What is Resistance Heating, What are its Applications?

Metalized Textiles in Smart Military Uniforms!

What is Resistance Heating, What are its Applications?

What is Resistance Heating and What are its Applications?

Resistance heating is heat generated by an electrical current passing through a resistor.  The heat comes from electrical energy being converted to thermal energy.  There are many applications for Resistance Heating:  Aeronautics, Automotive, Military, and Smart Clothing industries to name a few.

How is Resistance Heating Used in the Aeronautics Industry?

In the aeronautics industry, resistance heating is used for de-icing the wings of aircraft in inclement weather.  If the leading edges of airplane wings become encumbered with ice formation, it changes the aerodynamic quality of the wing, decreasing lift.  Without lift, an aircraft can’t gain or maintain altitude and icing has lead to a number of plane crashes over the years.  Another use for resistance heating is to keep the passenger compartment of the fuselage warm with resistance heating, making climate control easier to maintain due to the extremely cold temperature of the exterior skin at the high altitudes used in commercial and military aircrafts.  If there is an area of insulation between the outer skin of the fuselage and the inner skin of the fuselage, and the inner skin of the fuselage is coated with a conductive metal, resistance heating is a way to handle the extremes in temperature between the frigid outside and inside of the airplane.

The best resistors are made of metal, which presents the problem of weight.  The metal conducting the electricity must be light in weight to save fuel and allow more cargo.  This is where light weight conductive fabrics play a great role in conductive heating.  These textiles are thin, very light, and extremely conductive, making them the ideal conductive material for resistance heating use in aircrafts.

How is Resistance Heating used in the Automotive Industry?

The use of resistance heating used in automobiles that jumps quickly to most people’s minds is in the comfort of heated seats and heated steering wheels in automobiles today.  Resistance heating is also used for safety and visibility matters in heated mirrors and rear windows by defrosting/defogging them.  The theory is the same as in airplanes, a thin layer of conductive material is placed below the surface that needs to be warmed, current is applied to the resistor with the push of a button, and the surface becomes warm!  The light weight of the conductive fabrics pleases the engineers, as the lighter the weight of the the material used in assembling the vehicle, the better the fuel efficiency is.

How is Resistance Heating Used in the Smart Wear Industry?

Resistance heating is used in the Smart Wear Industry to warm garments in cold weather conditions.  The chief uses are gloves, mittens, socks, boots, and garments, used by outdoorsmen and the military.  They can also be used for therapeutic application of heat in Physical Therapy.  The heating elements made of conductive yarns woven through the garment or circuits etched into conductive metal textiles strategically placed throughout the garment.  The light weight and thinness of the heating elements make them comfortable to wear.  The heating elements are powered by a rechargeable power source, making them reusable as opposed to disposable chemical reaction heating elements.

Resistance heating is used in many fields and is accomplished in many ways.  One of the best ways to create resistance heating is through metalized conductive textiles as the resistance element in the form of conductive yarns woven through the area to be heated, thin backing sheets of metalized textiles with patterns etched into them, or the  use of conductive spacer fabric, which also adds a foam-like comfort area for heated seating and gripping surfaces.

V Technical Textiles, Inc. is the innovative world’s leader in Conductive Textile Products, with a wide selection of these materials to fit your every need.  Please feel free to contact us and discuss your possible needs and uses of our fine materials.

V Technical Textiles, Inc.



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De-Icing Aircraft Wings                                                     Heated Mirrors                                                  Heated Clothing

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