Applications of Tubular Heating Elements

Tubular heating elements are commonly used in industrial heating due to their versatility and affordability. They are used for heating liquids, solids and gases through conduction, convection, and radiation heating. Capable of reaching high temperatures, tubular heaters are an efficient choice for heavy duty industrial applications.

Applicaation of Tubular Heating Elements

What Are Tubular Heating Elements

Tubular heating elements are elements used for electric heaters. They are highly customizable, energy efficient and can be used for most heating applications. They can be made to just about any shape – most commonly round, triangular or flattened.

How Do Tubular Heating Elements Work

Tubular heating elements transfer heat through direct exposure to a liquid, solid, or gas. They are configured to a specific watt density, size, shapes, and sheath based on their specific application. They can reach temperatures of 750 degrees centigrade or higher when configured properly.

Tubular Heating Element Applications

Tubular heating elements are applied for three main types of industrial heating, conduction, convection, and radiation heating.

Industrial Conduction Heating

Transfer of heat using tubulars is very important when designing a heating system. Heat transfer from the outer sheath of the tubular element must travel to the areas of interest in its application.

The alloy of the sheath is important. This is because different alloys take on different properties for heat transfer. For example, steel is an excellent heat transfer material compared to stainless.

Industrial Convection Heating

With convection heating, the tubular element heats the air around. Then, natural convection currents transfer the heat to the intended medium. Tubular elements are able to dissipate heat extremely fast. This allows for the convection to heat the target product quickly. Convection allows for quicker heat penetration.

Convection heaters don’t use fans or motors. As such, they are quiet and are low maintenance. They can be used by themselves to heat a small space or in series for a larger space. Convection heaters allow for the heating of specific or isolated areas, which makes them an energy efficient choice.

Industrial Radiation Heating

Industrial radiation heating generates heat and radiates it over a certain area. The distance and angle of the supporting bracket inform the design. Placing reflectors at specific angles efficiently directs the heat where it is needed.

In industrial radiation heating, tubular elements are often preferred over quartz elements.  This is due to their rigidity, and durability. Wattco uses Calrod tubular heaters for producing radiant heat in an application due to their versatility and quick heat up times.

Radiation heating is commonly used in the medical, automotive, mining/oil/gas, construction, manufacturing, and thermoforming industries.

What Mediums Can Tubular Heating Elements Be Used For?

Tubular heating elements can be used for heating a variety of mediums including liquids, gases, and solids. Tubular heating elements in conduction heaters use direct contact for heating solids. In convection heating, elements transfer heat between a surface and a gas or liquid. In radiation heating, thermal energy is transferred by electromagnetic waves.

Tubular Heating Elements

Types of Tubular Heating Elements

There are a number of types of tubular heating elements. All of them can be customized to meet almost any requirement.

Singular tubular elements use a mineral insulated alloy sheath. This prevents splashing and vibration to allow for a longer service life.

A double tubular element is two series wired heating elements in reflection.

Hairpin tubular elements can come with moisture resistant terminal housing if used in a moist environment.

Quartz tubing, double quartz tube, and quartz lamp elements are used for horizontal mounting of tube fixtures.

Finned Tubular Heating Elements

Finned tubular heaters are used for ultimate efficiency and for humid or corrosive operating elements.

Advantages of Tubular Heaters


Precision is one of the main advantages of tubular heating elements. They allow for advanced temperature controls, better temperature maintenance, and precise heat transfer. Watt densities up to 120 WPSI are available and temperatures up to 750°C (1,382°F) can be reached. They have the flexibility to meet just about any application. The cold sections are also custom made to protect the terminals.


Extreme precision allows tubular heating elements to perform better and last longer. As a result, they are economical and efficient.

Compact Size

The compact size of tubular heating elements holds many advantages. Their smaller, and custom sizes make for easy installation. Their size also makes them easy to clean, maintain or replace. The ability to easily remove and replace these elements means that the production period does not have to be paused for long.


Tubular heating elements are available in different shapes and sizes, designed for optimal durability. The elements are factory-configured to the optimal size and shape for the specific application. Custom bending of diameters and radiuses allow for better performance by meeting the form, fit and functions of applications.

Get Tubular Heating Elements Today

Tubular heating elements are among the most popular industrial heating products. They are efficient, durable, and cost-effective. Contact us today to request a proposal or more information. Our team will help you customize the best tubular heating elements for your application.