Four Handy Solutions for Your Drum Heating Applications

Four Handy Solutions for Your Drum Heating Applications

Solving industrial heating problems since 2005, drum heaters provide highly-effective solutions for both residential and industrial heating applications.  Discover the various advantages of drum heaters in this article. 


The viscosity of a fluid is a measure of its resistance to flow and refers to the internal friction of a moving fluid. Viscous fluids resist movement because their molecular composition creates a lot of internal friction. Also, fluids with low viscosity flow easily because their molecular composition creates little friction when in motion. 

Additionally, viscosity is caused by interactions between different molecules in a fluid and is also thought of as friction between molecules. Moreover, in the case of friction between moving solids, the viscosity will determine the energy needed to make a fluid flow. In this article, we intend to explore the advantages of drum heaters.


Factors that Affect Viscosity

Firstly, we should discuss the factors that affect viscosity. Examples include temperature, pressure and the addition of other molecules. Certainly, pressure has a minor effect on liquids and is often ignored. Adding molecules can have a significant impact, and sugar, for example, makes the water more viscous. Liquids such as vegetable shortening or crude oil don’t flow at room temperature. 

However, temperature has the most significant impact on viscosity. It increases in a liquid and decreases viscosity because it gives the molecules enough energy to overcome intermolecular attraction. The effect of temperature on viscosity is the opposite for gases, and as the temperature of the gas increases, so does the viscosity. 

The viscosity of the gas isn’t significantly affected by intermolecular attraction, but because of the increase in temperature, it causes more molecules to collide. At higher temperatures, the thermal energy of the molecule increases with increasing intermolecular distances, causing the intermolecular forces to decrease and consequently the viscosity decreases.

Specifically, drum heaters in particular provide the best solutions available for heating and insulating applications because they surround the barrel and reduce the viscosity of liquids by heating. 


What is a Drum Heater? 

First things first, drum barrel heaters are used as a practical and efficient method of preventing the freezing of contents stored in barrels, pails, tanks, bins and material hoppers, ensuring proper viscosity control and maintaining the desired operating temperature. 

Also known as barrel heaters, they’re manufactured in several standard industrial barrel sizes as well as customisable sizes. Drum heaters are equipped with a grounded heating element, cable terminations and connections, adjustable thermostatic temperature control and a variety of easy installation methods. 

What is a Drum Heater? 
What is a Drum Heater?

Made of high-quality, highly durable silicone, the heater incorporates a capillary thermostat from 0-120°C, allowing optimum temperature control. They’re equipped with a simple and effective spring-loaded system for optimal HVAC installation.


Different Types of Drum Heating Solutions 

There are four main types of industrial drum heaters, each offering different features and ease of operation. Depending on your application, one may be more suitable than the others. Each of the following types is available for 18.9-litre buckets up to 208-litre drums.

Barrel heaters can melt or reduce the viscosity of materials such as soaps, fats, greases, varnishes, oils, food products or others that need to be pumped or poured. Also called barrel heaters, there are four main types of industrial drum heaters:


  • 208 Litre Drum Insulation Blanket: used to maintain the temperature of drums and their contents, they’re also an indispensable element if your company works with delicate substances that need to be kept at the right temperature for later use.


  • Insulated Top Covers: these are 208-litre drum covers which are used to insulate the top surface of the heater. 


  • Heating Belts: Providing maximum heat of  63°C at 120 volts and delivering 240 watts of heating power, these heating bands work best for smaller-scale applications. 


  • Drum Heaters: Providing heat and insulating the entire drum, these heaters wrap around the drum, and use 800w to deliver heat from 26°C.  They work particularly well for poly or stell, and they deliver a steady heat. 


Different Types of Drum Heating Solutions
Different Types of Drum Heating Solutions


Overall, we recommend the drum heater by Ohmvo as the most convenient solution.  A high-quality 208-litre drum heater blanket ensures stable temperatures of the barrel’s contents. Other advantages of drum heaters also include:


The Advantages of Drum Barrel Heaters 

Making liquids easier to handle, and most importantly, they save time and money. They apply heat directly to barrels instead of wasting energy heating large warehouses.


Advantages include: 

  • Can withstand high temperatures, and is therefore seen as an effective and uniform heat transfer, as well as limited time to reach the required temperature range. Also, these forces are working in direct contact with the surface to be heated.
  • High electrical insulation.
  • Constant efficiency over time and extended service life.
  • Dimensional accuracy.
  • Very robust.
  • Easy installation (thanks to hooks, springs, etc.).
  • Integration of temperature sensors.
  • Easy cleaning and maintenance.
  • High mechanical resistance to connection and impact breakage.



What Are They Used For? 

Drum heaters are used in all industries to heat or maintain the temperature of their contents. In addition, these heaters prevent freezing and reduce the viscosity of soaps, fats, greases, foods, varnishes, oils and other chemicals, allowing them to be easily pumped or poured. 


Examples of industries include: 


  • Food: Chocolate, syrups, gels, shortenings, etc.
  • Pharmaceutical: Oils, emulsifiers, and thickeners.
  • Cosmetics: Coconut oil, wax, and fats.
  • Recycling: Recovered restaurant grease.
  • Petroleum: Grease and oil.
  • Paint and Coatings: Varnish, resin, and epoxies.
  • Chemical: Specific components need heat before starting a reaction.


Industrial: Central heating systems.


How Do They Work? 

The content of the drums to be heated is an important factor in determining the amount of heat required, and whether several heaters are needed in the same drum. In addition, oils, syrups and other materials used in the processing industries require a certain temperature.  

Depending on the materials and the type of drum, plastic, steel or aluminium, the heat output required will be different to transfer the heat to the drum contents. Electric drum heaters are available in 110-volt and 240-volt models with an output of between 800 and 1,500 watts. What voltage is available where the heater is located? Is there an electrical outlet?

Depending on the contents and heating requirements, you may need one or two heating bands to reach the desired temperature because heating the internal contents is not a quick process. Depending on how high the required temperature is, it may take several hours to reach operating temperatures.


Frequency of Changing Drums and Drum Heaters

How often will you need to change drum heaters in a manufacturing process environment, or will you rarely need to change the heater when only protecting the contents from freezing? A  high-quality band heater should be easy to move from one drum to another in a short time.


Spring-Loaded band

Can the spring-loaded band be easily adjusted and moved up or down or removed from the barrel? In most cases, you will need different size bands for a 208-litre steel keg than for a 132-litre keg. Sizes are not adjustable between two sizes of drums.

Is there a built-in power cable long enough to connect to the available mains power supply without the need for extension cords or temporary wiring? For example, you want a heater with a long cable already connected to the appropriate plug for your power supply.

Sizes are not adjustable between two sizes of drums.
Sizes are not adjustable between two sizes of drums.

Are the heater bands themselves durable and flexible to withstand constant removal and repositioning without damaging the heater or electrical cables?

The device manufacturer will be able to provide examples of their heaters in use by customers. Ask about the materials used to cover the heating coils and the position of the heating coils. Besides, vertical heating elements are better for flexibility than resistive elements running parallel to the web.



Temperature Control 

Drum barrel heaters need temperature control and sensing to maintain their ideal temperature. Do the devices have built-in temperature control circuits that can be adjusted and maintain the desired temperature?  

The sensing and control functions need to operate remotely and unattended so that the contents of the drums can be trusted not to be damaged. In addition, the built-in controls must meet the same standards as the thermal insulation material that protects the heating elements from external conditions.


Weather Conditions for Drum Heater Storage

Electric drum heaters are used in almost all conditions, but it is essential to identify the worst conditions before selecting the right heater for the job. For example, the requirements for drums stored indoors, outdoors or in use in conjunction with a manufacturing process.


Cold Conditions

It’s also important to consider whether the heaters will be used in multiple conditions when reused so for example, 208-litre drums stored outdoors often require heaters to keep their contents from freezing.

It’s preferable to be able to use the same heater indoors to ensure that the internal contents maintain a temperature that facilitates pumping the drum, so the heater itself may need to be resistant to liquids or even hazardous materials.

Heating elements are protected by a silicone rubber jacket, best in all external cold and wet conditions. Silicone band heaters are the most commonly used, but there are 3 other types of barrel heaters. It’s recommended to look for Ohmvo-marked barrel heaters because they ensure that they’re made of high-quality materials.

What’s more, he sensor and controls must be impervious to the environment and not be damaged by liquids or temperatures. The best control circuits have indicator lights, a capillary thermostat and an adjustable temperature dial. 


Allocating a Budget for Drum Heaters

Lastly, when considering the budget for barrel heaters, the total cost of ownership should be taken into account. Check whether the heaters are manufactured for the industrial or domestic market.

High-quality, durable and easy-to-use electric band heaters will provide a longer service life than cheaper, lower-quality units. This allows you to save money by buying fewer, higher-quality units while ensuring safety and reliable operation.

Certainly, drum heaters with silicone insulation are considered to be of the highest quality due to the excellent insulation, heat transfer and durability of the silicone coating. The internal resistive wiring should also contain a PFA coating so they can provide added protection and durability.


Drum Heaters by Ohmvo – The Best Solution 

In some cases, when only one barrel or container needs to be heated, it’s not always convenient to invest in a heating chamber, and Ohmvo offers its electric or steam barrel heaters. 

For those cases where the flexibility of a barrel heater is not sufficient, silicone heating skirts as well as metal heating rings are available in different widths and lengths.

To be fully informed of the varying specifications, we invite you to fill in our online form below or send an e-mail to info@ohmvo.com. We also invite you to discover more in-depth information about how and why are steel drum heated

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