Thick Film Hybrid Heaters


BHC develops and produces hybrid heating elements on behalf of customers. In many cases, these are heaters with integrated temperature sensors, usually because of the durability and quality, using the positive properties of ceramics, such as the breakdown voltage, stability, temperature resistance heat conduction and 0% moisture absorption.

The (thick film) hybrid circuits and the screen printing of pastes (including conductors, resistors, glass and polymer on ceramic substrates, which are then dried and sintered) were largely used for the aerospace, medical and automotive industries. They choose this because of its reliability, reproducibility, chemical resistance and temperature stability. However, this technique is also increasingly finding its way within the telecom, lighting, consumer, office and general industrial markets. You can visit our facilities in 's-Heerenberg to see how hybrids are made. Also take a look at our projects and markets to see the application possibilities.

Why a hybrid heater?


To determine this, we need to understand the properties of ceramics and the screen printing process (download the PDF with the substrate properties here). Hybrid technology is very eco-friendly because it uses materials that come from nature, and the product is recyclable and very sustainable. It’s an additive process (only material where you want it) so the heat can be generated where needed. By sending a high current through a resistor, it heats up; we use this heat to heat the medium. If it also must be measured, we can integrate temperature-dependent PTC resistors. With this, the temperature difference between a heater and a sensor is very small, so there isn’t an overshoot in temperature when the heater is adjusted. It’s very important with low temperatures specifically (such as with body temperatures) to keep all kinds of materials such as blood and reaction samples (for the medical sector for instance) at the right temperature for reproducible measurable results. The sensors are adjusted by means of a laser.
In addition, ceramics are more temperature resistant, more mechanically stable, have a higher breakdown voltage, have good heat conductivity for an insulator and do not age. We can solder wires, place connectors or make contact surfaces on these heating elements, so that assembly is easy. However, the fragility during assembly must be taken into account.
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