# Making a Coiled Heating Element from Nichrome Wire

• gtg357i
In summary, the inductance of a planar coil structure is typically negligible when using 50/60Hz AC power and does not need to be considered in design calculations. The resistance of nichrome wire remains fairly constant with temperature, making it suitable for use in heating elements. A constant current source can be used to power the coil and avoid any uncertainties.
gtg357i
I'm making a coiled heating element from nichrome wire, and I was wondering how the coiling will affect the current. I have values for current needed for straight nichrome wire, but I believe coiling it will change the resistance.

Thanks.

Just to add a bit to Integral's correct response. As long as you are using 50/60Hz AC power for the coil, then the inductance of the planar coil structure is negligible for the small number of coil turns that is typical.

If you were making a 100MHz RF heating element, then you would definitely need to include the inductive reactance in your design calculations.

But a coil would tend to keep the heat generated inside, instead of radiating it back to space. As a result, an increase in surrounding temperature would result in the increase of the coils resistance. But I suppose these effects would be just too negligible.

Just power the coil by a constant current source, that will take of all uncertainties.

The resistance of nichrome does not vary significantly with temperature. In a former job we were worried about that very thing. We cut a long, ~10m, length of nichrome measured its resistance cold, then the current and voltage drop. The resistance remains pretty constant with heating. We then calculated the heat required cut the appropriate length of wire coiled in and poured a refractory cement around the coil to create our own Aluminum melter. We melted a lot of aluminum in that very nicely, it worked as designed with no concerns about the temperature dependence of the resistance.

## What is nichrome wire and why is it used for heating elements?

Nichrome wire is a type of resistance wire made from a combination of nickel and chromium. It is commonly used in heating elements because it has a high resistance to heat and electricity, making it ideal for converting electrical energy into heat.

## What materials and tools are needed to make a coiled heating element from nichrome wire?

The materials needed for making a coiled heating element from nichrome wire include: nichrome wire, wire cutters, pliers, ceramic rod or pencil, and a power source. Optional materials include sandpaper and a ruler for measuring and cutting the wire.

## What is the process for making a coiled heating element from nichrome wire?

The process for making a coiled heating element from nichrome wire involves the following steps:

1. Measure and cut a length of nichrome wire according to the desired size of the heating element.
2. Using pliers, bend and shape one end of the wire into a small hook.
3. Wrap the wire tightly around a ceramic rod or pencil, leaving a small gap between each coil.
4. Once the desired number of coils is reached, use the pliers to bend the other end of the wire into a hook as well.
5. Use sandpaper to remove any rough edges or sharp points on the wire.

## How do you connect the coiled heating element to a power source?

To connect the coiled heating element to a power source, you will need to use insulated wires and wire connectors. Strip the ends of the wires and connect them to the hooks on the heating element using the wire connectors. Then, connect the other ends of the wires to the power source, making sure to follow the correct polarity (positive and negative).

## What safety precautions should be taken when making and using a coiled heating element from nichrome wire?

When making and using a coiled heating element from nichrome wire, it is important to take the following safety precautions:

• Wear protective gear, such as gloves and safety glasses, to avoid injury from the wire and tools.
• Make sure the power source is turned off and unplugged before making any connections.
• Be careful not to touch the heating element while it is hot, as it can cause burns.
• Do not leave the heating element unattended while it is in use.
• Properly dispose of any scrap wire to avoid potential hazards.

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