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Publication numberUS3833791 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 3, 1974
Filing dateApr 6, 1970
Priority dateJul 28, 1964
Publication numberUS 3833791 A, US 3833791A, US-A-3833791, US3833791 A, US3833791A
InventorsSchladitz H
Original AssigneeSchladitz Whiskers Ag
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Resistance type fluid heating apparatus
US 3833791 A
Abstract
A method and apparatus for rapidly heating gases, liquids, vapors and aerosols to a desired temperature by electric resistance heating. More particularly, the present disclosure is directed to a method and apparatus for rapidly heating up a medium such as gases, liquids, vapors, and aerosols to a desired temperature by means of an electric resistance heater, comprising the steps of guiding the medium to be treated through the electric resistance heater in such a manner as to expose said medium to a structural surface of at least about 800 square centimeters per cubic centimeter of medium to be treated.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

, waited States Patent 1191 1111 3,833,791 Schladitz Sept. 3, 11974 [5 RESISTANCE TYPE FLUID HEATING 2,884,319 7 1972 Fabian 75 .5 APPARATUS 3,032,635 5/1962 Kraft 219/426 3,087,233 4/1963 Turnbull 29/182 Inventor: rmann J. Schladitz, Munich, 3,165,826 1/1965 Bentov..... 29 419 Germany 3,165,826 7/1972 Benton..... 29/419 [73] Assigneez SchaditZ Whiskers AGq Zug, 3,278,279 I 10/1966 Kraft et a1 .1 29/182 Switzerland FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 22 il Apr. 6 1970 531,112 12/1940 Great Britain 219/381 [21] Appl 23090 Primary ExaminerA. Bartis Related US, Application D t Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Craig & Antonelli [63] Continuation of $612 No. 474,797, July 26, 1965.

[57] ABSTRACT Forelgn Apphcanon Pnomy Data A method and apparatus for rapidly heating gases, liqy 1964 Swltlerland 9872/64 uids, vapors and aerosols to a desired temperature by electric resistance heating. More particularly, the U.S. present disclosure is directed to a method and appara- 75/200 219/307, 219/374, 219/553, 338/223 tus for rapidly heating up a medium such as gases, liq- [5 Cl. 1 I. uids vapors and aerosols to a desired temperature Fleld of Search 219/306, 307, 381, means of an electric resistance heater, comprising the 219/427 382, 374, 553; 29/182 419; steps of guiding the medium to be treated through the /200 333/223225 electric resistance heater in such a manner as to expose said medium to a structural surface of at least References Cited about 800 square centimeters per cubic centimeter of UNITED STATES PATENTS medium to be treated.

795,956 8/1905 Byrnes 219/306 7 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures 1,738,164 12/1929 Zingg ..2l9/544 AIMEE 3W ATTORNEYLS RESISTANCE TYPE FLUID HEATING APPARATUS This application is a Streamlined Continuation of my copending application Ser. No. 474,797, filed July 26, 1965.

The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for rapidly heating gases, liquids, vapors and aerosols to a desired temperature by electric resistance heating.

Already known in the art is a large number of electric resistance heaters, also referred to at times as heat exchangers, which give off to gases or liquids joulean heat, produced by the electric current, either directly by heat conduction or indirectly by convection heat or heat radiation, or by a mixed heat transfer of these different types. A portion of these known electric resistance heaters is electrically insulated from the medium to be heated, for example, the generally known immersion heaters. Other resistance heaters are selfsupporting and freely exposed and without protection of their metallic surface, for example, asbestos heating grills or self-supporting, exposed heating coils of electric furnaces or ovens.

These known resistance heaters do not act directly on the entire volume of the medium to be heated, but only upon the portion thereof which is present in the immediate vicinity of the resistance heater, whereas the medium in its entirety is then heated by heat convection to the desired temperature within a certain amount of time. In order to heat the medium to be heated to the desired temperature in as short a time as possible and in order to compensate for heat losses, the surface temperature of the resistance heater must be higher than the temperature which the medium to be heated is to adopt ultimately.

This known manner of heating gases or liquids has the disadvantage that, in order to impart to each space portion of the medium to be heated the required amount of heat within a short period of time, excessively long paths and therewith excessively long periods of time are necessitated. This is a direct consequence of the fact that of the total volume of the medium to be heated only a relatively small proportion thereof will come into direct contact with the resistance heater.

The process and apparatus according to the present invention also makes use of a heat exchanger in the form of a resistance heater which, however, enables to heat the entire volume of the medium almost simultaneously by virtue of the fact that an extremely large surface is offered to the gaseous medium by the resistance heater. The process and apparatus according to the present invention for the rapid heating of gases, liquids, vapors and aerosols to a desired temperature essentially consists in that the material to be. treated is passed through an electric resistance heater which comprises as the structural elements thereof electrically conductive, mutually interlocked hair-like elements, needles or rodlets, preferably so-called whiskers, and whose structural elements offer to the material to be treated per cubic centimeter thereof a surface of at least 800 square centimeters.

The resistance heater thus consists of extremely thin metal wires metal hair-like elements or needles, with which the ratio of diameter to length is approximately between 1:10 to l:l0,000 and which are matted with each other or mutually joined with each other in any suitable known manner so that a skeleton with fine pores and having an extremely large surface comes into existence. If the skeleton consists, for example, of small rods having a diameter of 1 micron and if one assumes as an example a specific weight of the filament skeleton of 0.8, then one cubic centimeter of the volume of this skeleton has a total surface of 3,600 cm Accordingly, there is offered to the medium to be heated which is introduced into the pores of l ccm of the heat exchanger in accordance with the present invention, a heatemitting surface of 3,600 cm so that the medium to be heated can be heated almost instantaneouslyas compared to other ways of heating thereof. A very large heat-emissive surface thus confronts or faces directly each smallest volume portion of the liquid or gaseous medium which is present in one of the pores of the heating element in accordance with the present invention which surface is able to give off its heat to the medium over the shortest path by radiation and heat conduction. In order to point out more clearly the unusually rapid heat transfer from the resistance heater according to the present invention to the medium to be heated, several examples will be described hereinafter which relate to the respective ratio of the surface of the heat exchanger to the volume present in its pores of the medium to be heated.

While in the known heat exchangers for heating liquids, i.e., for example, in an immersion heater, in an electric pot or in a flow heater pipe, a heat-emitting surface on the average of approximately 0.02 to 0.5 cm is coordinated to each ccm of liquid, the corresponding value for each ccmaccording to the method and apparatus according to the present inventionamounts to 130 cm with filaments of 20 am, 200 cm with filaments of 5 am and 1,000 cm with filaments of 1 am in diameter.

The increase of the surface, coordinated to each volume unit of the resistance heater with the decreasing diameter of the metal filaments or wires is a result of the fact that the total surface of a wire-like body below a certain diameter will increase to an extraordinary extent so that, with the same total wire weight, a wire with a 10 ;.:.m diameter already possesses the 40-fold surface of a wire of um diameter, with a 1 pm diameter the l00-fold and with a 0.1 pm diameter the 1,000-fold surface.

If the liquid or gaseous medium to be heated is intended to flow through the resistance heater, then it is advantageous to keep the rate of flow of the medium to be heated as high as possible. This means that the size of the pores of the resistance heater must be as large or coarse as possible so as to reduce the flow resistance. For this reason, the present invention utilizes for the structure of the resistance heater, preferably the finest hair-like elements, needles or rodlets and preferably so-called whiskers. In contrast to the construction of a resistance heater from grain-like individual elements, such a porous skeleton made of hair-like elements, needles or rodlets has, apart from the aforementioned extremely large surface, also substantially larger pores and thus a lower flow resistance. Nevertheless, one still has to reckon in connection with a rate of flow of the liquid or gaseous medium through the porous skeleton of the resistance heater with high flow resistances so that, in the course of overcoming the same, relatively large forces may act on the individual structural element. For this reason, the structural elements of the resistance heater according to the present invention consist preferably of a material having a particularly great rigidity, preferably of hair-like elements, needles or rodlets with a crystallite size that is considerably smaller than the filament diameter itself, or of socalled metal whiskers which are grown from the gaseous phase and which have either a polycrystalline or a monocrystalline character, whereby the latter-despite the monocrystalline character thereofobtain their high strength by a minimum of dislocations, while the former do so with a maximum of dislocations. According to the present invention, the structural elements of the resistance heater may also be metallized nonconductors, for example, metallized highly resistant and notch-free glass fibers, quartz fibers or organic fibers, or also metallized, non-metallic whiskers having an above-average rigidity, for example, monocrystalwhiskers of aluminum oxide or the like. The individual structural elements may also consist of alloys instead of metals, or of metals and alloys, or of metallized nonconductors and metals, or of alloys and metallized nonconductors.

The structural elements may also be bladeor bandshaped. With particular advantage, the structural elements may also be hollow for the purpose of increasing the surface. Such hollow structural elements are obtained, for example, by metallizing the finest hair-like elements, needles, rodlets, foils or bands consisting of organic substances and by dissolving out the organic substance so that the metal shell or skin is left. For heating conductive liquid media, the structural elements of the resistance heater of the present invention are provided with a very thin insulating coating essentially consisting of lacquer, plastic material, oxide or electrophoretically deposited insulators of very fine grain size. When higher specific pressures act on the liquid or gaseous medium flowing through the heat exchanger, such rresistance heaters are used with particular advantage whose structural elements are mutually grown together or coalesced, soldered, welded, or sintered together. The bonding, cementing, soldering, welding, sintering or growing together of the hair-like, needle-like, or rod-shaped structural elements may be achieved by a number of known conventional measures and is effected after the porosity has been preestablished by a corresponding filling and compression of the structural elements. As a non-limitative example of this mechanical stabilization of the skeletons the following may be mentioned.

Joining or connections of the structural elements at the points of contact thereof by metallization from the gaseous phase, welding by brief local melting with the aid of coherently bunched light rays, by electron beam welding, by ultrasonic welding, further by galvanic separation of metals, by recombination heat of atoms, such as, for example, hydrogen atoms, and by similar measures which are applicable dependent on the shape and material of the structural elements of the resistance heater.

In accordance with the present invention, the mechanical stability of the resistance heater may be further increased in that the structural elements thereof are grown together with, cemented, soldered, welded, or sintered to the walls of the container or casing receiving the resistance heater. This measure prevents, at higher pressures of the medium flowing through the resistance heater, the tearing open of a path of lower flow resistance along the enclosing wall. A further step consists in that the resistance heater is more or less conically tapered, and more particularly in the direction of flow of the medium to be heated. Owing to this measure, the pressure rigidity of the resistance heater is increased with respect to the flowing medium. Furthermore, an intentionally non-uniform heating of the resistance heater is attained thereby in that the relatively wider part of the resistance heater is heated less by reason of its smaller resistance than the narrower part so that the medium to be heated, during its travel toward the narrower part of the column, is heated progressively more intensely. In this manner, the medium is initially preheated in the wider part of the resistance heater in order to be heated subsequently to the final temperature at the apex, i.e., in the narrower part.

This is of significance for such media which, because of the danger of the chemical decomposition, can withstand only a heating of an extremely short duration, for example, for hydrocarbons with which a cracking process would set in at higher temperatures within a short period of time.

The conical configuration of the resistance heater may be varied in many different ways in that, for example, one changes the angle of the cone or in that the cone is constructed hollow, or in that one uses a heatconducting disk or plate through which the medium to be heated flows from the outer edge toward the inside of the disk to leave the same in the center thereof.

The resistance heater can be connected thereby directly with a source of current in any known manner whereby it is of particular advantage to construct the current connections also highly porous. The resistance heater may, however, also be an induction heater, which involves the particular advantage that the contact means may be dispensed with so that, in the operation of the method and apparatus of the present invention, there exists the possibility of eliminating heat losses due to heat conduction by way of the current supply which is essential particularly in the case when the resistance heater is intended to assume high temperatures. The application of the present invention is concerned with gaseous and liquid media in general, but is also applicable with other states of aggregation of matter or material which is capable of being transported through the pores of the heat exchanger, for example, vapors, mists, aerosols, gels, suspensions and suspended particles in liquids. It is also within the scope of the present invention to utilize the heating of the medium or media treated together in the heat exchanger for the initiation and/or realization of other physical or chemical reactions which are initiated or accelerated by the heating operation, whereby a catalytic effectiveness of the material of the heat exchanger is included either additionally or exclusively.

Finally, it is also within the purview of the present invention to use the heating of a medium by means of the heat exchanger according to the present invention for shortcomings and drawbacks encountered with the prior art.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus for rapidly heating liquid and gaseous media which heats directly substantially the entire volume of the medium to be heated.

Another object of the present invention resides in the provision of a resistance heater of the type described above which minimizes heating losses and permits heating of the medium to be heated in a relatively short time.

Still a further object of the present invention resides in a resistance heater in which the entire volume of the medium to be heated is heated nearly uniformly and which presents a skeleton structure having fine pores with an extraordinary large surface.

Another object of the present invention resides in the provision of a resistance heater which permits an almost instantaneous heating of the medium to be heated.

A further object of the present invention resides in the provision of a resistance heater offering a large heating surface, yet having substantial rigidity sufficient to withstand all pressures that may be expected to occur in the system.

These and further objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more obvious from the following description when taken in connection with the accompanying drawing which shows for purposes of illustration only several embodiments in accordance with the present invention and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a cross sectional view through a first embodiment of a resistance heater in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 1a is a sectional view along line Il-II of FIG. I according to one embodiment, wherein the tubular element is of uniform cylindrical cross section.

FIG. 1b is a sectional view again along line ll-II of FIG. 1 but according to a slightly modified embodiment of the present invention, wherein the tubular element is of uniform relatively flat tubular shape.

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view through a modified embodiment of a resistance heater in accordance with the present invention, in which the resistance heater is of conical construction;

FIG. 2a is a cross-sectional view through a modified embodiment of a resistance heater similar to that shown in FIG. 2 but wherein the heater is inductively heated;

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view through a still further modified embodiment in accordance with the present invention illustrating an annular resistance heater in which the medium to be heated flows from the outside toward the inside; and

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view through a multisection resistance heater in accordance with the present invention combining some of the features of the other embodiments.

The most simple form of an apparatus for carrying out the method according to the present invention is a cylindrical tubular member or pipe within which is accommodated the resistance heater.

FIG. ll illustrates this arrangement, in which reference character a designates a pipe or tubular element made of non-conductive material, reference character 12 represents the column of the porous conductive heatconductor, reference character c indicates the medium flowing through the heat exchanger, and reference characters d and e designate electrodes which are positioned with a secure contact at the ends of the porous heat exchanger and which supply and carry off the heating current. The arrows indicate the direction of flow of the medium to be heated.

FIG. 2 shows another embodiment of an apparatus in accordance with the present invention, in which the resistance heater has a conical configuration. Enclosed within a conical insulating tube a is the porous heat exchanger b through which flows the medium c to be heated. The electrodes d and e which are pervious or permeable to the flow medium to be heated are secured with good contact to the heat exchanger cone b at both ends thereof.

The medium to be heated generally flows through the porous heat exchanger b, heated by resistance heating, from the wider to the narrower part of the cone. The temperature attained with the resistance heating in the porous heat exchanger depends on its cross section, and therewith on the electric conductivity thereof so that, depending upon the angle which the heat exchange cone possesses, a more or less great temperature drop or gradient exists between the base and the apex thereof. Accordingly, the medium flowing through the heat exchanger cone is heated less at the base and is heated more strongly at the apex thereof. Simultaneously, also the flow velocity of the medium increases from the base to the apex of the heat exchanger cone so that the medium flows more rapidly through the heat exchanger cone in the place of higher temperature.

A further embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 3 in which reference character a" designates a flat cylinder which is larger in the diameter thereof than the disk-shaped porous heat exchanger b to form a peripheral inlet channel g connected with the supply conduit f so that the medium c flowing through the heat exchanger b flows through the heat exchanger b from the outer rim thereof toward the center and leaves the same through the central discharge conduit h. The annular electrodes a and e, which are permeable or pervious to the medium to be heated, are connected with good electrical contact in any conventional manner with the heat exchanger disk b. As with the embodiment of the conical heat exchanger according to FIG. 2, the heat exchanger disk b according to FIG. 3 is heated, under resistance-heating, to a lesser degree at the periphery thereof than in the central part thereof so that also in this arrangement the temperature of the heat exchanger disk and therewith of the medium flowing therethrough, increases from the outside toward the inside thereof.

The embodiments of installations according to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 may also be varied in that the same or different embodiments are combined with one another. An embodiment, wherein several of the heat exchanger according to FIG. 3 constructed in a disk-shaped manner are provided for the purpose of achieving a greater quantity of rate of flow, is shown, for example, in FIG. 4. Reference characters b b b and b designate therein the individual heat exchanger disks through which flows simultaneously the medium supplied through inlet conduit f and common annular feed chamber g to be again discharged simultaneously in the central bore h of the individual disks. The porous electrodes d and e are thereby common to all of the used heat exchanger disks. The heat exchanger disks [2,, b b and b are arranged between flat cylinders a having several stages with interposed induction coils i to furnish additional heat. However, it is understood that in this, as well as in the other embodiments, induction heating may be used additionally to resistance-heating caused by a direct connection with the current supply or in lieu of such direct connection with the current supply.

While I have shown and described several embodiments in accordance with the present invention, it is understood that the same is not limited thereto but is susceptible of numerous changes and modifications as known to a person skilled in the art and I therefore do not wish to be limited to the details shown and de scribed herein but intend to cover all such changes and modifications as are encompassed by the scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

II. A resistance heating element for an electric resistance heater for heating fluids, comprising: a porous mat of fine, electrically-conductive, elongated elements connected together so as to be electrically conductive, and power means for supplying electrical energy to said mat, said elongated elements being selected from the group consisting of metal-coated nonmetal whiskers and polycrystalline metal whiskers, wherein said elongated elements are connected at the contact points thereof by metallization from the gaseous phase.

2. A resistance heating element for an electric resistance heater for heating fluids, comprising: a porous mat of fine, electrically-conductive, elongated elements connected together so as to be electrically conductive, and power means for supplying electrical energy to said mat, said elongated elements being selected from the group consisting of metal-coated nonmetal whiskers and polycrystalline metal whiskers, said elongated elements being connected at the contact points thereof by electron beam welding.

3. A resistance heating element according to claim 2, wherein said elongated elements consist of metalized monocrystalline whiskers of aluminum oxide.

4. A resistance heating element for an electric resistance heater for heating fluids, comprising: a porous mat of fine, electrically-conductive, elongated elements connected together so as to be electrically conductive, and power means for supplying electrical energy to said mat, said elongated elements being selected from the group consisting of metalcoated nonmetal whiskers and polycrystalline metal whiskers, wherein said elongated elements are provided with a layer of electrically-insulating material selected from the group consisting of insulating lacquers, plastics and oxides.

5. A resistance heating element for an electric resistance heater for heating fluids, comprising: a porous mat of fine, electrically conductive, elongated elements connected together so as to be electrically conductive, and power means for supplying electrical energy to said mat, said elongated elements being selected from the group consisting of metal-coated non-metal whiskers.

6. A resistance heating element according to claim 5, wherein said elongated elements consist of metalized monocrystalline whiskers of aluminum oxide.

7. A resistance heating element for an electric resistance heater for heating fluids, comprising: a porous mat of fine, electrically-conductive, elongated elements connected together so as to be electrically conductive, and power means for supplying electrical energy to said mat, said elongated elements consisting of metalized monocrystalline whiskers of aluminum oxide, said elongated elements being connected at the contact points thereof by electron beam welding.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3934117 *Mar 21, 1974Jan 20, 1976Schladitz Hermann JElectric fluid heating device
US4019021 *Jun 6, 1974Apr 19, 1977Schladitz-Whiskers, A.G.Electric resistance fluid heating apparatus
US4794226 *Oct 8, 1986Dec 27, 1988Metcal, Inc.Self-regulating porous heater device
US5073625 *Aug 18, 1988Dec 17, 1991Metcal, Inc.Self-regulating porous heating device
US5117482 *Jan 16, 1990May 26, 1992Automated Dynamics CorporationPorous ceramic body electrical resistance fluid heater
US7458807 *Apr 21, 2005Dec 2, 2008Air Products And Chemicals, Inc.Gas heater, a gas supply apparatus and a method of providing gas
US8309874May 16, 2008Nov 13, 2012Applied Materials, Inc.Gas heater
US20140093227 *Oct 2, 2012Apr 3, 2014Grant McGuffeyFoam heat exchanger for hot melt adhesive or other thermoplastic material dispensing apparatus
WO1991010867A1 *Jan 15, 1991Jul 25, 1991Automated Dynamics CorpPorous ceramic body electrical resistance fluid heater
Classifications
U.S. Classification392/485, 338/223, 428/594, 75/229, 219/553, 428/613, 55/523
International ClassificationH05B3/48, F24H1/10, H05B3/14, H05B3/42
Cooperative ClassificationF24H1/0045, F24H1/101, H05B3/48, H05B3/141
European ClassificationF24H1/00D3, H05B3/14C, H05B3/48, F24H1/10B