Tempco Custom Heater Manufacturing

Infrared heat for Simulation in the Aerospace Industry

October 27, 2020

Space Shuttle

Hoffman Design Works came to Tempco for help with a particular part of a leading-edge application: the simulation of re-entry conditions experienced by commercial spacecraft. Specifically, they needed to heat a large, 1/8” thick titanium sheet to 1,000°F.

Tempco worked closely with our customer and began solving the problem by working with tubular heating elements at the customer’s request. However, the titanium temperature would not go above 550°F. This was well below the requirement, so we realized that something different was needed.

The solution Tempco proposed was to use Infrared Technology and short-wave halogen lamps. Clean, bare, smooth-surfaced metals absorb short wavelength infrared radiation better than other wavelengths. Tempco worked closely with the customer to create this Infrared Heater Array with the follow design features:

  • 27 individual heating elements
  • 2000 watts, 240 volts per element
  • Plain wire termination, Tempco Type W termination
  • Heating elements mounted to sheet metal frame

The rapid response and capacity of Tempco’s halogen lamps for intense, high heat made this an excellent choice for the large testing area measuring 26 inches by 86 inches. After testing, results showed that the infrared halogen lamps heated the titanium sheet to 1,000°F in less than a minute.

Infrared Heater Assembly
Final Infrared Heater Assembly


Live Infrared Heater Assembly
Energized Infrared Heater Assembly

Tom H.

Product Engineering Manager


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Tempco Electric Heater Corporation

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