Cartridge Heater vs Power Resistor: Which is best?

Cartridge Heaters vs Power Resistors


Search online for the advantages of a cartridge heater vs a power resistor, and you’re unlikely to have much luck. There’s very little advice out there on this topic and you may be struggling to decide which type of heater best suits your specific industrial needs and applications. But there’s no need to panic! Here we compare the main uses and benefits of each, hopefully improving your knowledge and allowing you to make a more informed decision.

Power Resistors

Power resistors, also known as heat resistors, offer a reliable and controllable source of heat. They transfer this heat via infrared radiation or convection and therefore have a wide range of different applications; however, they are particularly useful when heat needs to be isolated or concentrated in a small area.

Their main advantages include their low cost, structural stability, and high-levels of accuracy. But these advantages are often outweighed by one major drawback. Due to the nature of their construction, heat resistors demonstrate high inductance and capacitance. This makes them unsuitable for high-frequency applications and significantly limits the extent of their use.

Cartridge Heaters

Cartridge Heaters offer an alternative method of heat transfer. Durable and compact, they are often used for heavy-duty applications such as heating injection moulds and die blocks, devices and components prone to condensation, and liquids.

They reach temperatures as high as 750°C and all heat energy produced is transferred into the metal solid – making it by far the most efficient way of getting heat into a metal body. Direct contact provides the best method of heat transfer, and with this in mind, cartridge heaters are designed to fit snugly into a diameter hole. Getting the right size cartridge heater for your application is imperative; if it doesn’t fit properly, it is likely to self-heat and eventually burn out.

Typically manufactured from the highest quality materials, this type of heating element will last much longer under normal working conditions. Clever temperature-sensing capabilities help to keep temperatures at a safe level, thus improving their overall utility and lifespan. Cartridge heaters also feature a protective metallic sheet to minimise oxidation.

Collectively, these characteristics and features work together to minimise energy loss and enhance effectiveness – ultimately resulting in lower electricity bills. This may not seem like a major advantage, but when you’re operating on an industrial scale it can make all the difference.

Which is Best?

The type of heater you decide to use should be dependent upon your specific industrial application and, in some instances, the power resistor may be the right choice for you. However, the benefits – and far-reaching applications – of the cartridge heater cannot be overlooked.

Here at Cartridge Heaters, we supply a complete range of imperial and metric heaters from any cartridge heater manufacturer. These include heaters of different lengths, sizes, shapes and wattages, so whatever your specific industrial needs, we are sure to have something to suit you.

Contact us today to find out how we could help you!

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