Self-regulating trace heating cables were first invented fifty years ago by RAYCHEM. We’ve taken a look at the product’s history and its major benefits.
How did the technology reach the trace heating market?
The Raychem Corporation was the first company to successfully apply the new science of radiation chemistry to commercial use. In 1972 it patented and produced the World’s first commercially successful electric self-regulating heat tracing cable.
In 2019 nVent was recognised by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and inducted into their Milestones programme that honours significant historic achievements. Since its first introduction in 1972, they’ve sold a staggering 1.8bn ft in over 100 countries.
What are the major benefits?
This significant development in heat tracing meant that power output could be more regulated. The principle is based on a semi-conductive heating core that automatically adjusts its power output with a change in ambient temperature.
This means that self-regulating heating cables can control the temperature of pipework without overheating, making them perfect for applications such as frost protection.
In addition, they can be cut to length on-site without affecting the wattage and are easier to install. Crucially, it also helped to lower energy costs and has incredibly impressive robustness and lifespan.
Used across industry
The nVent RAYCHEM brand has been the market-leader throughout its history and continued development of the polymer technology has led to a raft of specialised products being brought to market. A perfect example of this is the HTV self-regulating cable. It features a breakthrough High Power Retention technology that enables it to retain a minimum of 95% power of maximum temperature after an astonishing 10 years and boasts a lifespan of more than 30 years.
Self-regulating heating cables offer higher levels of safety in hazardous areas and are often used in energy and chemical process industries. However, they’re as equally at home in commercial, residential, and infrastructure settings too. HWAT is one growing area in commercial environments such as hotels and care homes where utility savings and efficiencies are paving the way for a change to traditional flow and return systems.
Authorised distributors nVent RAYCHEM products
The brand is built on a history of quality, performance, and innovation and this has carried through to its distributor network. Diamond Controls, which operates Trace Heating Supplies, is proud to be an official distributor for nVent RAYCHEM products and has a team of Pro RAYCHEM installers for complete turnkey solutions.