Flex Heaters

Thermofoil Heaters
PCR Flex Heater

Fralock’s heater technologies are unsurpassed in the industry, with solutions for a wide range of critical applications. We offer capabilities that satisfy requirements spanning many applications.

All Polyimide Adhesiveless Heaters – Flexible, Lightweight, Rugged
Our polyimide thermofoil heaters deliver reliable and precise heat exactly where you need it, when you need it, utilizing our unique thin, flexible adhesiveless proprietary design.

Fralock has developed a unique capability to produce multi-layer, all polyimide heaters with technology that uses no adhesives of any type. Other competing constructions use adhesives that form weak links with physical properties that interfere with the heaters’ conformation and reliability. By eliminating the structural weak links, Fralock heaters surpass historical limitations of traditional heater construction. We can help with design and fabricate of your heaters to fit a multitude of shapes, sizes, wattages, and with multiple heat zones, allowing more precise thermal control.

Structurally similar to our flexible flat cables and flexible circuits, thermofoil heaters incorporate etched metal tracings between two sheets or strips of polyimide material, and are ideal for applications that require complex shapes and contours, as well as those with tight space and weight constraints.

Polyimide heaters are thin and lightweight with excellent dielectric strength, multi-element redundancy, embedded sensing and an average 20% mass savings over classic foil heater construction utilizing adhesives. Polyimide heaters are preferred for applications with limitations on space, weight, and outgassing.

Polyimide Heaters Characteristics and Features
  • Abrasion resistant
  • Chemically inert
  • Glass transition temperature (Tg) of ~220°C (428°F)
  • Low CTE, 30 ppm in-plane at temperatures below -269°C (ASTM E831)
  • Meets NASA outgassing spec
  • Meets flammability requirements of UL94V-0 (UL file #E39505) and is inherently Halogen free
  • Maintains its mechanical properties at extreme temperatures, from cryogenic -269°C (-516°F) to as high as 220°C (428°F) for short duration
  • Monolithic polyimide construction with no adhesive weak points
  • Readily modified by machining, drilling, laser cutting, and chemical etching
  • Thermally and electrically insulating with a dielectric strength of 3500 V/mil
  • Tensile Strength, MPa (kpsi) >345 (>50) method 2.4.19
  • Elongation, %, >50, method 2.4.19
  • Key Advantages Fralock Fully Encapsulated AP Heaters Superior Thermal Response Time
  • Precise control to +/- .5° C Unsurpassed Reliability
  • High reliability over a wide temperature range -269°C to +220°C
  • Highest Power Watt Density to 200W/in2
  • Longest life cycle in typical operating conditions
  • Multi-Layer Adhesiveless Construction
  • Integrated Circuits
  • Integrated Shields
  • High Dielectric Strength – UL94V-0 (UL file #E39505) Dielectric strength of 3500 V/mil

Fralock’s proprietary technology allows us to produce heaters that are fully encapsulated with protective, durable DuPont TM Cirlex®, extending the life and capabilities. All-polyimide fully encapsulated designs provide unsurpassed reliability.

Benefits of Encapsulation Include:

  • Robust Handling: virtually eliminates fragility related assembly damage, rework and delays
  • Full Folding: may be folded over without damage
  • No solder joints or connectors: continuous panels to 120” and full folding can result in continuous lengths to hundreds of feet without unreliable connections
  • Fine Line/Trace and Spacing: to 1 mil, allows compact design
  • Low Mass: superior materials, lamination, trace/spacing and connector elimination yields lower mass
  • Exceptional Radiation Resistance: retains physical, thermal, electrical and isolation properties throughout extended mission life
  • All-polyimide bonding eliminates the adhesive interface where most problems occur
  • Full encapsulation eliminates the voids around metallic traces that create performance variables and structural discontinuities that affect durability
  • Laminate bond strengths exceed substrate properties that typically exceed 10 pli to metallic traces

Our flexible and rigid flexible PB meet IPC-6013d:qualification and performance specification for flexible/rigid-flexible printed boards.

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