulating the heat of substances that flow through a pipe. Even though the original design was implemented in order to assist in the regulation of water, as well as other types of liquids

  • Jiahong Owns A Complete Range Of Certificates For Any Market

    (Input our company name "Wuhu Jiahong New Materials Co.,ltd" to check our certificates)
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    UL Certificated

    UL is one of safety testing companies approved by the U.S. Federal Agency Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

    CSA Logo

    CSA Certificated

    As an authoritative Canada Testing Institute, CSA organizes explosion-proof testing and regular testing for heating cables.

    ETL Logo

    ETL Certificated

    ETL Certificate is a basic safety testing report in the U.S. and widely accepted by any big super brands and importers in whole North America.

    IECEX Logo

    IECEX Certificated

    The objective of the IECEx System is to facilitate international trade in equipment and services for use in explosive atmospheres while maintaining the right safety level.

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    CE Certificate

    CE Certificates are widely accepted in the whole of Europe as a basic product quality requests. It is a common performance and function test.

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    TUV Certificate

    German TÜV certificates commit to strengthening confidence among consumers about a product's safety, quality and sustainability attributes.

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    ATEX Certificate

    ATEX certification is a safety guarantee for electrical equipment that is used in hazardous environments. Accepted by the European Union.

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    EAC Certificate

    The Eurasian Conformity mark is a certification mark to indicate products that conform to all technical regulations of the Eurasian Customs Union.

Why Jiahong’s Heat Trace

Jiahong is a leading Heat Trace Manufacturer in China, producing 40,000 meters of Heating Cables in a Day.

  • Top 1 Industrial Heating Cable Exporter in Asia-Pacific
  • Complete Testing Reports for Any Markets
  • Fortune 500 Professional Manufacturer
  • Professional Technical Support

Contact Jiahong Support Team

Heat Trace Cable: The Ultimate Buying Guide

Heat Trace CableHeat trace cables have become a standard option for providing heat compensation in pipes and vessels, and have several benefits to add over some of the other options that are available, such as thermal insulation. Industrial, commercial, and residential settings can all benefit from the use of a high-quality heat tracing system, due to the various purposes that such a system can fulfill.

Even though a typical application for home use, commercial use, and also for industrial setups, many companies, and even homeowners do not thoroughly understand the benefits that they can obtain from using a heat trace cable system.

We decided to compile this guide as a way of providing an extensive overview of how heat trace systems work, what type of applications these systems can be of assistance with, and how individuals can go about setting up such a system in their home, office building, or even a manufacturing plant.

We will look at what heat trace is, how these systems work, how they are designed, and also consider which option is best for different types of applications with heat trace systems.

Chapter 1: What Is Heat Trace

Heat Trace

Heat trace is a term that refers to the use of specific cables that have been designed to assist in regulating the heat of substances that flow through a pipe. Even though the original design was implemented to help in the regulation of water, as well as other types of liquids in a tube, these systems are now used for other purposes as well, such as de-icing and the prevention of snow building up on a driveway in residential areas.

Different types of heat trace cable systems have been developed to provide more specialized functions. While industrial facilities and setups have initially made use of heat trace cables and heat tracing systems in cases where freeze protection, temperature maintenance, and the prevention of cavitation was needed, commercial and residential systems have also been developed in more recent years.

Today, there are also different ways that heat trace systems can be installed, ranging from DIY installation systems to more professional systems that need to be established by individuals who are highly trained and experienced in the field of heat trace cable management.

Properties Of Heat Trace Cables

Heat trace cable systems are somewhat different than your traditional thermal insulation systems. It is crucial to understand these differences to know when a heat trace cable will be a more appropriate solution for a setup where heat regulation features are needed within pipes, as well as in other applications where heat trace cables may be utilized.

The properties of a heat trace cable tend to depend on the specific type of cable system that will be used. To determine the most appropriate cable type that should be utilized, a variety of factors will need to be taken into consideration. The purpose of the system’s installation would be the primary factor that should be accounted for in cases where you wish to determine the best heat trace solution for your setup.

When freeze protection is required, a different setup will be needed than cases where you would like to utilize a heat trace setup for reducing the risk of gas condensation, or when requiring a temperature regulation in a system where certain chemicals are transferred through pipes, such as phosphoric acid or sulfur.

In cases where a custom system is developed for tracing pipes and vessels, the first step would be to consider the current loss of heat suffered by the system. This would have an impact on the specific properties that the heat trace cable will present.

Generally, a heat trace system will include an appropriate heat cable, which can be constructed with a tinned copper grounding braid, a polyolefin overjacket, or a fluoropolymer overjacket. Insulation will be applied to areas where the heat trace cable will be utilized – this will help to prevent a loss of heat during operations further.

The cable may feature different types of insulation materials, depending on the specifications of the system and the kind of heat regulation features that are required. In some cases, a standard pipe strap system is used. In other cases, however, fiberglass tape, nylon cable ties for interlocking, and aluminum tape may be used instead.

A heat trace cable system will also feature a control system that will ensure appropriate heat regulation is achieved with the cable and the entire setup. The control system plays a crucial role as it provides the temperature does not rise too high but also ensures the temperature does not become too low, which would ultimately void the actual function of the heat trace system that was installed.

The control system may sometimes include a thermostat as well, allowing for the temperature to be detected and monitored at all times. The thermostat can also provide the added functionality of temperature control to the system. Modern control systems, such as the IntelliTRACE Control modules, allow for more precision in terms of controlling the heat trace cable, due to the inclusion of a microprocessor.

Advantages Of Heat Trace Cables

Several advantages are provided to specific applications over other options that may be available for heat regulation. Business owners, homeowners, and individuals in charge of setting up systems within manufacturing plants are advised to be aware of the potential advantages that are offered by heat trace cables to make a more informed decision in terms of the specific system that should be installed.

To truly understand the advantages of heat trace cables, you would have to consider the different types of these cables that are available on the market. Each has specific properties that should be taken into account that will ultimately add to the list of benefits that can be achieved.

For example, with a constant wattage heat trace cable, you get the advantage of having a single power input, along with the fact that the cable can be cut off at an appropriate point without any issues. These systems also offer an extended life cycle compared to some other thermal insulation systems, and they come with built-in UV resistance. They are also able to resistant high and robust chemical substances, and they are appropriate for heating pipes in hazardous areas.

Chapter 2: Types Of Heat Trace

Types Of Heat Trace

Over the last few decades, different types of heat trace cables have been designed to provide more specific functionality in specific sectors. While some of the more traditional options that were used in the 1900s are still available, more advanced systems have been developed to assist in the heating of pipes, tanks, vessels, and other objects where a heat trace system can be implemented.

Three of the most common heat trace systems that are used in the modern day include:

  • Self-regulating heat trace cable
  • Series constant wattage heat tracing cable
  • Parallel constant wattage heat trace

In this chapter, we are going to take a look at the most common kinds of heat trace cables and systems that are used today, and also consider the most appropriate applications and uses for each type. When it comes to implementing such a system, whether in a residential, commercial, or industrial setting, it becomes crucial to understand how each model operates thoroughly, the pros and cons of each type, and what the most appropriate uses for each heat trace system would be. This way, a business or property owner can be sure that they will choose the most suitable option for the setup that they require, whether it is to melt ice on the driveway or to heat asphalt.

2.1 Self-Regulating Heat Trace

In the modern day, self-regulating heat trace systems have become one of the more commonly used options in terms of producing heat in a variety of settings. Thus, we will start by looking at what a self-regulating heat trace cable is and how such a system work, as well as the different practical uses for this type of heat trace system.

2.1.1 What Is Self-Regulating Heat Trace?

The term “self-regulating heat trace cable” was given to these systems by the original inventor. The term is really used to describe how the cable works – a self-regulating heat trace cable can regulate the power running through the bus wires to produce an appropriate heat, based on factors such as external temperature that affects the cable. In some cases, a thermostat and control system may also be added to self-regulating heat trace cable system to help the user gain more accurate control over the temperature of the cable.  In the majority of cases, such additions are added to a heat trace cable system when used in industrial settings. The majority of residential and commercial policies do not necessarily require such accessories.

Temperature limitation helps to prevent the cable and the entire system from reaching a certain temperature. The specific maximum temperature that each wire is capable of depends on the specifications of the cable and the whole system. The idea behind this limitation that is placed on temperature is to help avoid the heat trace cable from overheating – in cases where a heat trace cable overheats, it may become damaged. By limiting the temperature to a heat level that will not cause damage to the cable, the risk of damaged cables due to overheating can be effectively prevented.

These cables can achieve this goal by regulating the flow of electricity through the system. While the cable is heating up and while it remains at a specific temperature, power will continue to flow through the cable. At the point where the temperature becomes too high, the flow of electricity is halted. This occurs before the cable reaches a temperature that is hot enough to cause damage to any part of the heat trace system.

2.1.2 Structure Of Self-Regulating Heat Trace

A standard self-regulating heat trace cable consists of four essential components and, in some cases, an additional fifth material that provides added protection and helps to prevent moisture, which could interfere with the functionality of the cable.

The four primary materials that need to be part of a self-regulating heat trace cable include bus wires in the center, surrounded by a conductive core, plastic insulation, and metal braid. In addition to these four essential materials, some of the self-regulating heat trace cables that are available on the market tend to include an addition outer lawyer, which is often referred to as the plastic outer jacket.

Each of these layers plays a different part in ensuring the cable can function normally and provide the adequate temperature limiting features that are required from a self-regulating heat cable; thus preventing overheating and potential complications from occurring due to such an event.

https://oemheaters.com/topic/self-regulating

Let’s take a look at each of these layers to understand better how a self-regulating is constructed and how exactly such a system tend to function.

  • Bus Wires: The bus wires are located at the center of a heat trace cable and are an essential part of such a system, as these wires are what connects the heat trace cable to a power source, ensuring that electricity can run through the cable to produce the required heat.
  • Conductive Core: The conductive core surrounds the bus wires and plays a crucial part in the functionality of any self-regulating heat trace cable. This particular layer is what contributes to the “self-regulating” features that this type of trace heating system offers. The conductive core is made from a specific kind of plastic material that is known to be electrically conductive when the surrounding temperature is low, but when temperatures rise too high, it becomes an insulating material. The material is sometimes referred to as PTC, also known as “Positive Temperature Coefficient.” Basically, with this type of material, resistance increases along with temperature. As temperature rises, less electricity is conducted through the cable.

Apart from the bus wires and the conductive core, the rest of the layers that make up a self-regulating heat trace cable are added for protection. The plastic insulation that is located between the conductive core and the metal braid, for example, helps to provide insulation between the outside of the cable and the live-current that is constantly running through the cable.

2.1.3 Practical Uses For Self-Regulating Heat Trace

There are several types of applications and scenarios where a self-regulating heat trace cable would be the ideal type of heat tracing system to be used. As with any setup that requires a heat trace cable, it is essential to consider the pros and cons of each type and to match a specific type to the functions that need to be performed by the system.

In case of a self-regulating heat trace cable, one particular factor about these systems are very beneficial – and that would be the fact that these cables tend to become more conductive in colder temperatures – remember the fact that the conductive core can adjust according to the heat?

One of the ideal uses for self-regulating heat trace cables is in environments where freeze protection is required. Many scenarios may require freeze protection – in residential and commercial settings, as well as in some industrial settings. For example, during the winter months, a homeowner may need freeze protection on their roof and in gutters, as well as on their driveway.

With a self-regulating heat trace cable, the electricity that runs through the bus wires will become more conductive when the weather is cold – especially in cases where ice and snow occurs. In these cases, the cable will automatically become warmer than in other conditions, allowing the ice to melt effectively. Once the temperature rises again, the cable will become less conductive, which will reduce the heat.

2.2 Constant Wattage Heat Tracing Cable

Constant wattage heat trace cables have also become a popular option in a variety of applications, and provide a set of different pros and cons that should be taken into consideration when trying to determine if this is the best solution for a specific purpose. While these cables tend to share some similarities to a self-regulating heat trace cable, they are not equipped with a conductive core that allows the flow of electricity to be regulated based on the temperature.

2.2.1 What Are Constant Wattage Heat Tracing Cables

Constant wattage heat tracing cables are made in such a way that, as the name of these cables implies, a constant wattage is produced throughout the entire cable. With a self-regulating heat trace cable, temperature affects the wattage and flow of electricity in the cable. This is not the case with a constant wattage heat trace cable. The result is a consistent output throughout the cable, regardless of external conditions – the temperature is usually controlled through an installed control panel system, equipped with a thermostat, and will remain at the specified temperature while connected to a power source.

The downside to using a constant wattage heat trace cable over a self-regulating option is primarily the fact that this option cannot increase resistance when the temperature of the pipe or cable itself rises too high. With this in mind, the same level of protection against overheating and damage is not provided. There are, however, specific scenarios where a constant wattage cable is the preferred option.

2.2.2 Structure: Single Conductor Vs. Twin Conductor

When it comes to buying a constant wattage heat tracing cable, it is essential to consider the fact that there are different types of these products on the market. Two terms that you may come across while looking at the various options include “single conductor” and “twin conductor.”

Graphic: The Structure of Constant Wattage Heat Tracing Cables

This term is mainly used to provide an overview of the conductor that is used inside of the heat trace cable, and they are pretty much self-explanatory, but understanding the differences between them is important to ensure the right option is installed in a particular scenario.

With a single conductor, only one conductor wire will be placed on the inside of the heat trace cable. With a twin conductor option, one wire is usually present, but it is folded in half; thus, the same wire will run through the heat trace cable twice. These wires are often referred to as filaments, inside the trace cable. These two cables are usually lined up right next to each other.

Twin conductor heat trace cables are often used with lower voltages than single conductor options, but these cables are also known to provide improved heating power. Thus, to determine the most appropriate option, it is essential to take into account factors such as the voltage of the power source that will be connected to the heat trace cable, as well as the power output requirements and heat level that will be needed from the heat tracing system.

With a single conductor cable, a power source needs to be connected to both sides of the cable. When a twin conductor cable is used, on the other hand, power is often only combined at one side of the cable, since a complete circuit is formed when the wire inside the cable is folded in half.

2.2.3 Practical Uses

Constant wattage heat trace cables have many potential uses and are often a preferred option in areas where consistency in the temperature expelled by the cable is needed under all weather and temperature conditions. Similar to a self-regulating option, some people do tend to opt for a constant wattage heat trace cable system when it comes to freezing protection. The downside here, however, would be the fact that the cable’s resistance will not automatically adjust according to the temperature of the cable, as well as external temperature conditions.

These cable systems are often also utilized in vessel heating, as well as in process temperature maintenance setups.

2.3 Parallel Constant Wattage Heat Trace

Parallel constant wattage heat trace cables have many similarities to share with a standard constant wattage heat trace cable but provide the addition of a parallel wiring system on the inside of the cable for a more stable and even distribution of the electrical current.

2.3.1 What Is Parallel Constant Wattage Heat Trace?

Graphic: the Structure of Parallel Constant Wattage Heat Trace

With a parallel constant wattage heat trace cable, you get a cable that is very similar to what a constant wattage heat trace cable would look like. There is one crucial difference, however – on the inside of the cable, you will find two conductors that are designed to be perfectly parallel to each other. One is a phase conductor, and the other is a neutral conductor. In addition to the parallel design of these two conductors, a particular type of conducting material is also added between the two conductors. The result is an even distribution of heat throughout the cable.

A parallel constant wattage heat trace cable can also be cut to size, ensuring that the cable’s length can easily be adjusted to the area where the cable will be installed. Once cut, insulin around the bus wire will need to be removed, which will allow the heating wire and the bus wire to be connected.

Chapter 3: How Do Heat Trace Cables Work?

How Do Heat Trace Cables Work

Understanding how heat trace cables work is an essential part of installing such a system – a thorough understanding of the underlying functionality and actions ensure that you will be able to select the adequate selection of cables, controllers, thermostats, and other equipment that should essentially form part of the heat tracing system.

In this chapter, we will take a closer look at how exactly heat trace cables work, how they are constructed, and what particular functions to look for when utilizing these systems in different types of applications.

3.1 Principle: Self-Regulating Vs. Constant Wattage

The two main types of heat trace cables that you will find on the market in the modern world include self-regulating and constant wattage options. We have already discussed the underlying functions of these heat trace cables and looked at how they are constructed. Now, let’s consider the primary differences between the two and see how they compare against each other.

Constant wattage heat trace cables are often considered a more cost-effective solution when it comes to installing a heat tracing system – such as in cases where heat maintenance is required in a vessel or tank, or perhaps a cable system where certain liquids will move through. Self-regulating heat trace cables are often more expensive to install but have the added benefit of automatically adjusting the resistance to electricity and wattage according to the temperature at any given point within the cable.

Self-regulating heat trace cables are often preferred in cases where the external temperature may fluctuate. An excellent example of a scenario where a self-regulating option would be ideal is when it comes to installing a heating system in a driveway or perhaps gutters in areas where it frequently snows, as well as where temperatures decline to the point of freezing.

A self-regulating heat trace cable offers, as the name of the cable suggests, regulation over the temperature that is emitted from the cable itself. The cable is equipped with appropriate materials that are able to adjust the output of power based on the internal and external temperature that affects the cable. Additionally, with a self-regulating heat trace cable, the materials are also able to prevent overheating, which means there is a much lower risk of damage dealt with the cable due to excessive heating.

A constant wattage heating cable, on the other hand, instead provides consistency of the wattage throughout the entire cable. A thermostat, along with a control system, can usually be connected to such a cable to regulate the amount of power that is pushed into the bus wires of the cable. In turn, this gives the user complete control over how much heat the cable will be transmitting. The wattage will then be consistent throughout the entire cable to ensure heat is distributed evenly.

In these situations, external temperatures may also rise and cause damage to the heat trace cable system when the appropriate restriction to wattage is not applied, which occur in cases where a self-regulating heat trace cable is used.

There are, however, many cases where the limitations applied to the cable’s ability to heat up is not required, but rather constant supply of a set temperature would be needed for functions – such as when a liquid need to be transferred in pipes that turn solid when it reaches a specific temperature.

3.2 Heat Trace Cable Functions

Heat trace cables have several functions to serve in different settings. The general idea behind these cable systems is to produce a specific level of heat, which is applied to the cable itself, and then transferred to a surrounding object, which can be a vessel or a pipe, as well as other types of objects. In many cases, there will be a specific type of substance within this object, such as powders, liquids, or gasses, but there are times where heat needs to be applied to environments where no internal content needs to be heated, but the heat is rather applied to an external area, such as in some instances of freeze prevention.

Temperature Process Maintenance

Temperature process maintenance is a term that is used to refer to applications where a heat trace cable is used in settings that do not specifically require freeze protection. With this type of application, the heat cable system will have a temperature that is higher than the water’s freezing point. There are various examples of how temperature process maintenance systems are utilized in industrial settings. For example, certain types of liquids like oils, polymers, waxes, Sulphur, and monomers all rely on appropriate temperature process maintenance heat trace systems to remain in a liquid form during transportation to the appropriate locations, where they will be removed from the heat to be converted into a solid.

Freeze Protection

Freeze protection refers to systems where a heat trace cable is used in order to prevent water and certain types of liquids from freezing and turning to ice. There are many potential uses for freeze protection systems – these systems are commonly used in residential settings, but can also be effective solutions for specific commercial and industrial applications. Freeze protection heat trace systems are often installed in construction sites, as well as in institutional buildings.

In systems where freeze protection is required, a plastic or metal pipe will be lined with the appropriate heat trace cable. The heat trace cable will then produce heat inside the pipe to prevent the temperature of the pipe from becoming too low.

Different types of heat trace cable systems can be used in settings where freeze protection is required. Both self-regulating and constant wattage heat trace cables can be effectively used in such scenarios, but it is always important to take the specific settings of the application where the cable will be used into account. When constant wattage heat trace cables are used, it is important to consider the layout of the system in order to avoid the cable overheating and becoming damaged due to excessive heat production.

Viscosity Control

Another common function where a heat trace cable becomes a handy tool in various settings, particularly in industrial environments, would be for viscosity control. Viscosity refers to the thickness or the consistency of a particular material, in the form of a liquid. Viscosity control is a technique where heat may be applied to the specific liquid material, which may be in a container or in pipes, to reach a specific viscosity level.

It is well-known that thicker liquid materials, which means those with a higher viscosity, tend to be more substantial compared to the same material in a thinner form. A thicker material leads to more energy requirements to effectively move the material through pipes, perhaps from one container to the next. This also means costs on the side of the factory or facility is higher, due to the excessive need for energy.

Wax, plastics, syrups, oil, and many other types of molten materials are known to be much thicker when they are at a cold temperature. To bring down their level of viscosity, heat trace cables offer an effective way to increase the heat of these liquids without applying direct heat to the materials. With direct heat, the overall quality of the material may be adversely affected, and this may lead to a degradation of the material. When a heat trace cable system is used instead, the fact that indirect heat is applied to the material leads to a reduction in viscosity, without causing the material to degrade.

Chapter 4: Heat Trace & Heat Tracing System Application

Heat Tracing System Application

Heat trace systems can be used in quite a significant variety of applications. There are uses for these systems in industrial settings, commercial settings, and also, in some cases, residential settings. It is important for potential users and customers to thoroughly understand how a system that utilizes a heat trace cable would ultimately be used to produce certain advantages in their specific setting.

This will help the potential user identify both pros and cons that should be associated with the use of a heat trace cable for their particular requirements – and allow them to determine if a heat trace cable system would be the more appropriate solution for them.

Basic Applications Of Heat Trace

We will start by considering some of the most basic and, in these cases, the more common potential uses for heat trace systems in various types of application. While these are often considered to be some of the more popular uses for these systems, we will, later on, discuss a more extensive list of possible applications where a heat trace system can undoubtedly be a useful addition.

Industrial Heat Tracing

There are many cases where heat trace systems would be an ideal solution for certain types of industrial settings. There are three particularly popular settings where a heat trace system is used in the industrial market – these may include:

  • To apply heat to liquids, which can help to prevent the fluids from freezing, as well as help to reduce the liquid’s viscosity, ultimately leading to a thinner substance that can be transported through a pipe system more accessible, without the need for such large amounts of power.
  • To apply heat to certain types of powders, which can help to reduce or sometimes even completely eliminate the risk of condensation that can occur from equipment walls. When condensation happens, it can cause the powders to clog up the equipment and may also sometimes affect the quality of the product.
  • In some cases, heat may also be applied to certain gases in an industrial setting. This type of application is used to help reduce the risk of hydration, which can be caused by a reduction in pressure that occurs in the pressure applied to gas at specific points, such as valves.

There are also many examples where these particular applications for a heat trace system can become useful. Let us consider a few examples of how a heat tracing system can be used with liquids, powders, gases, and in other instances, within an industrial setting, of course.

  • Heat trace cables can be used to heat oil pipes that are used to provide heat to ovens. This is a good option for industrial baking plants where foods are prepared in bulk.
  • To reduce condensation in containers where flour is stored, heat trace cable systems can be used to provide adequate heat within the container, especially in the walls of the equipment used to store the flour.
  • Research projects can utilize heat trace systems to heat viscous liquids, such as gases and liquids, that are used in experiments or in specific formulas that are being prepared.
  • Some pharmaceutical companies may utilize a heat trace system design to assist with heating certain liquid materials that are used in the preparation of specific medication and other products that are produced. This is especially the case when a specific product requires the addition of stearates, tallows, and waxes.
  • Heat trace systems may also be used to heat certain materials that will be used in the process of preparing certain food types. These food materials may include molasses, honey, malt, jams, sauces, and sugars.

These are only a small number of examples of how heat trace systems are often implemented into industrial settings to produce a specific function. There are many more examples where these systems can be used – road construction, the fertilizer industry, power generation stations, and many other industries take advantage of heat trace systems on a day-to-day basis to function appropriately.

Roof And Gutter Deicing

In colder weather conditions, such as during winter, a common problem faced by both residential and commercial clients would be freezing of their gutters, as well as their roof. This can lead to several potential problems. Think about when it rains – in cases where channels are frozen, water will not be able to flow through the gutters effectively. Many complications may be faced in cases where a roof and accompanying gutters become frozen due to exceptionally low outdoor temperatures.

Heat trace systems are often used to assist with these issues. There are different ways in which heat trace cables can be used to prevent gutters and roofs from becoming frozen during these low temperatures. With roof and gutter deicing, different types of heat tracing systems can be utilized, but, in most cases, a customer would prefer a self-regulating system. With a self-regulating system, the temperature in the cable will be more effectively regulated based on the outdoor temperature.

In cases where the temperature drops to the level where roof and gutter freezing may occur, the temperature of the cable will effectively start to increase. This ensures adequate heat is produced on the roof, as well as throughout the gutters, to help prevent freezing. When the temperature outside increases, such as on a day where the sun is out, then the temperature of the heat trace cable will be reduced. This can help to prevent overheating and prolong the overall lifespan of the cable system.

Pipe Freeze Protection

Pipe freeze protection is another potential use for a heat trace system. There are a large variety of possibilities when it comes to using heat trace cables to prevent pipes from freezing. This is especially useful in cases where gases are transferred in a piping system, for example. When temperatures in the piping system become too low, the gases are at risk of freezing. The same goes for other forms of materials, such as liquids.

In cases where these materials are transferred through pipes and freezing occur, it can lead to a significant halt in production, as well as possibly interfere with the quality of the materials that are being transferred.

A heat trace system can be aligned with a piping system to help reduce the risk of these materials freezing in colder temperatures. With pipe freeze protection, different types of heat trace system designs can be used, depending on the specific elements that are being transported, if any, and ensuring adequate production of heat in all circumstances.

Snow Melting

In cases where snow may become a problem, the installation and usage of a heat trace system can also be useful. There are, again, multiple uses for this particular application of a heat trace system. One of the most common areas where a heat trace cable system is used to melt snow and prevent freezing at the same time applies to both commercial and residential settings.

When snow collects on a driveway, it can make driving difficult – sometimes causing significant delays in a person’s ability to get from home to the workplace. This can lead to late meetings. In commercial cases, snow collection in a parking area means customers will not be able to have an adequate location where they can park their car.

With a heat tracing system installed in the driveway or perhaps the parking area of a commercial building, snow can be melted on command. With certain applications, such as when a self-regulating heat system is used, heat can be regulated according to the temperature. In such a case, the heat expelled by the heat trace system will increase as the external temperature increases – this means when it snows outside, and the temperature decreases, the heat trace cable’s temperature will start to grow.

This can help to automatically keep the driveway free of snow and ensure a person can leave home in the morning without a buildup of snow on their path interfering. At the same time, this type of application would provide the driveway or parking zone of a commercial building would be free of ice and snow at all times.

Heat Tracing System Application

Now that we have looked at the most common reasons why a heat trace system is used in commercial, industrial, and residential settings, we would like to expand a bit to take a look at a more extensive list of applications for these particular systems. As mentioned previously, there are many ways that a heat trace cable can be used to produce heat inside or on the outside of specific equipment or environments to prevent freezing, reduce viscosity, and to provide other functions that may become crucial for certain features to be performed.

Commercial Areas & Residential Areas

Heat trace systems have become very common in industrial areas, as well as residential use. Many homeowners are starting to turn to these systems to prevent their gutters from freezing, to ensure snow does not build up on their properties, among other potential uses. The same goes for commercial clients.

  • Pipework Freeze Protection: With pipework freeze protection, several types of liquids and gasses can be effectively transported between containers, without the risk of low temperatures causing these pipes to become frozen and interfering with either the consistency of the substance being transported or the overall quality of the content. The heat trace cable will usually be laid throughout the entire pipe to produce heat in the whole system. A consistent heat setting will typically be applied throughout the pipe to avoid regulations in temperature, which could alter the quality of the transportation rate of the liquid at some points throughout the system.
  • Maintenance Of Water Temperature: In some commercial, as well as residential settings, water temperature needs to be maintained at a certain degree. In these cases, different types of solutions may be utilized to produce the desired results. Many companies, as well as homeowners, are turning to heat trace cable systems to reduce their overall costs, while still being able to gain access to a system that can effectively regulate and maintain the temperature of water in tanks, pipes, and other areas in and around the building. With water temperature maintenance, a constant wattage system may be used to set the temperature to a specific degree without alterations due to outside sources. When regulation of the water temperature is required instead, a self-regulated heat trace system may be used, to ensure temperature can be adjusted accordingly.
  • Fuel Tank Heating: Heat trace systems may also be applied to fuel tanks to produce heat. There are various applications where this particular use can become beneficial, ranging from ensuring fuel stored in a container outside will not reach a shallow temperature, which may cause freezing, to providing fuel is heated at all times for more accessible transportation, among other particular functions. A constant heat may be applied to the exterior of the fuel tank to keep the internal content at a specific temperature in most cases. In addition to using heat to the fuel tank itself, in some cases, the customer may also choose to extend the heat trace cable system toward transportation systems where the fuel can be extracted from. This ensures a constant flow of fuel toward the desired location with no interference from freezing temperatures.
  • De-Icing Of Gutters And Roofs: Iced gutters and roofs in both commercial and residential settings can be exceptionally unpleasant. This can cause many complications, often causing businesses to delay their opening times and homeowners to be unable to leave home for work or another momentous occasion they may need to attend. With a heat trace system laid out in the gutters and pipes leading directly from the roof, de-icing becomes a possibility. These systems are usually self-regulating heat trace cable systems – this ensures no risk of overheating in cases where temperatures outside may reach high levels.
  • Prevention Of Snow And Ice On Residential Properties: In residential areas throughout locations where snow is shared, the buildup of snow, as well as ice, on properties – including the lawn, the porch, and often, more importantly, the driveway. Heat trace cables may be laid in these areas to prevent the buildup of both ice and snow. This is one of the more common uses of heat trace systems in areas where temperatures often reach below freezing point.

Industrial Areas

In addition to being very useful in both residential and commercial cases, heat trace systems also play crucial roles in many industrial areas. It is crucial for industrial organizations of all industries to carefully consider the benefits that they may obtain when turning toward a heat trace system, as well as which particular types of these systems may be most useful for specific scenarios in their setup. Below is a list of some potential uses for heat trace systems in industrial settings.

  • Pipework Freeze Protection: Similar to commercial settings, many industrial organizations need to transport many types of liquids and gasses through piping systems. This may include the transportation of fuel, bread fat, water, and even detergents. Heat trace systems would then be laid out according to the pipework to prevent freezing. At the same time, the heat trace system may sometimes be used to ensure the content that is transferred through the pipes can be heated to a specific temperature – the temperature may then be maintained. This can make the transportation of substances like waxes and syrups much easier. The bakery industry, pharmaceutical industry, fuel industry, and organizations in many other industries can greatly benefit from this type of application.
  • Long Distance Pipelines: Pipelines that run several miles on end may be at risk of low temperatures at some points, as well as a fluctuation in temperatures throughout the pipes. There are some cases where a consistent temperature may be required – such as when certain types of liquids or gasses are transported over a long line of pipes. In these cases, a constant wattage heat trace system may be of use. In such a case, the heat trace system would be laid out throughout the entire pipeline to produce a consistent heat setting throughout the system.
  • Internal Pipe Tracing: Internal pipe tracing includes laying out a heat trace cable within a pipe. There are different examples of where this particular application may be useful – such as de-icing, freeze protection and, in some cases, even to produce a specific heat setting toward substances and materials that may be transported through the pipe that will be tracked internally.
  • Vessels And Tanks: Tanks and vessels often act as storage units for important substances and compounds that may be used in industrial settings. Think sugars in the baking industry, for example. Fuel and oil, dyes and inks, paints, and many other types of substances may be temporarily stored in a tank or vessel until they are required throughout the manufacturing process or baking process of a specific product or item. Heat trace cables can be aligned around the tank or vessel to produce heat – the heat will then be distributed internally inside the tank or vessel. There are various reasons why a heat trace system may be used in such a case. Some liquids need to be kept at a specific temperature to keep them a liquid and avoid the liquid from turning into a solid, for example. In cases where powder-based compounds are stored in a vessel, the heat applied to the walls of the vessel or tank may help to reduce the risk of condensation – if condensation were to happen, it could cause blockages and even render the powder-based substance useless.

Chapter 5: How To Select Proper Heat Trace Cable For Your Projects?

Select Proper Heat Trace Cable For Your Projects

When it comes to setting up a new heat trace cable system, whether in an industrial setting, commercial setting, or on a residential property, safety should always be considered the primary concern when it comes to selecting an appropriate heat trace cable.

When appropriate measures are not taken in order to ensure the safety of a heat trace system, then there are several risks that a particular area will be exposed to – one of these being the risk of the system causing a fire, especially in cases where substances like certain gases, as well as liquids like fuel. These may not only cause a fire, but can actually explode, and put the lives of people in the area at risk.

While safety is the number one factor that should always be taken into account when a new heat trace system is designed, it is also important that other factors are accounted for as well. For example, the heat trace cables need to be made from appropriate materials and be of high-quality. This will ensure proper regulation of the heat produced by the cables, while also ensuring the cable can provide adequate functionality that a particular application will rely on. With a weak overall quality cable system, there would always be the risk that a cable will not produce enough heat – this, in turn, may compromise the quality of materials that are being stored in a vessel, or perhaps compounds that are transported through a pipe system.

The original design of the heat trace system also plays a significant role in determining whether or not the system would provide the desired functionality. The right type of heat trace cable needs to be selected – this may include a self-regulated heat trace cable, a constant wattage heat trace system, or one of the other options that we have already described in this guide. Furthermore, the layout of the cables should be determined before the actual installation process – this will ensure an adequate length of heat trace cable is purchased, avoiding possible delays and complications with the installation process.

Application Standards Of Heat Trace

While designing a heat trace system, regardless of the purpose that the system will have, it is crucial to understand that there are certain standards that have been set out. These standards, often referred to as heat tracing applicable standards, need to be followed throughout the entire designing and planning phases, and will also need to be closely considered while the actual system is being installed.

Various organizations and authorities set out the standards that companies and even homeowners will need to follow if they are planning to install a heat trace system on their properties. Some of the most commonly known standards that have been set out and that need to be followed in all cases where a heat trace system is designed and installed include:

  • Electric Heat Tracing for Hazardous Locations (IEC60079-30)
  • Electric Heat Tracing for Safe Industrial Locations Or Commercial Applications (IEC62395)

These are not the only ones that the designers, as well as installers, of heat trace systems, will need to be aware of. Some of the standards that have been set out are particularly related to hazardous locations where a heat trace cable system may be used. Others are rather related to aspects such as whether or not the use of the heat trace system will be for an industrial location.

When looking for suppliers of heat trace cable systems, it is also important to consider whether or not the appropriate authorities approve such cables. When approval from one of the governing bodies have been awarded to a particular cable system, then it means appropriate tests have been conducted on the cable and the cable has met the specific requirements set out by the association. This helps to improve the overall safety of the system that will be installed and also makes it easier to end up with a system that thoroughly follows the regulations and standards that have been determined for heat trace cable systems.

Hazardous Area

The majority of standards that are laid out and need to be followed through in terms of designing, as well as installing a heat trace system would be in regards to hazardous areas. The associations that govern these standards have focused on dangerous areas due to the many potential risks that heat trace cables may pose in such areas. There are different ways that hazardous areas may be classified, and each of these classifications has a set of separate regulations that always need to be followed to ensure the safety of the environment, as well as everyone who works in the specific location.

When it comes to an understanding these particular classifications, it is crucial to note that not all countries and even locations in certain countries follow the same process of classifying hazardous zones, as well as other specific regulations that need to be developed and categorized when it comes to installing a heat trace system.

There are also three particular elements that may affect how these classifications are made, as well as how a particular area where a heat trace system may be installed will be classified. The particular factors that are usually taken into consideration may include:

  • The specific classification of the general area where the system needs to be installed and utilized.
  • The gas or other particles that will be present in a specific location.
  • The equipment that will be utilized in the area – this does include not only the specific equipment related to the heat trace cable system but also other types of equipment that are generally used in the specific location.
  • The temperature classification of the area itself, as well as the compounds that are found within the specified region.

Hazardous Area Classification

Each particular area where a heat cable may be used should be classified – the classification will be taken into close consideration while the actual heat tracing system will be designed. There are different types of classifications that can be provided to an area – it should be noted here that not all areas where a heat trace system needs to be installed will be classified as hazardous. In cases where a space is not classified as hazardous in particular, less strict rules will apply to the overall design standards that need to be followed.

In cases where an environment is considered hazardous, especially when it comes to the use of a heat tracing system, the area will need to go through a review process and obtain a hazardous area classification. Different regions use different types of classifications here, but, in most scenarios, the area will be classified according to a zone.

Three main “zone” classifications may be applied to a specific area. These may include:

  • Zone 0: In most cases, a heat trace system will not be used in a hazardous area with a Zone 0 classification. These are considered relatively high-risk areas since explosive gases are usually present in the areas for extended periods. This greatly increases the risk of explosions and fires, which is why it is quite rare to find a heat trace system installed in such an environment. Should a heat trace system be installed in a region classified as a Zone 0 hazardous area, the maximum temperature will need to be regulated and will usually be extremely limited to avoid potential complications.
  • Zone 1: It is more common to observe a heat trace system installed in a hazardous area with a Zone 1 classification than it is to observe such a system in a Zone 0 hazardous area. In the case of Zone 1, explosive gases will mostly not be present for long periods of time. There may, however, still be some types of explosive gases in the are under normal working conditions in the region. Temperature regulation is also considered crucial in these cases, as there is still a risk of explosions, as well as fires, due to the presence of explosive gases in the air.
  • Zone 2: Zone 2 hazardous areas have a lower risk of explosions and fires since explosive gases will only be present within such a location in “abnormal conditions.” Thus, the presence of explosive gas in the air of a Zone 2 hazardous area is not considered normal – this means that it does not necessarily pose a threat. Still, when classified as a Zone 2 area, there need to be appropriate measures implemented to immediately bring down temperatures in cases where explosive gases may leak into the air in these abnormal conditions.

Apart from understanding these zone classifications, it is also important to note that gases are classified into different categories as well. This further guides in terms of which types of gases are considered more dangerous – the presence of such gases in a particular area may call for stricter regulations in the temperature exhibited by the heat trace cables.

Gases are, in most cases, classified as follow:

  • IIC: This class of gases includes acetylene and hydrogen primarily.
  • IIB: This class of gases may include town gas and ethylene.
  • IIA: This class of gases tends to include acetone, butane, methane, ethane, benzene, and propane, among others.

Temperature Classification

In addition to a hazardous area classification, another type of classification is required when it comes to installing a heat trace system in an environment – this is especially important in industrial settings where flammable gases are often found in the area, along with flammable substances, such as fuel and oil, being transported through pipe systems. The additional classification that needs to be taken into account is the temperature classification of the area.

The temperature classification refers to the maximum temperature at which the heat trace cable system should operate in order to prevent any safety hazards. When the cable reaches temperatures higher than what is described according to the area’s temperature classification, then risks will be present – such as fires, as well as explosions. This could endanger the lives of everyone working on the plant.

In the majority of cases, the lowest possible temperature for the particular application where a heat trace system is used will be considered the safest solution – but it should still be noted that the temperature classification needs to be accounted for, as the lowest temperature should be lower than what is permitted in the specific area.

The primary temperature classifications that can be assigned to a specific hazardous area tend to range from T1 to T6. T1 allows for higher temperatures, while T6 would be an area where more dangerous types of gases and other materials are present. In such a case, the maximum allowed the temperature of a heat trace system would be much lower compared to an area with a temperature classification of T1, for example.

In most cases, the gases that are present in an industrial area classified as a hazardous zone in a heat trace system design will have a temperature classification of either T1 or T2. This, however, does not mean these classifications apply to all areas – there is a reason why the temperature classification chart run up to T6 – as there are regions where more dangerous types of gases are present.

The maximum advised temperatures for each of the classifications when it comes to the temperature classification of an area is as follow:

  • T1: maximum temperature advised is 450 degrees Celsius.
  • T2: maximum temperature advised is 300 degrees Celsius
  • T3: maximum temperature advised is 200 degrees Celsius
  • T4: maximum temperature advised is 135 degrees Celsius
  • T5: maximum temperature advised is 100 degrees Celsius
  • T6: maximum temperature advised is 85 degrees Celsius

Even though these are the main temperature classifications often provided to an area where a heat trace cable is needed for specific purposes, it should be noted that certain classifications run in-between these. It depends on the specific area where the rating is provided – some countries and locations have their way of providing a temperature classification for a hazardous area.

Chapter 6: How To Manufacture Heat Trace?

How To Manufacture Heat Trace

The manufacturing process of a heat trace system can be complex, which is why it is crucial for the designer, as well as the electricians and other professionals involved in the installation, to thoroughly understand the entire procedure – what needs to be taken into consideration, what needs to be avoided, and what safety measures need to be implemented to avoid potential complications that may put those working in the area where the heat trace system will be used at risk.

During the manufacturing process, the safety of the entire system should be the primary concern amongst the engineers involved in both the design, as well as the actual installation process of the system. The particular area needs to be classified – either as hazardous or non-hazardous. This allows for appropriate steps to be taken, such as temperature limitations, in order to avoid potential complications. We already explained how these classifications work in the previous chapter.

Even when classified as a non-hazardous area or when the risks are low, certain safety protocols will still need to be implemented in order to reduce risks further and provide a safer overall operation when it comes to using the heat trace cable in a particular environment.

Three particular methods or techniques are used in order to provide a safer overall approach to ensuring a significant reduction in the risks associated with using a heat trace cable, especially in industrial environments. These techniques include:

  • To ensure the temperature of the heat trace cable will always be at a safe level. With this particular factor, the temperature classification and the hazardous area classification of the location where the heat trace cable will be used need to be taken into account.
  • The entire circuit needs to be protected against over-currents. In cases where no over-current protection is provided, the area is at risk.
  • Furthermore, protection against earth-leakage also needs to be implemented to avoid certain types of complications that may occur.

All three of these areas need to become part of a careful planning phase that will ensure each step is implemented in such a way to provide adequate protection and safety features.

Temperature Safety

When it comes to ensuring the temperature safety of the heat trace cable system that will be used, three particular methods can be utilized to provide the appropriate features required to achieve this goal.

The three options that can be selected, based upon what is available, the hardware that will be used, and the particular application of the heat trace cable itself, may include the following temperature safety solutions:

  • Inherently Temperature-Safe Heat Tracing Systems: This is one of the most preferred options that companies and engineers tend to opt for when it comes to selecting an appropriate temperature safety technique that can be implemented in the manufacturing process of a heat trace cable. Inherently temperature-safe heat tracing systems usually include the use of a self-regulating heat trace cable. These heat trace cables are manufactured in such a way to prevent the temperature of the cable from rising above what is considered the maximum in the environment where the cable is used. The idea behind these systems is to provide the highest temperature possible with the particular cable that will be used, in accordance with the standards set out by both the hazardous area classification and the temperature classification, in the safest way possible. With this type of system in place, it would essentially be impossible for the temperature to rise above what the maximum temperature setting implemented in the design of the cable.
  • Stabilized Design: Even though inherently temperature-safe heat tracing systems are often considered the preferred options in most scenarios, there might be cases where such a system is not available. In these scenarios, the next best option that can be utilized in the manufacturing process of a heat trace cable would be a stabilized design. This type of heat trace cable involves a very complex calculation, which is made in order to ensure the cable and the entire system can be used in such a way that it will always operate at a temperature that is lower than what is considered the upper limit in the area, according to the requirements and specifications laid out by the temperature classification. This type of system should only be manufactured and designed by a highly experienced engineer who has worked with a stabilized design in the past, since the calculations are considered to be very complicated – and any errors within the count may cause temperature levels to rise too high, leading to hazards and other risks.
  • Temperature Control: Temperature control is an alternative option that may be opted for in cases where both inherently temperature-safe heat tracing systems or a stabilized design is not available. This particular option is usually not recommended at all. This is because it is usually not considered as safe as the available alternatives – and, in turn, this can put the lives of people who are involved in the plant or particular facility where the heat tracing system will be used in danger. With a standard temperature control system, the heating cable will be connected to a temperature controller, often accompanied by a sensor that can help the system detect the current temperature of the cable. The current sent throughout the cable will then be regulated according to the temperature detected by the sensor. A maximum temperature setting can be configured in the sensor and the controller to avoid the system from overheating.

Protecting Against Circuit Over-Currents

Another essential factor that should always go into the planning process during the manufacturing, as well as the installation, of a new heat trace cable system, would be to ensure appropriate measures are taken to assist in protecting against circuit over-currents.

Different techniques can be used in order to provide adequate over-current protection on the circuits that run through the heat trace cables that will be used during the manufacturing process. The particular techniques and accessories that will be used somewhat rely on understanding the underlying heat trace system that will be used, including the specific temperature safety features that will be implemented. For example, different types of circuit over-current protection techniques will be needed to avoid the possibility of over-currents in a self-regulated heat cable compared to an option such as a constant wattage heat trace cable system.

A circuit breaker will need to be installed. Each of the circuits that will form part of the heat trace system needs a circuit breaker – this will help to improve the overall safety of the system and avoid over-currents in multiple areas.

Over-current protection is sometimes considered somewhat more difficult to be implemented with a self-regulated heat trace cable. This is because an in-rush current set to a high setting is present in the start-up part of this particular heat trace cable. This also means that the circuit breaker installed at the starting point of a self-regulated heat trace cable need to be highly rated, which can ultimately impact the overall safety of the cable and the entire system – leading to a higher risk of over-currents, for example.

An SSD SoftStart device is often recommended to produce a safer option in terms of manufacturing a new heat trace cable. This type of device acts as an add-on or accessory for a heat trace cable system and can assist in reducing the rush-in current that is sent through the cable once powered on. In fact, the use of an SSD SoftStart device can assist in reducing the rush-in current by an approximate 50%. This application can be applied to a self-regulating heat trace cable and will essentially make the cable a much safer option to be used, especially in industrial settings where the area may be considered as being hazardous.

Protection Against Circuit Earth Leakage

The third important technique or precaution that needs to be taken is to ensure adequate protection is provided against circuit earth leakage, which can become a hazardous problem in cases where protection mechanisms are not in place. Each of the circuits that will be used in the heat trace system’s design will need to be equipped with an appropriate earth leakage protector, as this issue can occur in multiple areas within the system.

In the majority of cases, the residual current of the heat trace system should operate within a 30ms rating and have a sensitivity setting that is adjusted to approximately 30mA. There are cases where an adjustment may be required to avoid potential complications. An example would be in the case where a longer heat trace cable is used – in this case, the overall sensitivity of the residual current will need to be lowered. Should the sensitivity not be reduced from 30mA, then it may lead to tripping, which can become an unpleasant issue in the working environment.

Other Factors To Be Taken Into Account

In addition to ensuring the overall safety of the heating cable that is being manufactured is taken as a priority during the design phase, as well as during the installation of the actual system, there are other factors that will also need to be accounted for.

The temperature required in order to produce a specific purpose is important. The individuals who are involved in the process of designing the heat trace system will need to understand the exact temperature that is needed by the liquid, gas or any other type of substance that may be heated through the trace cable – or in cases of freeze protection or de-icing, the temperature that will be needed in order to provide such functionality.

The cable’s temperature itself will need to be taken into account, but it is also important to take additional factors into account – such as heat loss compensation. There are some factors that may affect the amount of heat that will ultimately be produced by a heat trace cable – when compensation is not calculated into the design of the cable, then the setup may end up with a heat setting that is not appropriate for the specific purpose that the heat trace system need to play.

The size of a pipe where a heat trace cable will be lined is one particular factor that may cause heat loss. A larger pipe size leads to a more significant loss of heat. At the same time, the overall thickness of the insulation used in the heat trace cable itself will also have an impact on how much heat will be lost by the cable itself.

Different types of insulation – including thickness options – are used in heat trace cables. It is important to understand that some types of insulation will lead to a higher level of heat loss. The same goes for the overall thickness of the insulation – thicker insulation equals more heat loss.

Thus, when a significant amount of heat loss is expected, this should be calculated into the design of the heat trace cable. Compensation for such heat loss will need to be provided – this may yield higher internal temperatures of the heat trace cable to ensure the output heat level is adequate for the specific functionality that is required from the system.

At the same time, however, the compensation should not be exaggerated, as this may lead to exceptionally high levels of heat, which could become a problem in the area of ensuring the safety of the trace cable and the environment where the system will be installed.

Chapter 7: Top 5 Well-Known Manufacturers Of Heat Trace

Top 5 Well-Known Manufacturers Of Heat Trace

Many manufacturers have started to produce heat trace cables, along with appropriate accessories, throughout the world. As with any product, some manufacturers in the heat trace industry are better known than others. Additionally, not all of these companies can provide similar qualities and products that are durable and appropriate for hazardous environments. Any company interested in using a heat trace cable for various applications need to consider the trustworthiness of a manufacturer before they select the brand they wish to trust with their heat trace system.

No. 1 – Raychem

Raychem is a prevalent manufacturer that specializes in a wide range of equipment and products, including heat trace solutions. The company offers their heat tracing cables and systems under the brand name “nVent,” sometimes also called nVent Thermal. Their answers are often utilized for pipe freeze protection, process temperature maintenance, snow melting, de-icing, floor heating, flow assurance, and hot water temperature maintenance.

No. 2 – Jiahong

Jiahong has been a leading manufacturer of heat tracing systems, as well as heating mats, since 1993. The company has grown into a worldwide renowned brand and supplier of high-quality heat trace systems. In addition to providing standard heat trace systems, the company is also able to assist customers with customized solutions for specific and hazardous applications.

No. 3 – Thermon

Thermon calls themselves a process heating solution and is a manufacturer of heat trace systems where safety is the main priority, regardless of the application that the heat trace cable will be used for. This company primarily specializes in providing process heating and heat tracing systems to industrial clients and more giant corporations.

No. 4 – Nelson

The Emerson US brand produces the range of Nelson heat tracing systems. The products manufactured by the company focuses on providing solutions that are convenient in temperature maintenance, firestop solutions, as well as freeze protection. Nelson heat tracing systems are appropriate for hazardous areas and the focus on providing such solutions to industrial settings.

No. 5 – Heat-Trace

Heat Trace is one of the original manufacturers of these systems and has been in operation since 1974. The company has grown tremendously over the last few decades, and its products are now preferred in more than 50 countries throughout the world. Heat Trace specializes in a large variety of heat tracing solutions, including customized systems for complex projects.

Chapter 8: Common Heat Trace Accessories

Common Heat Trace Accessories

While the heat trace cable itself plays an essential role in the overall design of a system that is used for freeze protection, de-icing, temperature maintenance, or any other particular function that a heat trace cable may serve, accessories are often added to these systems to extend their functionality. The specific accessories that may be utilized depending on the functions required in the application where the heat trace cable is used. In some cases, a less significant number of accessories may be needed. In hazardous areas, however, there might be a need for more accessories to make the heat trace system safer in general.

Temperature Control (Thermostat)

A temperature control unit is most certainly one of the most common types of accessories that are included in a heat trace system design. There are different types of temperature control units available, but they all serve the role of allowing the user to adjust the amount of power that is sent through the cable. This will ultimately have an impact on the heat produced by the heat tracing cable.

In addition to providing an effective method for adjusting the specific temperature of a heat trace cable, many temperature control systems today can also offer a temperature limiting feature. A sensor will usually be attached to the pipe or other structure that is heated through the use of the heat trace cable. The sensor will report back to the temperature controller – a maximum temperature setting will be configured in the controller. In cases where the temperature rises too high and reaches close to the maximum adjusted temperature, power sent toward the heat trace cable will often be reduced automatically to avoid overheating and other complications that could occur in a heat trace system.

Connections

  • Power Junction Box: A power junction box forms part of a complete heat tracing system and is used to provide a relationship between a heat trace cable and appropriate power cables. This ensures adequate power can be submitted to the heat trace cable, leading to the production of heat by the cable itself.
  • Tee Connection: A tee connection is a piece of hardware that is used in a heat trace system to connect three cables together. Different applications may require the use of a tee connection, such as when cables with various wattage settings need to meet at one point, or when designing a heat trace system that will utilize different heater segments.
  • Splice Connection: A splice connection accessory is added to a heat trace cable in order to bring in a second cable connection. This connection accessory allows for two different cables to be connected to each other, including in cases where a connection need to be made between two cables with different wattage configurations.
  • End Seal: An end seal is usually utilized in situations where a specific part of the heat trace cable needs to be sealed. The seal will be molded to tightly fit the end part of the cable where it will be installed. This provides a relatively low-cost method of sealing a specific end part of a heat trace cable. Silicone rubber is the preferred material for an end seal. In non-hazardous areas, an alternative to a molded end seal would be a heat shrink seal. This is not a recommended option in hazardous areas, however, due to the need for a hot air gun during the installation.

Installation Kits

Different types of installation kits have also been announced on the market, each with a set of pros and cons that a client will ultimately have to take into account. Not all of the installation kits are ideal for every type of heat trace cable that might be available – some offer a more specialized use, while others can be utilized in a variety of applications and settings.

  • Pipe Strap: Pipe straps are commonly used to provide a secure connection between two cables, as well as to install brackets onto pipes that are used as part of the heat trace system design. Other types of components, including certain accessories, may also be secured into place with the use of a pipe strap.
  • Conduit Hub: A conduit hub is often used in combination with a junction box, but sometimes also with a device enclosure. This is an easy to install accessory in many cases and can be used to provide a connection between a cast enclosure or sheet metal, and a conduit.
  • Fiber Glass Tape: Fiberglass tape provides a similar solution for securing the connection of a heat trace cable to certain structures as a pipe strap. This is a cost-effective solution and provides a durable option compared to some alternatives.
  • Nylon Cable Ties: Nylon cable ties are also sometimes used for the purpose of connecting pipes and cables together, as well as for securing some types of accessories in place.

Chapter 9: DIY Installation Vs. Professional Installation Heat Tracing System

DIY Installation Vs. Professional Installation Heat Tracing System

While some clients may prefer the use of a DIY installation procedure, others would rather rely on the services provided by a professional company in order to avoid any complications and to ensure their entire heat trace system will work appropriately since the very beginning.

How To Install Heat Trace Yourself

Installing a heat trace cable through a DIY operation without the assistance of a professional is often considered a complex task. Not every client interested in providing a certain area with heat trace cables for the purpose of heat maintenance or another type of application will be able to install a heat trace system without any potential complications effectively. The client needs to ensure the appropriate accessories are at hand and that the right type of heat trace cable system is used for the particular purpose required by the application.

The first step would be to select an ideal heat trace cable option, which could include a self-regulated heat trace cable, or perhaps a constant wattage heat trace cable, for example. The heat trace cable will need to be lined accordingly, and the specific method of connecting the cable will depend on the use for the system.

Furthermore, accessories like a junction box, insulation entry kit, connection kit, and other options may be required, especially in cases where the environment may be classified as hazardous.

It should be noted that in the majority of cases, homeowners may rely on a DIY installation procedure when the heat trace cable is used for purposes on a residential property. In cases where a heat trace system is used in industrial or commercial settings, it is often better to have a professional perform the installation.

Calling Professionals For Installation

Due to the potential risks involved in the installation of a heat trace system, a large number of clients are rather choosing to call up a professional in their local region to have the system installed for them.

While a DIY installation may be an appropriate and cost-effective solution in residential settings, as well in some cases with commercial use of heat trace systems, a professional service should always be utilized in cases where a heat trace system will be used in an industrial setting. Many industrial settings have a hazardous area rating – when any components or parts of the installation contain errors, then the entire location where the heat trace cable is installed will be at risk of explosions and fires.

A professional experienced in the installation of heat trace cable systems understand the importance of an initial planning phase. During this phase, they will analyze the environment and take both the temperature rating and the hazardous area classification provided to the region into account. Once the professional has performed certain calculations, they will be able to provide extensive details on how the heat trace cable system should be installed – and they will be able to conduct the actual installation procedure.

Chapter 10: Heat Trace Package And Shipment

Heat Trace Package And Shipment

Shipment of heat trace cables will often be from a company abroad, especially when a client is concerned about both the quality and the overall safety of the equipment that is needed during the installation process. The top-rated brands that produce safer equipment and cables are often found in countries such as the United States. When an order is placed, these companies will need to ensure appropriate packaging are used for the heat trace cables.

The specific packaging used will depend on the equipment orders. In addition to being shipped to the client in appropriate containers, the heat trace cables will often be wrapped in order to keep the cables secure during transit.

Shipment depends from one company to another. Clients interested in having heat trace cables and accompanying accessories shipped to them should ensure they purchase these products from a trusted brand and that appropriate insurance is added to the shipment.

Final Words

Heat trace cables offer a convenient way for producing heat in a variety of settings, ranging from pipe freeze protection to the transportation of liquids, and even to assist with de-icing gutters and avoiding the buildup of snow on properties. While a very common type of system used in industrial settings, heat trace cables are often also utilized in standard commercial settings and even on residential properties.

Even though a very effective option for certain applications that require the use of heat in pipes, vessels, and other areas, it is also important that the safety of heat trace cable systems is taken into consideration. In some areas, the heat produced by such cables may lead to potential hazards. To minimize the potential of hazards like fires and explosions, appropriate preparations need to be made, and the temperature classification of the specific area should be kept in mind during the design and planning of the heat trace system.