AMERY, Wis.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Reliatrace, Inc. has announced the issuance of US Patent No. 10,856,365 for a Self-Regulating Flexible Heating Device. The patent was awarded to Mark Ester, President and CEO of Reliatrace, and gives the company sole rights to combine its proprietary Double-Sided Polymer Circuitry (D/SPC(R)) with thermally conductive Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) ink printing for heaters and warming elements. This technology opens up a wide range of new options for design engineers and project managers working on products or parts where heat is required and needs to be held at a steady temperature. With this technology, the risk of overheating is greatly reduced compared with alternative heating methods using thermostats or other temperature controls.
Compared to traditional heating elements that use copper flex circuitry, wires or coils, Reliaheat(R) PTC heaters are screen printed, and the ink can be set to a desired temperature, eliminating the need for a temperature controller. These heaters are safer than alternatives because they will not overheat, burn or melt.
Reliatrace has used the past three years to develop and refine the “Reliaheat(R)” technology. The new patent provides the company with the exclusive ability to print PTC ink on the top side of a substrate, printing silver bus bars on the bottom side joining through vias in the substrate. This allows the heating elements to cover the entire top surface without any interruption from bus bars printed on the same surface as the heating print pattern. Other advantages include multi-zone heat capability, more consistent heat transfer in a smaller footprint, and a higher heat density when desired. In addition, these printed heating circuits are thin and flexible, creating the ability to conform to convex or concave surfaces, and they can easily be made weather and water resistant.
“Double-sided printed electronics have opened up new possibilities for innovation and combining this capability with PTC ink is a game changer, especially in industries where reliability is critical,” Ester shared. “We have more than 28 years of experience working in the medical and commercial equipment industries. We could see other applications for this technology including warming parts of the body, in research lab settings and other medical applications, heating parts of airplanes or equipment that are subject to freezing, battery warming, or heating liquids that need to be applied in winter.”
This Self-Regulating Flexible Heating Device has already been used in the beauty industry. It was embedded in a 4-inch by 4-inch palette used to warm hair coloring during the application process for more consistent results. Another innovative use is warming the lenses of outdoor headlamps. Since bulbs are being replaced with LEDs which do not give off heat, this solution ensures they remain frost-free.
While Reliatrace primarily works with B2B clients, earlier this year the company launched its first direct-to-consumer product using its patented Self-Regulating Flexible Heating Device in a new tool for bakers. The Raisenne Dough Riser(R) by Reliaheat(R) is a .032″ thick, 10.25-inch round disk that’s placed under a container holding dough to create the ideal temperature for a perfect proof in less time. The technology allows for a reliable alternative to a traditional proofing box that is less expensive and less bulky to store. Raisenne is available online at www.raisenne.com.
Founded in 1992, Reliatrace (formerly Graphic Display Systems, Inc. [GDSI]) is a custom printed electronics design and manufacturing company located in Amery, Wisconsin. The company provides printed circuitry which leads the industry in performance and reliability with its double-sided polymer circuitry (D/SPC(R)). It serves customers in the medical, agriculture, food service, automotive, industrial, white goods and consumer electronic markets. For more information visit www.reliatrace.com.