I have noticed that nichrome is a common resistance wire used for various heating purposes. I have seen it used inside what seem like glass tubes (like on an electric stove) and just floating in coils (like in hair dryers), but how would it be made in a sheet form?

The problem is that it is not insulated, which means that if it touches another piece of metal, the current would flow through that metal rather than the nichrome.

You would want the material it is wrapped in to be thermally conductive, but not electrically.

I've seen designs like this which put an insulator around the nichrome, but I don't see how that is effective at distributing the heat produced by the nichrome.

I am trying to achieve an even as possible distribution of heat at about 150C. My power supply is going to be a 12V supply that can do up to 15A (so current is not much of an issue here).

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  • $\begingroup$ What is your design goal? What are you ultimately trying to accomplish? As a rule, the materials which are good electric insulators are poor thermal conductors. The only exceptions that come to mind are diamond (pricey, difficult to work with), and fluids (oil, air) with convection (not simply a material any more). $\endgroup$ – Nick Alexeev Sep 6 '16 at 2:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Nick Alexeev I am trying to make a flat sheet that would heat up. I am open to methods other than nichrome if there is a better way. $\endgroup$ – electricviolin Sep 6 '16 at 10:08
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    $\begingroup$ This question is far too broad without some idea of how much heat you need, what temperature you're trying to achieve and what kind of power source you want to use. BTW, there are several commercial vendors of flat-sheet heaters, so you might want to look through their catalogs in order to get an idea of what's possible. The most common ones are based on copper foil and polyimide film insulation. $\endgroup$ – Dave Tweed Sep 6 '16 at 14:29
  • $\begingroup$ @DaveTweed see updated question. I took a look at the copper foil heater you were talking about - could this be DIYed or is this something that I would have to buy? Also, could I use polymide film around nichrome? $\endgroup$ – electricviolin Sep 6 '16 at 20:13

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